I was lucky enough to visit Sydney, Australia and extern at Randwick Equine Clinic (REC) for three weeks. A classmate had visited the year before and highly recommended the clinic. REC is a renowned practice with over twenty doctors, boarded equine surgeons and internal medicine specialists that offers a surgical and medicine residency program in addition to a highly recommended internship program. I had minimal experience in a high-end equine surgery facility, and I wanted to gain experience working in such a clinic while learning more about the internship program.
The majority of the clientele at REC are Thoroughbred racehorses; so much of the practice is focused on lameness, orthopedic surgery and correction of upper airway diseases. I had the chance to rotate through cases in medicine, surgery and ambulatory services, where I helped to work up colic cases, observed OCD lesion removal, laryngeal tie-back and LASER surgeries and aided in anesthesia. I often traveled with ambulatory veterinarians to the nearby Royal Randwick racetrack where I was fortunate to practice a multitude of lameness evaluations, watch trot-ups and help with taking radiographs daily, as well as lend a hand in performing the newly developed Dynamic Respiratory Endoscopy (DRS), a technology which videos a horse’s larynx in real time while running practice laps around the track. I was there during the start of yearling season, and as Inglis sales yard is adjacent to the hospital I experienced drawing blood on wryly weanlings, shooting pre-sales radiographs and observe removal of medial radiocarpal bone chips. I was truly able to hone many equine medicine skills and got to practice nasogastric intubation on over 30 horses in a day to help with a study scoping for gastric ulcers.
I’ve traveled abroad for veterinary work before, but at Randwick Equine Centre I worked hand in hand with other veterinary students, interns and residents from around the world. Even though I wasn’t speaking a different language, I had to learn some English and Aussie lingo! I experienced the day to day Australian lifestyle, eating roo and drinking stubbies while living on one of the most famous surfing beaches in Sydney, Bondi Beach. I was able to observe what equine medicine (at the scale of our own UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital) meant to others veterinary students while taking pickies of famous horses in their box. I truly gained an awesome perspective.
Thank you, International Externships Programs, for a wonderful and fulfilling veterinary experience abroad!