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June Conference makes successful return

Dr. Romany Pinto and Timber

WCVM clinical associate Dr. Romany Pinto conducted a pet rehabilitation demonstration for veterinarians during the June Conference. Photo: Robyn Thrasher.

More than 120 veterinarians from Western Canada and even further afield helped to make the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 June Conference a success.

The veterinary college’s traditional conference, which has been on hiatus for the past eight years, returned with a relaxing, folksy flavour that organizers hoped would appeal to WCVM alumni.

While the three-day event delivered high-calibre continuing education sessions, the conference’s schedule also included plenty of opportunities for participants to visit and catch up with classmates and colleagues.

The mix was highly successful, says Dr. Colin Palmer, chair of the conference.

“A number of people commented on how it was good to be back at the WCVM,” says Palmer, a professor in the WCVM’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

“I think the conference participants really appreciated the opportunity to tour through our upgraded facilities and see for themselves how much things have changed and progressed since they graduated.”

The June Conference offered three days of concurrent sessions covering companion animal and equine/food animal topics for participants. While most of the sessions were held in two of the WCVM’s lecture theatres, the final day’s schedule included demonstration labs in equine ultrasonography, pet rehabilitation and bovine hoof trimming.

Dr. Sheryl Gow

One of the June Conference presenters was Dr. Sheryl Gow who talked about antimicrobial resistance in beef cattle herds. Photo: Myrna MacDonald.

For the latter lab, all of the participants had front row seats for Dr. Chris Clark’s demonstration of trimming techniques. The entire session was filmed live and beamed to the college’s new distance education room where about 30 veterinarians watched the procedures close up on large screens.

On the conference’s first evening, participants had the chance to relax and enjoy a barbecued steak supper at Louis’ Pub, the University of Saskatchewan’s bar. As well, veterinarians mingled with speakers, faculty and students during an alumni reception on Friday evening.

One group of WCVM alumni especially enjoyed the social events: the Class of 1987 organized their 25th class reunion to coincide with the June Conference. The reunion’s attendance was more than 70 per cent with some alumni travelling from overseas to be reunited with former classmates.

During their reunion, the Class of 1987 set a goal of raising $25,000 in support for the existing Dr. Don Parslow Memorial Award which was named in honour of a former classmate.

Palmer says a date for the next June Conference will be set after the organizing committee members have a chance to review feedback and plan for future continuing education events.

The WCVM’s ultimate goal is to make the conference more theme-based so organizers eventually provide participants with in-depth coverage of a number of major topics.

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