THE COLLINS F. BURROWS INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP REPORT
I am Dr. Willy Mwangi Edwin a veterinary surgeon, teaching and practising in the University of Nairobi Veterinary school, Kenya. I am also one of the recipient of the 2019 Collins F. Burrows international scholarship that facilitate veterinarians across the world to attend the Veterinary Meeting and Expo (VMX) in Orlando, Florida.
I can only describe my participation in VMX 2019 as a life and professional changing experience. The fact that the convection brought together over 17,000 attendees all drawn from different professional and cultural background meant that it was a prime platform for networking. Throughout the meeting, I was able to meet and interact with many veterinarians, researchers and other key industry players. This networks I believe will go a long way in changing veterinary practice and training in Kenya as well as the entire East Africa region.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have met with the NAVC board members who were all very warm and eager to share any information that I sought. I was particularly glad to have gotten a chance to learn how such a large conference is organized, more so the selection of speakers, getting the exhibitors and sponsors. I was amazed to see how different numerous events were well organized and running smoothly. The integration of technology in form of VMX app was incredible. The app made it so easy for me to tract my classes, meetings, wet labs and even CE hours. I am thankful to Dr. Laurel Kaddez and Dr. Jackie Hagenaar for taking their precious time to orient me and show me around during. This made it even easier for me to find classes and meeting rooms.
While attending the classes, I consistently noted that the choice of topics was diverse, relevant, informative, practical and in tandem with the dynamics in practice. This taught me the value of organizers being in touch with the market need. As that facilitates inclusion of events and classes that would make all participants from business manager, large or small animal veterinarians, academicians, researchers, veterinary technicians and animal lovers feel that there was something specially tailor made to meet their needs. This I think is what sets VMX apart from any other veterinary meetings globally, making the convection attract high number of participants, exhibitors and sponsors.
As an action point, I hope to stir discussions that will ultimately lead to organization of an East Africa Veterinary Convection which will see participation of veterinarians and other industry players from the entire region. I am hopeful and optimistic especially after learning that such a model has been successful in organizing the Latin America Veterinary Convection whose idea and initiation was birthed from NAVC.
I am also grateful for the opportunity I got to take part in ultrasound wet lab. My participation did not only help me get some tips on optimizing scanning but also helped me get ideas on how we can enhance continuous professional development in a more practical, informative and enjoyable approach.
I hope this program continues so that many more veterinarians can get the exposure as the one that I got, as this would help change our local veterinary associations and practice in general. My Special thanks to NAVC, WSAVA, AFSCAN, KESCAVA, NAVC Board Members, organizing committee, Dr. Laurel Kaddez and Dr. Jackie Hagenaar for their hospitality during the entire period that I was in Orlando. I feel like I have been inducted into a bigger family bound and driven by passion for veterinary medicine.
Dr. Willy Mwangi Edwin
2019 NAVC International Scholar