Last Sunday, I was in Chicago for a national veterinary conference. Every year, the American Veterinary Medical Association hosts a gathering of top-caliber speakers to provide continuing education for veterinarians and vet techs. We attend hour-long lectures to increase our knowledge and skills, and to update us on what the most current information is telling us about treating our patients. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to hear about the cutting edge being researched in veterinary schools and industry world-wide. There are also lots of wet labs, which are hands-on training sessions so vets can learn/practice techniques and skills. We also have opportunities to connect with veterinary product manufacturers, which allows us to see what equipment, medication, etc. is out there for us to utilize in our practices. That part is, more or less, a trade show.
The best part about the conference, for me, was to see that there were literally thousands of veterinary professionals there. Each and every one of those people attended this conference with the goal of improving skills, of offering better care to their patients. It’s a strong commitment to good practice. I’m really proud of my profession when I see things like that. Some of the lectures had to be given an overflow room with remote video of the main lecture hall due to the overwhelming number of people in the lecture.
Chicago was a great venue for the conference. I’ve been there before, but I haven’t stayed in the downtown/loop area since I was about 10. I managed to navigate on the public transportation system (that’s a near-miracle for a “Detroiter”!) to see some of the sights in the city. The food was superb, too. I can highly recommend the experience as a destination city for a vacation.
When I was little, my family went to the Shedd Aquarium. I clearly remember a few of the things I saw there. The day before the conference started, I took myself back to Shedd to experience it again. I can happily say that the things I remembered were exactly there again in real life. It’s a great facility. Don’t miss it if you’re in Chicago! Naturally, I took a ton of photos, so I’ll share some of them with you today. This dovetails with an upcoming series of posts that I’m planning to detail out the setup of a 150-gallon freshwater aquarium in my home office.
Each photo is a link to the larger version on our Flickr gallery.