Saturday, October 23, 2010

Continuing Education

So you called to make an appointment with your veterinarian and you were told he/she was at a continuing education meeting. Great timing, the dog just started vomiting and having diarrhea again or you woke up to your cat straining in the litter box unable to urinate. You end up making an appointment with one of the other doctors or have to be seen at the other clinic in town. You ask yourself, why does my veterinarian need to go to a meeting? Didnt they go to school already? Is there a problem with their license?

Well, beleive it or not various hours of continuing education are required by law to keep a veterinary license current. Your veterinarian fulfills this requirement by a combination of methods including reading current journal articles on specific topics, going to a local or out of town meeting to attend lectures on specific topics or via an interactive webinar.

For each of these, an expert in the field of that specific topic discusses ways to diagnose or treat the problem being discussed. These experts may be involved in research or have great experience on the topic presented and can share information on a new test or treatment available that is not yet widely known.

Just this past week I spent 3 days listening to experts discussing Liver Diseases, Feline Infectious Diseases and Gastrointestinal Diseases. It wasnt for fun that I stayed for the late-night talk that ended at 8:30 pm discussing liver copper -storage diseases in dogs. There was a case in the hospital that was just diagnosed with this disease and some valuable treatement tips were given during the meeting not yet avaialble in any book or journal! I immediately e-mailed these cutting edge tips to the doctors that stayed at the hospital so they could make sure we had the best chance of helping a very sick Labrador recover.

So the next time you wonder why your veterinarian is not available because of a meeting think about the new information being gained that may allow Fluffy to live a longer, more comfortable and healthier life.