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CAPC/Nestle Purina meeting targets real-world skills in veterinary schools

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Jun 11, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
St. Louis -- The goal of the meeting was to bring together a group of primary-care educators to talk about the real-world skills veterinary students need.
To accomplish it, the Companion Animal Parasite Council and Nestle Purina sponsored a three-day meeting netting representation from nearly all of the veterinary colleges in North America.

The Primary Care Educators’ Meeting, explains CAPC’s Executive Director Dr. Mike Paul, was crafted to recognize and help facilitate the role these educators play in the development of veterinary students.

In fact, Paul says, there is greater recognition within academia about the importance of practical, real-world experience.

And while veterinary medicine clearly recognizes the importance of clinical education, there is growing acceptance that communication, leadership and team building are just as important to success in veterinary practice, Paul adds.

“The veterinary schools and organizations are looking long and hard at this. Maybe the sacred cow, isn’t so sacred. We are looking at some of these other things we need to do to get (veterinary students) really ready to walk into to a clinical practice and make an impact.”

As part of the April 28-May 2 meeting, CAPC and Nestle Purina invited a diverse group of professional leaders to address a plethora of topics important to general practitioners, like pet owner compliance, wellness nutrition, trends in parasitology, the role of organized veterinary medicine, communication, leadership and team building. Presentations were delivered by:

• Cindy Admas, PhD, University of Guelph, and Suzanne Kurtz, PhD, Washington State University, on learning, developing and teaching communication skills;
• Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association;
• Dr. John Albers, consultant and former executive director of the American Animal Hospital Association, on improving client acceptance and compliance;
• Drs. Donald J. Klingborg, University of California-Davis, and Dale Moore, Washington State University, on leadership and team-building strategies;
• Dwight Bowman, PhD, Cornell University, “Why parasite control should mean every pet all year round;”
• Dr. Lisa Freeman, Tufts University, an update on wellness nutrition and the healthy animal.