Always Learning the Latest

Drs. Dave and Betsy Thompson and Dr. Warren Riggle recently attended the North American Veterinary Conference for an action packed week of nine hours of classes each day. The North American Veterinary Conference has occurred each year in January since 1984 and they have attended almost every year! Of course, they are not the only people there, not by a long shot.  It is the largest veterinary meeting in the world with thousands of veterinarians and technicians attending this year!  

Among other things, the Thompsons came back with new ideas on ways to make AHNA even more stress free for our patients and their people. We are now beginning to implement protocols to enable families concerned about their pet’s anxiety during exams to orally medicate the pet before they leave home so that the pet arrives calmer and can enjoy the visit more. Additionally, you are going to see even more comfort items and rewards for pets in our waiting room and exam rooms. Speakers emphasized over and over at this meeting the importance of incorporating positive experiences into veterinary visits. After all, we humans realize the importance of our doctor poking and prodding our bodies and the value that blood tests provide, but our dear pets don’t, so we have to be sure to add some treats and to do everything we do slowly, gently and with expert skills.   

While there, the Thompsons also shopped for new equipment for AHNA, mainly to upgrade equipment that we already have. The North American has the largest display of veterinary vendors, so it is an excellent place to look at equipment, such as ultrasound machines, made by several different companies all in one place.

While in Orlando, Drs. Dave and Betsy Thompson attended the formal dinner where the 2015 Practice of the Year Award was presented. As recipients of the PetPlan Practice of the Year Award for 2014, they were asked to be among the judges for this year’s award, and they participated in the judging last October. They really enjoyed the presentation and dinner and were honored to be sitting at the table with the CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association and the President-elect of AAHA. It was a grand evening! (The picture to the right shows Dr. Dave and Dr. Betsy with Dr. Kate Crumley, President of the American Animal Hospital Association, and Dr. Tracey Jensen, 2015 Pet Plan Veterinarian of the Year.)

It was a busy week, there were classes on every imaginable topic in veterinary medicine, so everyone came home excited about the new information and ideas acquired.

Earlier this month, Dr. Dennis Golden, Dr. Amy Plankenhorn, and Dr. Jennifer Sim attended a day-long Sunday seminar held in Johnson City, TN. Dr. Ralph Harvey, a specialist in anesthesia and pain management at the University of Tennessee, spoke about topics including anesthesia in high-risk patients, clinical pain management, and new techniques for providing pain control. The doctors were happy to give up a day off to learn more about keeping their patients comfortable and safe, and to share this important information with the rest of the doctors and staff.

Dr. Susan Wootten and Dr. Paul Duncan just spent a week attending the Western Veterinary Conference, which is the second largest veterinary conference in the world. We look forward to hearing about what they learned there!