Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oncology distance education

Bella the chihuahua sent her photo this week. What a gorgeous girl!
I’ve spent the last couple of days at the Centre for Veterinary Education doing the face-to-face component of their distance education program in oncology. If you’re a veterinarian thinking of doing some extra training, I can’t recommend it enough.

There are ten modules, each with assignments, all of which relate to cases you see in practice. The workload is quite reasonable and the material has been designed to be useful. The DE courses are great if you have an interest in practice you want to pursue (medicine, surgery, imaging etc.) and you want to learn from the best in the field. For example, the tutor for our oncology course, Peter Bennett, is boarded in both medicine and oncology (if you want to sign up for distance ed in 2015 you can score early bird rates til October 31 - see here).

Now that we are getting to the end of the course I feel that I have a much better knowledge base around cancer and can offer clients better information and (depending on the patient and diagnosis) more options. I also feel better equipped to manage complications of cancer and therapeutic monitoring.

Dr Bennett with our oncology class. Now THAT is a decent staff to student ratio.
Should you treat cancer in pets at all? Some people ask the question. But cancer is the most curable of the chronic diseases. If you think about diabetes, heart disease and renal disease, clients and vets are often more ready to treat those but when “the c word” is raised both may be less keen. The truth is the outcome of treatment or management can be as good or better than for these conditions.

I’ll be sharing more about veterinary oncology (from the perspective of a general practitioner) in the coming weeks. 

Meantime I just caught this interesting link on a working dog that herds emu chicks. Stunning images here.

Which products and foods are cruelty free? If you’re in Sydney next weekend you can find out at the 9th Annual Cruelty Free Festival. Check it out here