The programme for Virtual Congress 2023 looks very enticing, packed with a variety of themes and subjects. The official programme can be viewed here, and you can also download your own PDF copy if you wish. As an Unlimited Vet member of The Webinar Vet I get complimentary enrollment to VC2023 and access to the on-demand recordings, but I’ve already got the event in my diary and will be attending the sessions LIVE! It really sounds like there will be a lot to take away from this year’s event and I can’t wait to hear what the amazing speakers have got in store for us.

Talking of great speakers, Douglas Thamm and Owen Davies are kicking things off by tackling oncological cases in an Oncology Evening (7 pm February 6th 2023). I have reviewed webinars recently of both speakers and this double-session will be really enjoyable. 

Owen Davies. Webinar Review: ‘FELINE LYMPHOMA ON A BUDGET’

Douglas Thamm. Webinar Review: ‘SOFT TISSUE SARCOMAS IN DOGS AND CATS’

For something quite different take a look at the Sustainability Summit Session at 2 pm on the 7th of February. This will involve a group of speakers with striking CVs. April Sotomayor is a member of the VetSustain Greener Veterinary Practice working group. Also speaking will be Clare Towers, general manager of Hills Pet Food UK and Ireland, vet Mark Jones head of policy for the Born Free Foundation, and Helen Gould also a vet. Her practice received the Greenest Veterinary Practice award in 2021. But what really caught my eye is that she and her late husband built an underground eco house (featured in ‘Grand Designs’). The house is constantly warm and requires no heating.

I had the pleasure of listening to Georgia Woods Lee recently, one of several RVNs speaking this year. You can expect a very well-constructed and fluently presented Nutritional Evening. It isn’t easy to speak on this subject but Georgia pulls it off with style and makes it very interesting and useful. Not to be missed! 

On the 8th of February, there is another extremely important session –Pharmaceutical Stewardship. Ian Battersby, along with Margo Mosher are leading this session. Both now work for Mars Vet health at a global level. Ian is also chairman of Mission rabies, and a member of the DEFRA core rabies group, and if that were not enough he is also a member of the specialist advisory council for the charity Street Vet. Not only will pharmaceutical issues be discussed, but also climate change, waste disposal, and disposal of greenhouse gas emissions for veterinary practices, amongst others.

I am intrigued by the session on exotics- Exotic Evening with Sonya Miles and Fabian George Blake Rivers, (Wednesday 8th February 7 pm). This promises to be something special. Sonya is particularly interested in reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and has since qualifying in 2013 amassed significant exotic experience.  Fabian is a Brno 2018 graduate and since then has hit the ground running, with a wide range of interests. These include exotic animal practice, obviously, but he has also contributed and continues to do so, on mental health, racism, new graduate and student welfare. This culminated in the award of BVA Young Vet of the Year in 2020. He also has a promising media career with slots on CBBC, BBC One, BBC Three, and iplayer. Take a look at his CV- quite amazing in just four years since qualification!

On the 9th of February, there is a session on Small Animal Pathology presented by Sandra Dawson –Small Animal Pathology Through the lens of innovation. Sandra works for Nationwide Laboratories, which she joined in 2006, having been an academic at Edinburgh University and five years in the industry. She has gained the FRCPath qualification and predominantly works with surgical biopsies.

On the 9th of February there is a Diagnostic Imaging Evening featuring Panagiotis (Pete) Mantis, an ECVDI diplomate and Jack Pye RVN. In addition to the solo presentation by Georgia Woods Lee. It’s brilliant to see active participation at this level with our colleagues who originally trained as veterinary nurses.

Jack has found his vocation in just a few years post qualification, bringing a huge amount of drive, knowledge, and passion to ultrasonography, whereas Pete has many years at European specialist level. I have reviewed webinars by both of these speakers recently, and  I am sure this will be an excellent session. 

Jack Pye. Webinar Review: ‘ULTRASOUND FOR VETERINARY NURSES: YOU CAN SCAN! UTILISING YOUR SKILLS’

Panagiotis Mantis. Webinar Review: ‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS CHEST? MAKE SENSE FROM THE SHADOWS’

The Anaesthesia and Cardiology Evening (Friday 10th February) has a vet/ vet nurse combination. Dave Dickson is an excellent speaker and always strives, successfully in my view, to balance experience in cardiology with a sensible practical approach. Stacey Parker has developed expertise in dentistry, anaesthesia and emergency care. It promises to be a very good double act, and it’s excellent to see The Webinar Vet promoting and showcasing the veterinary nursing profession. This will surely inspire many to explore the many opportunities that a veterinary nursing career can offer. 

In summary, there is a lot in this congress for everyone and a big chunk of the RCVS CPD requirement can be attained in just a few days. It promises to be thought- provoking, educational and above all enjoyable!