Online training provides continuing education for veterinarians
The Animal Care Training program hosted by the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University continues to grow and provide education for beef, dairy, equine, transportation and livestock marketing. Among the most widely attributed programs are the business training modules released earlier in 2013, which are offered by the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute and tailored for veterinarians’ continuing education.
Five courses and 25 video modules are being offered online to address topics such as budgeting, recruiting and hiring new employees, improving client satisfaction, personal financial management and sales forecasting. The program, which targets veterinarians in rural areas, is available on K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute website at www.beefcattleinstitute.org.
Educational institutions, including Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University, are using these video modules for students studying to become veterinarians and have purchased use of the program for their curriculums.
Chris Ross, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, said business training is essential for those out in the field.
“Business management instruction is not a major part of our curriculum, and we were looking for high-quality material to make available to students with or without course credit,” Ross said. “It would be nice if those people in the trenches knew how the business side was run in addition to being a doctor.”
Nels Lindberg, veterinarian and owner of the Animal Medical Center/Production Animal Consultation in Great Bend, Kan., is also aware of the benefits of business education and places extreme value on the training offered in these business modules.
“These modules provide an excellent training opportunity to improve our business skillset as veterinarians, which in the end is good for our patients and customers for the sustainability of our practices,” Lindberg said. “As veterinarians, schools are doing a better job in the business arena, but most of us have had minimal business training. These modules offer opportunities that none of us have ever had.”
One of the biggest advantages of the modules is the flexibility. Students in the training program can do it all at their own pace. There is no time limit or deadline to finish once the student has begun the modules. This is a huge asset for veterinarians who are already in the field.
“Being able to access this in real time with no required travel or constrained time is very practical and doable for a practicing veterinarian,” Ross added.
Participation in the program has also been extended to recipients of the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program, which awards monies toward qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in National Institute of Food and Agriculture designated veterinarian shortage situations for a period of three years.
Gary Sherman, the NIFA’s national program leader for veterinary science, played an instrumental role in extending an invitation to the VMLRP recipients for their participation. He said these training modules are designed to train veterinarians about unique issues and the challenges to opening businesses in rural communities.
“I was pleased to help extend the opportunity to the awardees,” Sherman said. “We want them to have every opportunity possible for professional success.”
These modules are available at animalcaretraining.org. For more information about enrolling in this educational program, please contact the Beef Cattle Institute at 785-532-4844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.