People say the hardest part of vet school is getting in. Coming from someone who did not get accepted on their first try, I would have to say the hard part started when I got in. Not to say that people didn’t tell me it would be hard, but they certainly did not tell me some days I would absolutely hate, and sometimes regret, my decision to pursue a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly not all doom and gloom. But sitting in the classroom for three years has a way of wearing you down. In my third year, chronic fatigue set in. Like a flu or when you get chilled to the bone, that type of deep cold. The timing was not great, because this deep exhaustion contributed to a rather tumultuous beginning of my fourth year. Now it is almost January, leaving only five months of vet school left. Part of me is ready to step out of a tertiary referral hospital and see what the “real world” does in practice. The other half of me is terrified at the thought that the vet school is turning me loose into the world as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Because the truth is, I don’t feel any closer to being a doctor now than I did at the beginning of first year. I want to say “Woah, woah. Wait a minute. Are you sure this is a good idea?” And I am not alone in this. Most classmates are feeling much of the same apprehension as I am. I ask myself then, when would I know when I feel ready? When I’m always certain of a diagnosis or treatment plan? When the cases seem more routine and less obscure? When I’m not revisiting my notes from years 1-3? Unfortunately, I know the answer and it’s none of the above. The truth is, this is just one of those things you’re never really ready for but you have no choice but to face the music. And I think the actual piece that is missing is a confidence. I’m banking on the hope that confidence will come with experience. and experience takes time. Time that is much than 5 months.