A veterinarian's education does not end when he or she graduates from veterinary school. Some might go on to become board certified in a specialized area of practice, such as surgery or internal medicine, and all are required by state licensing boards to acquire a certain number of continuing education credits per year. Every state has different requirements.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) offers several continuing education events each year to aid veterinarians in fulfilling licensing requirements while furthering their knowledge of the latest advances in equine medicine.

One such event sponsored by the AAEP is the Equine Veterinary Wet Labs, to be held Sept. 6-7, 2006, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Wet labs are intensive, hands-on courses that allow equine veterinarians to learn about and practice the newest techniques in equine health care.

The labs are organized in small groups to further the "learning through doing" process. Topics that will be covered in this year's wet labs include equine dentistry, musculoskeletal ultrasonography, reproduction, and lameness.

Some of the techniques and tools to be featured are dental equi¬ libration and radiology, surgical orthodontic techniques, scanning processes to identify and manage lesions, semen cryopreservation, and practical surgical procedures of the extremities.

Additional continuing education courses offered by the AAEP this year include the Focus on Dentistry meeting, the Practice Management Seminar, and the AAEP Annual Convention. Online education courses also are available to help veterinarians conveniently stay abreast of recent advances despite their demanding schedules.

AAEP's annual convention is the world's largest equine veterinary continuing education event, offering more than 100 hours of continuing education credit for attendees.

The 2005 scientific program featured in-depth seminars exploring lameness and imaging, equine behavior, pain management, respiratory issues, vaccination, and 22 "How To" sessions on timely topics ranging from castration to neonatal seizures.

Significant time and care are taken when preparing the scientific programs for the AAEP's yearly continuing education meetings. The speakers at these events are leaders in their fields, and topics are selected that help both up-and-coming veterinarians and veteran practitioners keep abreast of the latest advances.

What does this mean for the horse owner? It means your veterinarian is continuously learning as procedures, medical care, and surgical techniques progress.

Your veterinarian is the key to your horse having a long and healthy life. When your veterinarian attends continuing education events such as the Equine Veterinary Wet Labs, he or she is learning not only about new procedures to keep your horse healthy, but how to perform them effectively.

This ensures that as equine medicine evolves, your veterinarian will be able offer you greater options in the care of your horse as well as share ways in which you can effectively participate in your horse's health management.

For more information about AAEP continuing education events, including events specifically for horse owners, visit www.aaep.org. For more information on horse's health, visit the AAEP's horse owner web site at www.myhorsematters.com.

The AAEP is the world's largest professional association of equine veterinarians. The AAEP's mission is to improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry.

About the Author

American Association of Equine Practitioners

AAEP Mission: To improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry. More information: www.aaep.org.

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