Julia says that as a vet student she finds it important to work with a wide variety of different animals. “I think JCU did a good job making sure you've realised which animals you're interested in, or if you prefer either working with farm animals or in clinical roles with domestic animals.”
As for the regular farm animal placements that all JCU vet students undertake in their first year, Julia has already finished a dairy cow placement in the Atherton Tablelands, and a two-week horse placement in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Working with horses on placement has also been Julia's favourite experience so far. “It was really good because I got to experience how the production of racehorses is managed, and how vets are involved in this,” Julia says. “They did regular checks — a vet would come in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to check on the pregnant mares. I watched the vet doing routine procedures, such as scanning, X ray and surgical procedures. That was incredible.”
Looking back, Julia says, “I've done eight weeks of placement for first year. But before third year starts, I still have my beef cattle placement, one more sheep placement and one aquaculture placement, such as at a barramundi farm.”
Julia is already looking forward to her third year, when her placement experiences will get even more exciting: “That’s when we start doing clinical placements with domestic animals.”