By Mike Jernigan
While the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2020 Annual Conference and J. T. Vaughan Equine Conference will continue a tradition of 113 consecutive years of continuing education provided by the Southeast’s oldest veterinary program, this year’s three-day program—to be held October 22-24—will also mark the first time the concurrent events have been held virtually. Despite the change to an online format, however, the conferences will continue to provide opportunities for veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians and other veterinary professionals from across the nation and around the world to participate in RACE-approved continuing education sessions and professional networking opportunities.
This year’s conferences are sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Animal Health, Seminole Wellness and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. As always, the three-day program will offer presentations in various disciplines of small animal, farm animal and equine veterinary education, as well as numerous animal health and wellness courses. In order to comply with Auburn University’s COVID-19 safety protocols, all sessions will be held in a live, interactive webinar format. In addition, the combined conference website will include a virtual exhibit hall to allow attendees opportunities to engage with vendors and post-conference on-demand continuing education access.
The 2020 program will offer more than 85 hours of professional sessions in various disciplines, including courses designed specifically for veterinary technicians. In-state attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 20 hours of continuing education credit, as the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine Education (ASBVME) has approved allowing veterinarians to obtain their required 20 hours of continuing education for 2020 either in person or online. Many other state boards have modified their requirements for approval of online credit for this year as well. Out-of-state attendees should check with the state board where they maintain their licensing to ensure that online hours will be accepted. In addition, all continuing education offerings at the 2020 Auburn Vet Med Annual Conference have received approval by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE).
Although the format will be virtual for the first time in the conferences’ long history, sessions will continue to be led by some of the top veterinary professionals in the fields of veterinary education, research and business, from both the Auburn University faculty and invited speakers from across the nation. This year’s invited presenters are: Dr. Heidi L. Hulon ’93, regional consulting veterinarian for Elanco Animal Health; Dr. Jodi Westropp, professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology, and director of the Gerald V. Ling Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory and Veterinary Medical Continuing Education director at the University of California-Davis; Dr. Gary Warner, partner in the Elgin Veterinary Hospital in Elgin, Texas; Dr. Kevin Washburn, professor of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Cathy E. Langston, professor of Clinical Sciences and Small Animal Internal Medicine section head at The Ohio State University; Dr. David Biller ‘80, 2013 winner of the Auburn’s Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award and head of the Department of Radiology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Jan Bellows ‘75, president of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry and practitioner of small animal surgery and dentistry at All Pets Dental in Weston, Florida; Dr. Fairfield Bain ‘83, associate director of the Equine Innovation, Discovery and Development Team at Merck Animal Health; and Dr. Erin Anderson, associate cardiologist at Pittsburgh Veterinary Cardiology.
Conference registration provides attendees with access to the live webinars, conference proceedings, virtual exhibit hall and post-event on-demand courses. Attendees will receive an email confirmation after registration with a separate email sent several days prior to the conference with personal login details for the conference website. The schedule, conference sessions, lecture proceedings and exhibit hall will be accessed directly from the website, which will allow attendees to view the live conference sessions, interact with speakers following the lectures, network with fellow attendees and access all conference materials. Registration information, an overview of the schedule and a detailed list of featured speakers can be found online at aub.ie/vetconference.