Beef Industry Leaders in EVP Sharpen Critical Thinking

Jun 14, 2017 / General News / Practitioner Updates / Science With Heart

[EVP Beef speaker Dr. Brian Aldridge]

‘energy and passion for beef cattle practice’

On June 15 and 16 nearly 40 veterinarians will return to Olathe, Kan., for the second module of EVP Beef, an 18-month certificate program delivered by the University of Illinois in conjunction with Kansas State University. The participants are honing leading-edge skills that will benefit their clients and enhance their careers.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Tom Noffsinger, an international cattle handling and stockmanship expert. Dr. Noffsinger will share techniques for lowering cattle morbidity and mortality rates as well as worker injury rates simply by realigning the attitudes and approaches used by cattle caregivers. Merck Animal Health is sponsoring the June module.

EVP Beef consists of 10 two-day modules, held every other month, through October 2018. The first module was held on April 20 and 21 on the KSU Olathe campus.

In the first module, we learned about clinical diagnosis and decision-making that focuses on duration, severity, organ system involvement, and prognosis. It gave me a new methodology to keep from missing things by fighting my pattern recognition and biases.

Dr. Dan Thomson

“It is humbling to be a part of the inaugural EVP Beef class,” said Dr. Dan Thomson, founder of KSU’s Beef Cattle Institute, who is both a class member and a speaker for the program. “The energy and passion for beef cattle practice and medicine of my new classmates is so refreshing. The class is small enough to have great discussions but contains a large enough cross-section of the industry that we see many different perspectives on beef cattle veterinary practice.”

Dr. Thomson was instrumental in bringing the successful Executive Veterinary Program, which was launched by Illinois in 1991 for swine veterinarians, to beef veterinarians and to Kansas.

Extracting Value, Effective Training

When the class met in April, Dr. Jim Lowe spoke about improving outcomes by extracting the most value from the ever-increasing volume of medical and production data. Dr. Lowe, an associate professor at Illinois and an international consultant in both the swine and the beef industries, leads the EVP Beef program.

Another presenter in April, Dr. Brian Aldridge (in featured photo above), coached participants on a model for effective teaching and training; veterinarians must be savvy educators of clients, and the employees of clients, to ensure that veterinary recommendations are put into practice. Using the acronym “FAIR,” Dr. Aldridge demonstrated the value of activities that provide Feedback to the learner, engage the participant in Active rather than passive learning, relate the activity and content to the Individual needs of the learner, and make the learning Relevant to the competency goals.

Dr. Aldridge, a clinical professor at Illinois who is boarded in large animal internal medicine, also led participants in an examination of inquiry-based clinical reasoning.

“In the first module, we learned about clinical diagnosis and decision-making that focuses on duration, severity, organ system involvement, and prognosis,” Dr. Thomson recounted. “It gave me a new methodology to keep from missing things by fighting my pattern recognition and biases.”

More Modules to Sharpen Skills

The third EVP Beef module will take place on August 24 and 25. Sponsored by Diamond V, it will feature veterinary epidemiologist Dr. Guy Loneragan, professor and interim vice president for research at Texas Tech University, speaking on disease prevention.

The EVP model pioneered by Illinois is simple yet career-changing: bring dynamic teachers to deliver highly relevant content to progressive practitioners in an environment that challenges, yet fosters a culture of trust.

“The inaugural EVP Beef class has veterinarians from all across the U.S. and Canada, veterinarians with 40 years of experience and some that have been out of school for two or three years, veterinarians that primarily focus on cow/calf, feedlot, or both,” said Dr. Thomson, “but all came with a mission to sharpen their skills and learn from each other.”

To find out more about EVP Beef, visit evp.illinois.edu or email ope@vetmed.illinois.edu.