BSAVA Congress 2018: another successful year
BSAVA Congress 2018 yet again provided a jam packed schedule of lectures, practicals and social events. This year also boasted more non clinical streams and focused on wellbeing. Thousands of delegates were encouraged to empower themselves and their teams by thinking more deeply about their careers and personal development, as well as physical and mental health, with activities running throughout the four-day event culminating in non-clinical lecture stream ‘Beyond the Clinics’ and Careers Fair on Sunday.
The keynote speaker and international rugby referee, Nigel Owens MBE, shared advice from his career that struck a chord with many vets. “Giving yourself time to process things, instead of reacting, gives you a better chance of getting it right… when it comes to tackling difficulties, it’s only when you accept there are issues that you need to do something about that they can be put right and you can make a change.”
BSAVA launched a Professional Mentorship pilot scheme to help tackle the rise of recently qualified graduates leaving the profession. Up to 24 second and third year qualified vets will partner with impartial, experienced and supportive mentors to work through seemingly ‘unsolvable’ professional challenges and unlock their potential. BSAVA are looking for mentees and mentors to participate in the pilot - which counts towards CPD and aims to cement a successful transition into practice. Ongoing feedback, evaluation and development will help shape the launch of the full programme in 2019.
BSAVA also launched it’s new online library - bsavalibrary.com - which makes published content including all BSAVA manuals available available to the whole veterinary profession regardless of BSAVA membership . This includes BSAVA manual chapters, BSAVA Small Animal Formulary, BSAVA Guide to Procedures in Small Animal Practice, Companion articles, Congress lectures and much more. Manuals will be available to purchase either as whole manuals, or by chapter. BSAVA have chosen to make the manuals available as PDFs rather than through an online portal. While this will improve usability the opportunities for plagiarism are not lost on BSAVA, who will be employing various countermeasures.
There was no love lost between VetPlus and IVC at the congress with all VetPlus reps wearing polo shirts emblazoned with the definition of independent. This follows a spat in The Times between IVC and VetPlus with accusations of a loss of clinical freedom for vets working for IVC practices. It was however noted a congress attendee that VetPlus hadn’t done any real business with the corporates in quite some time, and the spat had provided rather a lot of publicity suspiciously close to congress.
Boehringer were keen to publicise the results of ‘the largest veterinary cardiovascular study ever to be conducted to determine if Vetmedin would delay the onset of cardiac symptoms in dogs’. Results showed that compared to placebo, dogs receiving Vetmedin had their average asymptomatic period extended by about 15 months. This has lead to a new licence to administer Vetmedin to dogs with asymptomatic mitral valve disease (MVD). It is the first time that a pharmaceutical has been licensed to be used before disease or clinical signs are detected.
There’s no doubt that congress still provides a wealth of clinic and non clinical learning opportunities, not to mention a. Infant social scene. How that will change, with the growth of corporate practice and and buying decisions made more in an office than on the exhibition floor remains to be seen.