As Dr. Scott E. Palmer takes the reins as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, he will wrestle with issues such as illegal drug compounding, guardianship, and unwanted horses (see page 331). His primary goal, however, is improving educational opportunities.
"My personal goal as president is to support the health and welfare of the horse in a global community by increasing educational opportunities for veterinarians, technicians, and horse owners around the world," says Dr. Palmer, owner of New Jersey Equine Clinic in Clarksburg, N.J.
He will use technologies such as the Web to help him accomplish his goal. "For example, we now have case reports on the AAEP Web site that represent our first step in utilizing this powerful tool as an educational vehicle," Dr. Palmer explains. "Last year, we held two live continuing education online seminars in conjunction with the Veterinary Information Network."
In 2005, the AAEP will offer an online course on equine neurologic diseases. And this spring, the AAEP will partner with the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations and the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations to present live CE at the International Veterinary Congress in Voorjaarsdagen, Amsterdam.
Dr. Palmer points out that proceedings from the annual AAEP convention are available through the International Veterinary Information Service Web site, www.ivis.org. The AAEP will also continue to provide the practical "4 horseshoes" review of commercially available CD-ROM continuing education programs for their members.
"We are trying to make the most of new technological and networking opportunities to ultimately benefit the horse," Dr. Palmer says.
He adds that he will support the recently founded American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and AAEP student initiatives. "These students represent the future of our profession, and we need to ensure that the AAEP programs are relevant to this new generation of equine practitioners," he says.
As president, Dr. Palmer will also focus on the development of a national animal identification plan that will meet the needs of the equine industry, and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. This consortium is striving to draft uniform medication regulations for racing, and to fund scientific studies of medications used in racehorses.
An active member of the AAEP since 1977, Dr. Palmer is a former member of the board of directors and served as chairman of the Educational Programs Committee. He also volunteered his efforts to the AAEP's Research, Abstract Review, Long-Range Planning, and Nominating committees.
He is a past president of the New Jersey Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has also served on the Veterinary Advisory Board of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation as well as the Veterinary Advisory Committee of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
Dr. Palmer earned his VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, and has practiced at New Jersey Equine Clinic for nearly 30 years. He has received international recognition for his studies on minimally invasive surgical techniques and laser surgery. Twice he has been named the New Jersey Association of Equine Practitioners' Veterinarian of the Year.