Posted Sept. 5, 2012
||Fireworks illuminate the USS Midway, site of events hosted by the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation during the Association’s Annual Convention.
Veterinary professionals from around the world gathered at the San Diego Convention Center Aug. 3-7 for a variety of educational and entertainment opportunities offered at the 2012 AVMA Annual Convention.
Some 8,750 people attended the convention, including 3,775 veterinarians, according to Kelly Fox, AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division director.
“The 149th annual convention of the AVMA was indeed one for the record books,” Dr. Ron Banks, chair of the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee, said.
Animal advocate and TV personality Joan Embery kicked off the 4 1/2-day meeting as the keynote speaker of The AVMA Show sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Sitcom star Jay Thomas emceed the evening, which featured several members of Embery’s menagerie joining her on stage.
Several new initiatives and programs were unveiled in San Diego. Supplemental training for veterinarians certified by the Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Accreditation Program was offered for the first time at an AVMA convention. And the new Technician Town Hall meeting was a chance for veterinary technicians to meet with representatives of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and discuss how the organization can provide better continuing education and services for its members.
To help convention attendees select the right CE, sessions were ranked on a knowledge scale ranging from refresher courses on basic knowledge to more advanced.
The AVMA Convention Loyalty Program was introduced to provide discounted registration rates for future conventions. And the Tech Bring a Tech program allows veterinary technicians who have paid the AVMA convention registration fee to bring a colleague for free.
The AVMA’s stepped-up attention to veterinary technicians is no accident. Dr. Banks said, “These initiatives reflect the AVMA convention committee’s dedication to building partnerships between veterinary and veterinary technical communities.”
More than a thousand CE sessions were offered during the San Diego convention, including the popular Hot Topics sessions that covered late-breaking issues such as compounding medications for non–food-producing animals and results of recent research into trends in pet ownership and spending.
A full day of events hosted by the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare included the debut of tools geared to in-crease veterinary visits and reverse the rise in prevalence of certain preventable diseases in companion animals (see page 660).
Hundreds of booths showcasing a wide range of veterinary products and services were on display in the exhibit hall. Convention-goers had the chance to earn up to two hours of CE credit by talking with exhibitors about the benefits of their products.
In addition to the CE program, the AVMA convention provided attendees with plenty of entertainment opportunities. California rockers Smash Mouth headlined the sixth annual AVMA Concert, sponsored by Merial. And the iconic aircraft carrier the USS Midway was the venue for evening events hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the AVMA, sponsored by Bayer.
AVMA convention-goers also supported the San Diego community by volunteering at two area animal shelters as part of the AVMF Our Oath in Action project.
“Yes, the 149th AVMA convention was a success,” Dr. Banks said, “and we are looking forward to an even better convention with more impactful outcomes in Chicago in 2013 when AVMA celebrates its 150-year anniversary.”