AABP Recent Veterinary Graduate Conference Recap: 'Profoundly Impactful'
AABP members who are recent veterinary graduates learned a lot about being “Profoundly Impactful” in practice life at the 2022 5th Annual AABP Recent Veterinary Graduate Conference held Feb. 18-19 in New Orleans, La. In-person attendance is limited to AABP members who have graduated veterinary school seven or fewer years ago, but for the last two years, all AABP members, regardless of graduation year, were able to register for virtual attendance.
Over 160 were in attendance including in-person, virtual, speakers, exhibitors and guests. About 40% of in-person attendees had graduated within the last year.
With a theme of “Profoundly Impactful” and offering 15 RACE-approved CE credits, general, beef and dairy sessions were offered, in addition to three hands-on preconference seminars focused on bull breeding soundness exams (BSEs), lameness protocols and financial management. An added bonus was that BSE and lameness seminars took place up the road at Louisiana State University which allowed for hands-on instruction for attendees. During Friday night’s dinner, attendees offered some great and practical practice tips.
The program committee, consisting of Dr. Adlai Schuler (program chair and AABP Emerging Leader), Dr. Nick Van Engen (feedlot), Dr. Chelsea Bland Smith (cow-calf) and Dr. Kelsey Arellano Savell (dairy), matched the demographic of attendees. “From very applied tips on managing dystocias to jump-starting a new revenue stream within the practice to public speaking and continuing to be the trusted advocate for the animal, the speakers did a great job of helping elevate young veterinarians in the early facets of their career,” Schuler said.
Kicking off the conference program in the general sessions were industry outlooks for dairy (Dr. Bill Wavrin), feedlot (Dr. Kee Jim) and cow-calf (Dr. Christine Navarre). “All three keynote speakers highlighted that although cattle practice is changing, the future is bright and the veterinarian's role will continue to be profoundly impactful,” Schuler noted. “The CE delivered at the conference and the conversations among attendees reflected this.”
The Recent Veterinary Graduate Conference was launched in 2018 as a result of the different needs of AABP members who are recent graduates, many of whom are unable to attend the AABP Annual Conference in the fall. At the 2022 conference, topics included consulting, public speaking, lameness, diagnostics, reproductive technologies, fluid therapy in calves, nutrition, emergencies, clinical trials, housing, treatment decisions and much more.
“New Orleans provided a relaxed environment for networking among the attendees,” Schuler added. “The support and accessibility of the AABP Board members in attendance also afforded young veterinarians a tremendous opportunity to see how organized veterinary medicine is at work for the future of the profession in an up close and personal manner.”
“The Recent Graduate Conference has proven to be an excellent conference for young veterinarians to get bovine-specific CE,” said AABP President Dr. Pat Gorden. “The smaller nature of the conference allows for a vast number of social interactions. I can’t imagine that there was an attendee who didn’t take something from the conference that they could use in their first week after returning home. It was interesting to learn that today’s new veterinarians have many of the same struggles that I had when I first started,” Gorden noted. “I think they will find that if they use some of the strategies provided during the Recent Graduate Conference, they will be taking on more of consultative role in the near future.”
For the second year, there was a trade show featuring 22 animal-health-related companies and organizations.
“This conference represents the future of AABP and the cattle veterinary profession,” said AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich. “I am amazed each year at the tremendous talent of our recent graduate members as well as the opportunities that they create in bovine veterinary medicine.”
Registrants and AABP members can access the RACE-approved recorded presentations as a free member benefit through the Beef Cattle Institute website accessible at https://aabp.org.