INAUGURAL ANNUAL COURSE IN PRODUCTION ANIMAL PATHOLOGY FOR NSW FIELD VETERINARIANS
15th – 16th April 2009, The University of Sydney, Camden
A new course in ‘Production Animal Pathology for NSW Field Veterinarians’ was initiated this year by the Farm Animal and Veterinary Public Health group. The program aims to improve livestock health surveillance for the rural community plus provide improved supervision for final year BVSc students whilst performing necropsies with field veterinarians on extramural rotations. The Course is a substantial outreach program that will enhance the competency of field veterinarians performing diagnostic investigations, especially their capability to rapidly diagnose important disease outbreaks.
The program aims to enhance the number of supervised production animals necropsy cases that BVSc students conduct late in the curriculum. As part of the training program, field veterinarians will be encouraged to make greater efforts to provide final year interns with necropsy experiences on production animal cases with known clinical history and herd implications, particularly in the Rural Public Practice rotation (VETS5358). In addition the program will enrich the relationship with field veterinarians through diagnostic materials from production animal necropsies submitted to and investigated by interns on the Pathology section of the Rural Mixed Practice (VETS 5336) intramural rotation in the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Camden.
The Course in Production Animal Pathology for NSW Field Veterinarians was developed by a joint committee, led by Professor Peter Windsor and Dr Michelle Dennis from the Camden campus, with representatives from the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPA), NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Charles Sturt University. Initial funding for the course was supported by Faculty teaching improvement funds and the course was modeled after the Victorian DPI Certificate in Gross Pathology. The NSW course focuses on livestock issues important to NSW and Australia, including international diseases with significant trade implications. The course is organized and instructed by specialist veterinary pathologists Dr Michelle Dennis and Professor Peter Windsor with support from Charles Sturt University – Dr John Glastonbury and DrShane Raidel and NSW DPI - Barbara Vanselow, with special contributions from experienced LHPA senior District Veterinarians.
The course comprises six 2-day workshops held around the state appropriate to the scheduled learning topics, including Camden, Yanco, and Wagga Wagga. Presently, nine students are enrolled, consisting of eight LHPA District Veterinarians, and a DPI Veterinary Officer. The expected outcomes are improved recognition and description of clinicopathological features of disease, enabling improvements in disease diagnosis through more targeted diagnostic investigations and more effective use of diagnostic laboratories and interpretation of laboratory findings. The first workshop was held in Camden and Menangle on 15th and 16th April 2009. Feedback from the participants has been very positive and suggests the likely continuation and expansion of the project in following years.