Matt Winter, DVM, DACVR
Executive Vice President of Veterinary Education
Education is the facilitation of learning and the acquisition of knowledge. A proverb says, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.” This simple statement embodies the complexities of learning and the stimulating challenges of designing lasting educational experiences. At NAVC, our mission is to provide world-class continuing professional development for the global veterinary healthcare community. We continually strive to create programs that give veterinary professionals the opportunity to learn and teach through contact and engagement; to grow through interaction with the community; and to retain skills and information for future use and dissemination.
Many veterinary professionals have experienced the NAVC Conference, now VMX—the Veterinary Meeting & Expo. Hundreds of speakers, experts in their fields, head to Orlando to provide thousands of hours of continuing education lectures and hands-on laboratories on topics that cover the many facets of our amazingly diverse profession. Attendees from every part of the veterinary profession converge at this meeting to learn, collaborate, and grow. But there are many other opportunities to learn with us.
The NAVC Institute provides deep dives into focused areas—behavior, cardiology, and ophthalmology, to name a few—during week-long courses designed around small groups and intensive, hands-on sessions. These intimate courses foster close communications with instructors and peers and allow development of novel, complex skill sets that can be brought to your practice. This level of involvement in didactic, laboratory, and discussion sessions ensures a memorable experience and improves retention of material and skills.
Building on the model of the NAVC Institute, NAVC Discovery takes some of our most popular courses—including Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound and Soft Tissue Surgery—on the road to Buffalo, New York. Here, we combine the engaging small-group learning environment with a destination that boasts great food, craft beer, Lake Erie, and Niagara Falls. Discovery will also feature an innovative approach to teaching and learning surgical techniques as we introduce SynDaver synthetic canine cadavers to the soft tissue surgery lab. These complex models, designed in partnership with the University of Florida, replace canine cadaveric tissue with synthetic tissues that more closely mimic living tissue. The synthetic organs are perfused, have pulsatile synthetic blood flow, and have lesions that must be identified and resected completely, with vascular ligation. This is the future of veterinary medical education.
NAVC LIVE: Portland
While sitting in a 50-minute continuing education lecture, have you ever thought that your cases never present as cleanly as the ones in the session? Have you ever wondered what the session case was really like from beginning to end? How was client interaction and communication handled? Have you pondered how the complexities of case management would have affected the outcome of that case? NAVC LIVE: Portland is designed to explore cases more fully by incorporating Veterinary Case Theater presentations. These sessions feature complete interactions with “clients,” the use of improv techniques, and tips and tricks that fuse the art of practice with the science of veterinary medicine.
NAVC Learning Academy
As our careers progress, we often find that we gravitate to a specific area of interest. While residencies afford an opportunity to practice a particular aspect of veterinary medicine while earning specialist credentials, many veterinary professionals would like to seek more specialized training while still engaging in general practice. The NAVC Learning Academy will be introducing robust and rigorous certification programs in a variety of areas, providing in-depth coursework and instruction in topics such as the human–animal bond, teaching and learning, veterinary business, and more. These certifications will be provided through a combination of live and online materials, in partnership with experts in each field. Mastery of these materials must be demonstrated through an examination or project, and credentials must be kept current through maintenance of certification. As each of these certifications grows, new information will be introduced and developed, fostering collaborative communities and driving innovation.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Education is the red thread of our profession, tying us all together and advancing the art and science of veterinary medicine. As veterinary professionals, we have embarked on a lifelong journey of professional development. Aristotle is credited with the phrase “Education is the best provision for old age.” We also know that education keeps us young and knowledge is our greatest tool. With it, we solve problems daily for the love of animals, for the love of people, and for the love of the planet.
—Matt Winter, DVM, DACVR,
Executive Vice President of Veterinary Education