Following four years of development, the Western Veterinary Conference celebrated the grand opening of the Oquendo Center for Clinical Education during its annual conference held Feb. 15-19 in Las Vegas.
The facility is dedicated to year-round hands-on training and has been constructed to meet ongoing educational needs.
The mission of the center is “to provide the highest quality, clinically relevant, state-of-the-art, hands-on continuing education for veterinary medicine and other professions for the betterment of worldwide animal and public health.”
The 66,000-square-foot facility offers laboratory and surgery suites, a 170-seat auditorium with surround-sound digital projection, multi-media instructional areas, small and large animal facilities, a kennel, radiology and imaging suite, a dental suite and more. It also offers educational instruction and participation with live animals, dead animals and animal models.
“There’s no practice here, it’s all about education,” said Stephen Crane, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, chief medical officer and director of Oquendo Center Programs. “We’re about continuing education for graduates.”
Courses are designed to focus on all organ systems across most animal species, including small animal orthopedics, food animal theriogenology and emergency care. Classes are continuously being developed and are listed online with classes scheduled throughout the year. The average student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1. During the 2009 Western Veterinary Conference, 200 instructors taught at the center.
The center is also adamant about following three R’s: reduce, refine and replace. For example, the center reduces the use of dead animals for education, refines the skills of technicians and replaces mannequins with live animals once skills have been advanced.
In the center’s dental suite, teaching models simulating heart murmurs and conditions which may arise in surgery are used. Two faculty members have the ability to run five tables.
These specific-purpose mannequins allow technicians to practice bandaging, hitting veins, tubing, among other procedures, in preparation for treatment on a live animal.
Overall, there can be five to seven labs operating simultaneously since the center was designed to be a multi-functional facility.
“It’s all about flexibility here,” Dr. Crane said. “We think this will be a global resource for our generation for years to come.”
For upcoming programs, click here or call 866-800-7326.