Feed Them And They Will Come

02/12/2010 – Dealing With (Mis)guidance

02/01/2010 – Anesthesia: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

01/18/2010 – Who should euthanize Leia?

Let me share a little secret with you.  “Feed them and they will come” is what speakers and sponsors say about you, dear reader. Please don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

A referring vet once told me, half-jokingly: “It’s really strange. Young surgeons who have more energy and time, but less experience, are the one giving all the talks. Senior surgeons who have less energy and time, but more experience, are the ones who rarely give talks.”

Likewise, an executive at our local veterinary medical association recently noticed: “It’s really strange. Young vets who have less knowledge and experience rarely join us for CE meetings. Senior vets who have more knowledge and experience are the ones who show up routinely.”

We began trying to understand what it would take for our young local colleagues to join us. This is what we have to offer:

• Great speakers from various specialties and practices, sometimes from out of state, eager to share their knowledge.
• Generous sponsors who provide great food and information about new products and services.
• An open forum to discuss difficult cases and benefit from years of common experience.
• A social environment where colleagues can meet and share and exchange.
• Continuing education credits.

Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough to persuade some of our young colleagues to choose CE over  “CSI.”  Why?

One night, a colleague dared to say, “Dr. X won’t join us because CE meetings are outside of paid time at the clinic.”

Everyone present was shocked.

“All that is required by the State Board is 15 hours of CE each year,” added one person, “which they can easily get in one shot at any national or regional meeting. Beyond that, they don’t legally need any more CE.”

Another colleague invoked our oath, which states: “I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.”

I am curious to know if other readers are facing the same challenge in their communities, and if they have any magic solutions to share.

Here in Pennsylvania, we are not willing to switch from “feed them and they will come” to “pay them and they will come.” So we’ll stick to great speakers, great food and camaraderie.

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