Expanded wet labs draw crowds at AVMA Annual Convention

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For his first convention as the first-ever Wet Lab Section Manager on the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee, Dr. Ken Bartels accomplished a lot.

He increased the number of wet labs for veterinarians from two to eight, sold out six of the eight, and brought a live horse into Boston's Hynes Convention Center, just to name a few things.

"I think it's the wave of the future, to try to give a little more hands-on and not just lecture [sessions]," Dr. Bartels said.

This year, veterinarians participated in wet labs to learn or polish up their skills in dentistry, emergency and critical care, equine endoscopy, external skeletal fixation, hematology, lasers, and plastic surgery, and holistic physical examination of equids. Dr. Bartels worked with AVMA continuing education and sponsorship coordinator David Little to put together the labs. By all measures, they were a success, Little said.

"We had nothing but positive responses from all participants," he said.

Dr. Bartels and Little said they plan to build on that momentum at the 2002 convention in Nashville. Dr. Bartels is looking to put together wet labs for equine ultrasound, pocket pets, and small ruminants, in addition to small animal topics such as clinical pathology.

"We would like try to reach across the species, to the different types of practitioners—to try to make a wet lab available to all the specialties," he said.

As part of the Dr. Jack L. Mara Seminars in Veterinary Technology, sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., wet labs were also offered for veterinary technicians on radiography and ultrasound techniques, blood film interpretation, wound management, and emergency and critical care.

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