Happy birthday, BEVME! - Veterinary Practice
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Happy birthday, BEVME!

celebrates the first anniversary of
the founding of the Best Evidence
Veterinary Medical Education
community and outlines its aims
and areas of interest

BELIEVE it or not, the Best Evidence Veterinary Medical Education (BEVME) community is nearly a year old. Formed late in 2010, it is a community of practices run by GP vets for GP vets and other stakeholders in veterinary education. In many respects, being a GP vet has never been more difficult. You want to be a good vet, you want to keep up to date, you want to develop and yet you need to do that within a world that moves ever faster with little time to even think and often even fewer resources. The BEVME community provides an environment where we are looking at veterinary education and CPD differently, where we are trying to find practicable solutions for busy vets accessible enough to be worthwhile and, most importantly, to seek out solutions based on “best evidence” rather than tradition or personal opinion. Solutions that are worthwhile, that actually change the way we practise and that are sufficiently stimulating that we are motivated to get involved. BEVME uses systems thinking1 to support a Community of Practice (COP)2,3,4; there are no fees or costs and each member can take whatever they feel will benefit them from the community and, likewise, give back only that which they wish. COPs are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. They sit both within and without organisational structures and are commonly interdisciplinary. By bringing together GPs, academics, CPD providers, etc., we intend to create a space where we can work and learn together to mutual benefit. Already, some 2,164 practices and individual GP vets have joined the community and we are just starting to recruit from the veterinary universities and corporate practices. Early in 2012, regulators, veterinary organisations and CPD providers will be invited to join. The benefits of membership are shown in Table 1. The community has already created some general aims and specific areas of interest, these are detailed in Table 2. These continue to grow as other members join the community. Learning is central to what it is to be a vet but often, as time goes by, time pressures and other commitments get in the way and compromises are either chosen or forced upon one. The habits of learning that we were trained into at university are no longer appropriate5,6,10 and we don’t have the time, energy or support to develop new approaches. Recent research7,8,9 indicates that not only are new approaches needed but they are available to every one of us in practice in the form of self-determined learning. The challenge is implementation and it is with this that BEVME can help by providing a safe and collaborative space within which to take the first steps. For all of us, practices, businesses and individuals, success in the 21st century will depend more on our ability to learn and adapt to change than any other skills. Our professional development needs to move on to develop skills and capabilities as well as factual knowledge and much of this can only be done in the workplace. As Davis (1999) states: “…didactic lectures by themselves do not play a significant role in immediately changing physician performance or improving patient care”. There are strong pressures to reduce costs and increase effectiveness of CPD and self-determined learning can assist this process. To find out more about BEVME, email christopherwhipp@aol.com. To join the BEVME community, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/BEVME.

  1. Wikipedia – Systems theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S… heory (accessed 28th September 2011)
  2. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation Cambridge, Cambridge University.
  3. Communities of Practice – Theory: www.ewenger.com/theory/index.h… (accessed 28th September 2011)
  4. Etienne Wenger Homepage: www.ewenger.com/ (accessed 28th September 2011)
  5. Fox, R. D. and Bennett, N. L. (1998) Continuing medical education: Learning and change: implications for continuing medical education. BMJ 316: 466-468.
  6. Kanouse, D. E. and Jacoby, I. (1988) When does information change practitioners’ behaviour? Int J Technol Assess Health Care 4: 27-33.
  7. Hase, S. and Kenyon, C. (2007) Heutagogy: A Child of Complexity Theory. Complicity. An International Journal of Complexity and Education 4: (1) 111-118.
  8. Eberle, J. and Childress, M. (2007) Heutagogy: It Isn’t Your Mother’s Pedagogy Any More. National Social Science Association Journal
  9. Hase, S. and Kenyon, C. (2003) Heutagogy and developing capable people and capable workplaces: strategies for dealing with complexity, Proceedings of The Changing Face of Work and Learning conference, Alberta: pp25-27.
  10. Davis, D. A., Thomson, M. A., Oxman, A. D. and Haynes, R. B.(1995) Changing Physician Performance – A Systematic Review of the Effect of Continuing Medical Education Strategies JAMA 274 (9): 700-705.

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