Purdue Veterinary Conference Draws Nearly 1,000 Attendees for Continuing Education

Friday, September 29, 2023

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Dr. Weil presents in front of a large classroom of conference attendees.
Dr. Ann Weil, Purdue Veterinary Medicine clinical professor of anesthesiology, leads a continuing education session during the conference.

Stewart Center at Purdue University was abuzz this past week with a throng of veterinary medical professionals who gathered to hear the latest developments in veterinary medicine at the Purdue Veterinary Conference. The annual event features continuing education sessions offered in multiple tracks covering such areas as small animal medicine and surgery, practice management and communication, shelter medicine, farm animal, exotics, equine, and veterinary nursing. 

Hosted by the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, this year’s conference, held September 19-23, offered more than 100 sessions for continuing education credits and attracted 975 attendees, including more than 260 veterinarians and 155 veterinary nurses, as well as PVM faculty, staff, and students. In addition, the conference Exhibit Hall featured more than 30 exhibitors, including pharmaceutical companies, pet food and nutrition firms, the USDA, and veterinary practices offering employment opportunities and student externships. 

The conference also doubles as the college’s homecoming, and included a variety of special events. The Alumni and Friends Celebration Wednesday evening, September 20, featured the recognition of reunion classes, including the college’s first 60th Anniversary Class, the DVM Class of 1963. The event also honored this year’s recipients of the college’s Distinguished Alumni Awards: Pam Phegley, RVT (PU AS-VT ’83; BS-VT  2001), Veterinary Nursing Program clinical rotation/mentorship coordinator; and Dr. W. Mark Hilton (PU BS ’80, DVM ’83), clinical professor emeritus of veterinary clinical sciences and technical consultant for Elanco Animal Health.

Dr. Beck stands behind a Purdue lectern in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall with bright yellow mums decorating the stage in front.
Dr. Alan Beck presented the Elanco Human-Animal Bond Lecture before a reception that marked his retirement from Purdue.

The week of learning and celebration kicked-off Tuesday evening, September 19, with the Elanco Human-Animal Bond Lecture, which featured a compelling talk by Dr. Alan Beck, renowned human-animal bond expert and longtime PVM faculty member and director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond. Dr. Beck’s presentation about the biological bases of the human-animal bond, was entitled, “The Human-Animal Bond: Totally Natural and Completely Necessary.” The talk represented the final formal presentation of Dr. Beck’s illustrious career, and was followed by a reception honoring his retirement.

The conference week concluded with a longstanding tradition that brought runners and canines together for the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog. Held Saturday, September 23, the race started at 8:00 a.m., with PVM Dean Willie Reed sending the participants off on a course that began by the Continuum sculpture in front of Lynn Hall and wound past landmarks on the south side of the Purdue campus, with the last leg taking the runners, walkers, and furry companions past the David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex. All entrants received a participation medal and awards were presented to the top finishers. The event was a hit with both humans and canines and raised funds for Priority 4 Paws, which is the PVM shelter medicine program that provides high-quality medical and surgical care for shelter animals while educating the next generation of veterinarians.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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