Emphasising international knowledge-sharing - Veterinary Practice
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Emphasising international knowledge-sharing

AN “internationalised” profession in which veterinarians routinely train, consult and collaborate with colleagues across borders is the vision of Joaquin Aragones, director of AVEPA (the Spanish Small Animal Veterinary Association) and a founder director of the Southern European Veterinary Conference (SEVC).

He believes that this annual event, which attracts over 1,000 vets from countries other than Spain, including over 150 from the UK, is spearheading a move to open up the profession and provide a greater emphasis on international knowledge-sharing and best practice. The fourth SEVC is set to take place in Barcelona from 30th September to 3rd October.

Joaquin qualified in Barcelona in 1987 and gained experience in practice in the city; he enrolled for an MBA based at La Salle (Ramon Llull University) in Barcelona and Manhattan College in New York. His career then took him into industry where he worked with animal health pharmaceutical companies before taking up his current role at AVEPA. He is also director of FIAVAC, the Ibero-American Companion Animal Veterinary Association and co-ordinator of the Masters in Veterinary Practice Management at the Barcelona Autonomous University (UAB).

“Through my work, particularly with colleagues in the USA and through my involvement with the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), I’ve experienced the benefits of working with international colleagues,” he said.

“We all have our own animal health problems and priorities and this has led to many new specialisms and emerging treatments, which vets who don’t look beyond their national boundaries, just won’t hear about. There’s so much to be gained from learning and sharing experiences with colleagues from different backgrounds. It also creates a culture of openness which is very positive for the profession.”

The first SEVC took place in 2006. Four years on, the event attracts vets and veterinary nurses from 42 countries; offers the largest scientific and practice management programmes in Europe and the largest concentration of practical hands-on training with its 10 wet labs and workshops for small groups of clinicians.

The SEVC 2010 programme includes sessions from experts based in Europe, including Dr Johann Lang, head of imaging at the Bern veterinary school and Dr Gilles Dupré, head of surgery at the Vienna veterinary school. US speakers – Dr Rick LeCouteur, Dr Mark Smith, Dr Peter Ihrke, Dr Michael Schaer and Dr Michael Lappin among them – will also share their expertise.

Over 85% of the lectures are given in English by native English speakers; the remaining 15% are given in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English.

Joaquin continues: “It’s great to see the vision starting to become reality and we’re proud of the reputation that the SEVC is establishing for itself. Of course, there is always more to do. We want to attract even more delegates from countries outside Spain and particularly those from the UK.

“We’ll achieve this by continuing to innovate – offering new scientific specialities, increasing still further the proportion of practical training in our wet-labs and, of course, ensuring we’re always presenting the very latest thinking, whether in the clinical field or in the area of practice management. “We’re looking forward to welcoming fellow professionals from around the world to this year’s event.”

Further information about the SEVC is available at www.sevc.info.

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