Author Neil Pasricha is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming VET Conference. Photo courtesy Speakers' Spotlight.

VET fresh approach to continuing education

Veterinary professionals across Canada have a new option for gaining low-cost, high-quality continuing education.

The first Veterinary Education Today (VET) Conference and Medical Exposition will be held in Toronto from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2016.

The conference offers participants a chance to earn up to 12 continuing education (CE) credit hours through a program developed by a planning committee from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), says conference chair Dr. Duncan Hockley.

"The conference is a fresh initiative towards CE opportunities for both veterinarians and veterinary technologists," says Hockley, who is also the director of the WCVM's Veterinary Medical Centre.

Veterinarians, veterinary technologists, practice managers and students can choose from 30 different conference sessions, with clinical seminars tailored specifically to small animal, large animal, bovine and equine professional development interests.

An optional pre-symposium offers the participants the chance to advance their skills through seminars on veterinary wellness, social media and marketing, medical imaging and pet rehabilitation in small group settings.  The conference also offers a specific wet lab for veterinary technologists that focuses on practical, multi-modal anesthesia and analgesia.

The conference committee selected veterinary specialists from the Toronto area as well as experts from the WCVM, the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College and the University of Prince Edward Island's Atlantic Veterinary College as speakers for this inaugural event.

One of the event's keynote speakers is Neil Pasricha, author of two bestsellers, The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesomeness. The Harvard MBA graduate and former Wal-Mart Canada executive will give VET visitors some effective, "put-it-in-your-pocket" tips on how to foster workplace happiness in their own veterinary clinics.

In addition to Pasricha, WCVM dean and One Health leader Dr. Douglas Freeman will discuss how the global concept offers exciting opportunities for leadership and collaboration with other health care professionals. The conference's final keynote speaker is a 1996 WCVM graduate — surgical oncologist and bestselling author Dr. Sarah Boston — who will talk about the highs and lows of veterinary medicine in her presentation, "Doggie doctor: the worst job you'll ever love."

The conference is organized in conjunction with Diversified Communications Canada, a company with a proven track record in providing economical, high-calibre continuing education conferences for professionals in the human medical field.

"Providing continuing education is one of the mandates of our [veterinary] college," says Hockley. "Being able to focus strictly on the content — not the venue nor the logistics of the event — really allows us to focus and develop high-quality CE programs relevant to the practitioner of today."

He notes that attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with industry representatives during the industry symposia and medical exposition at the industry exhibitor area. They'll also have the chance to network with veterinary colleagues and an extensive range of veterinary companies from across Canada.

"I think it will grow into a premier CE event and opportunity for our profession," says Hockley.

Please visit the VET conference website for more information about the program, speakers and registering online. Early-bird registration fees are $120 for veterinarians, $78 for veterinary technologists and $36 for students until June 30.
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