Drs. Dave and Betsy Thompson attended the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando, FL from February 4th through 8th. The NAVC is the largest veterinary meeting in the world, is attended by people from all over the world, and is a learning experience for veterinarians that has no equal.
Every hour of the day there were about 40 different lectures available Saturday through Wednesday. Every lecture and every speaker was an opportunity to learn something new that can help diagnose and treat a disease, relieve symptoms, or simply give the patient a better or a longer life. Depending on the subject, lecture rooms varied in size from as big as an acre to as small as one designed for only 20 veterinarians where the lecturer can go into great detail, answer questions or offer hands-on experience. Lectures and classes start at 6:30 AM and the last one typically ends at 7:30 PM, so unfortunately, the Thompsons felt like they weren’t outside the whole time they were in sunny Florida. They also spent time in the Exhibit Hall which is filled with over two acres of the most up-to-date equipment and the most knowledgeable people in the field available to answer questions.
The NAVC has taken place for 33 years, and the Thompsons have attended almost all of the conferences. As the years passed, the Thompsons watched the conference grow from a small group to over 17,000 attendees. Therefore, they were not surprised that a change in location to a larger venue was finally made this year. Previously, the conference had grown to encompass three different locations which were connected by buses, but this year it was all in one huge place, the Orange County Convention Center.
With veterinary medical and surgical knowledge as well as diagnostic technologies increasing at a rapid rate each year, it is important to keep learning which is why the North American Veterinary Conference is so valuable. A lot can be learned in one conference. North Carolina requires that every licensed veterinarian attend 20 hours of continuing education yearly. At AHNA, our doctors are required to attend a minimum of 50 hours each year. Their reading of the many journals that we receive monthly does not count in those 50 hours. AHNA veterinarians each attend a large national meeting each year as the large meetings have the latest information by the best specialists. A meeting of this caliber is where cutting edge information is available with documentation that it is accurate. The following are other notable meetings that at least one of our doctors may attend each year are: the Veterinary Dental Forum, the American Animal Hospital Association, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Specialists, and the Western States Veterinary Conference.