Disease Du Jour: 2022 AAEP Convention Wrapup
The Merck equine professional services team recaps some top presentations and experiences in this 2022 AAEP Convention wrap-up podcast.
Merck AAEP Convention Sunrise Session panel
Merck Sunrise Session on “Building A Sustainable Future for the Equine Profession: Conversations on New Ways of Working in a Changing Environment,” with Drs. Amy L. Grice, Laura Javsicas, David Stephens, Stacey Cordivano and Philip van Harreveld.

The Merck Animal Health equine professional services team recaps some of their top presentations and experiences in this 2022 AAEP Convention wrap-up podcast. We hope this will give you some insights into the profession that were brought out at the Convention and point you to some discussions you might have missed.

Dr. Bryant Craig

Bryant Craig, DVM, is the Associate Director Equine Professional Services at Merck. He said the Merck-sponsored Sustainability Sunrise Session panel was a hit. There was standing room only at that discussion lead by Amy Grice, DVM, MBA. Craig said Merck will host a similar panel discussion in next year’s Merck Sunrise Session.

He also noted that Vet Story Night raised $285,000 for The Foundation for the Horse. Merck is a proud co-sponsor of that fundraising event.

Craig also noted a talk given by Merck’s Dr. Cara Wright that is available from the AAEP on-demand. If you were registered for the 2022 AAEP Convention or Virtual Convention coverage, you can search for this presentation.

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – How to Use a Mentorship Framework to Support an Early Career Veterinarian in Private Practice; Cara Wright, DVM, MS, ICVA

Dr. Duane Chappell

Duane Chappell, DVM, chairs the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee, which met during the 2022 AAEP Convention. He said the Convention offered a wonderful time of networking, renewing friendships and having “learning” conversations in the hallways.

He said the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee was open to all members for the first time this year. He encouraged all AAEP members to fill out the organization’s volunteer interest form. You must be an AAEP member and be logged into the website to access the form.

One ethical topic that has to do with the Scientific Review Committee was that in the past, “blind” abstracts were submitted. However, that didn’t allow the committee members to take into consideration any actions on that veterinarian’s license.

Chappell presented information on Merck’s respiratory biosurveillance program during the convention.

SAT06a – Medicine I: Drugs, Disease Surveillance, and Disasters – Voluntary Surveillance Program for Equine Influenza Virus in the United States During 2008-2021

He also presented on mentoring and was part of a panel discussion. In the podcast, Chappell talks about some key points of mentoring in the equine veterinary industry.

MON01a – Mentoring Ethics in Equine Practice: Framing the Future – Intentional Mentoring of Ethical Standards in Equine Practice

Chappell also highlighted the Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship that is funded by Penelope Knight. Three (3) scholarships of $75,000 are awarded annually. He said Mrs. Knight has pledged $600,000 to fund the scholarships into the future.

Dr. Chrissie Schneider

Chrissie Schneider, DVM, MS, DABVP (Equine Practice), cVMA, said the Keynote presentation was sponsored by Merck at the 2022 AAEP Convention. John Townsend talked about boundaries, and “it was an information-packed hour,” she said.

She said a Table Topic on Field Neurology with Drs. Monica Aleman and Steve Reed was very worthwhile. This discussion was offered after AAEP as a live webinar, and it will be available on the AAEP Virtual Convention platform.

Schneider said the presenters and audience spent some time talking about equine neuroaxonal dystrophy and equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy. (Editor’s note: You can find more information about these on the UC Davis website.)

A presentation Schneider highlighted was SUN02d – Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Why Employees Quit: Psychological Safety is Key for Reducing Turnover and Improving the Bottom Line by Dr. Stacey Cordivano. Schneider said Cordivano talked about “psychological safety” in her presentation.

According to gartner.com, “Psychological safety is an environment that encourages, recognizes and rewards individuals for their contributions and ideas by making individuals feel safe when taking interpersonal risks. A lack of psychological safety at work can inhibit team learning and lead to in-groups, groupthink and blind spots.”

The speaker also recommended that veterinary practice owners read The Fearless Organization.

Schneider said there was a group of sessions that were part of the AAEP’s committee on sustainability on Friday that were very engaging. The Member Roundtable of the AAEP Commission on Veterinary Retention had each of the six subcommittees report on what was going on. (Editor’s note: This wrap-up by Schneider is a great part of this podcast!)

Dr. Chrissie Schneider is a Senior Equine Professional Services Veterinarian at Merck Animal Health. Prior to joining Merck Animal Health Dr. Schneider was in clinical equine practice for 11 years – including an equine internship, an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners residency at The Ohio State University and six years as an associate at an equine-exclusive ambulatory practice in central Ohio. Dr. Schneider is board certified in equine practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Outside of work, Dr. Schneider enjoys horseback riding, traveling and hiking and she is passionate about helping equine veterinarians navigate their career journeys.

Dr. Cara Wright

Cara Wright, DVM, MS, IVCA, reiterated that the 2022 AAEP Convention Keynote on boundaries and Cordivano’s talk on psychological safety were important to equine veterinarians. She said those topics are key to the industry now, “especially as we try to encourage people to come and stay in equine practice.”

Wright also spoke about the Merck Sunrise session and the “positive energy” in the standing-room-only crowd. She also mentioned the presentation she gave on Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – How to Use a Mentorship Framework to Support an Early Career Veterinarian in Private Practice, Dr. Cara Wright, DVM, MS, ICVA

She talked about some of the sessions that she wants to “catch up on” with the on-demand presentations that are available. Those included:

Joint Therapies in the Field: What to Use and How – Intra-Articular Therapies in the Field: Traditional Options for Injections, Dr. D. Reese Hand, DVM, DACVS

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Accounts Receivable: Culture, Process, and Impact, Dr. Robert P. Magnus, DVM, MBA

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – How Practices Can Reduce Accounts Receivable by Moving to Payment at the Time of Service, Dr. Wendy Krebs, DVM

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – How to Decrease Accounts Receivable in an Ambulatory Practice, Dr. Linda Hagerman, DVM

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Review of Good Record Keeping: Will Your Documentation Defend You?, Dr. Cynthia G. MacKenzie, DVM

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Having a Difficult Conversation – Speaking Your Truth Effectively, Dr. Amy L. Grice, VMD, MBA

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Mindfulness: A Powerful Tool for Sustainable Equine Practice, Dr. Tovah Caldwell, BSc.H, DVM, MA

Business of Practice: Managing Accounts Receivable – Boundaries: Telephone Time and Wellness in Equine Practice, Dr. Mary Beth Whitcomb, DVM, MBA, ECVDI (LA-Associate)

Dr. Philip van Harreveld

Philip van Harreveld, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA, agreed that the tone of the 2022 AAEP Convention was positive with the changes in the profession. “This topic isn’t on the fringe anymore,” he said of veterinary sustainability in equine practice.

He recommended that veterinarians tune in for the virtual presentation on Pain Management: Different Modalities – Performance Horse Pain Management, by Dr. Lori A. Bidwell, DVM, DACVAA, CVA.

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