Monday, February 15, 2010

WVC Day 1 and 2

I thought I might share with you what goes on at a veterinary convention. As a veterinarian, I am required to take continuing education classes every year in order to renew my license. Now this is something that is actually quite fun. I guess when you choose a career that requires at least 7-8 years minimum of schooling past high school, then to some extent you have to really like school. And so taking classes every year is fun. I love learning new things and believe me, medical advances happen so fast that there is always something new to learn. Some veterinarians take classes here and there throughout the year. I like to go to a large conference and get all my hours in one fell swoop. Ohio requires 30 hours of education every two years, but my goal ever since I graduated from vet school 24 years ago has always been to get a minimum of 20 hours every year.

Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) is one of the largest. One year I was told that there were around 15,000 attendees of which 6000 are veterinarians. I guess being in Las Vegas in February is a big reason, but there are also so many classes to take that it gives us lots of choice. Every hour, there are 20 to 22 sessions from which to choose. Quite overwhelming sometimes.

Day 1 (Valentine's Day) was a half day which is good if you arrive in Las Vegas in the morning which is what my husband and I did. Actually we started our trip out west last week and took some time to visit our western US friends. Sunday classes started after lunch and I started by going to a session on separation anxiety in dogs, then learned some new behavioral and medical techniques for treating cats that go outside the litterbox and finally a session on heartworm disease. No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a little nightlife and my husband and I enjoyed a show by comedian Bill Engvall tonight.

Day 2 (President's Day) was geared mostly toward cats. Oral disease, bladder disease and brain diseases were among the topics. Oral disease is one of the most common problems I see in cats so that was particularly interesting. Bladder disease is also very common in cats and I learned some great new tips and tricks in treating this condition. Ended the day learning new information about intervertebral disk disease in dogs. With 3 hours of class on Sunday and 7 hours on Monday, I am halfway to my 20 hour goal. Once again, my husband and I took advantage of being west and had dinner with some friends that live in California.

I understand from family and friends back in Ohio that snow and cold are continuing. Here in Vegas it was sunny and 65 today. The palm trees are very beautiful in the bright sunshine. Just thought I'd rub that in! Tomorrow is Tuesday and day 3 of the conference. More to come...........

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