5 veterinary finds worth your time — plus a bonus!

The Internet really is a wonderful place to waste hours and hours of your time finding great things to read. I started poking around while watching the Oscars, and then a few more came into my e-mail inbox Monday morning.

My pick of the day is an overview of the state of veterinary genetic testing for dogs and cats, provided by North American Veterinary Community‘s newsletter:

Today there are hundreds of stories involving the use of veterinary genetics research as evidence for diagnoses, breed identification, legal matters and much more. We collected the latest stories and resources to help you discover what’s out there… and what it may mean to you and your patients. […] For a specific look at the applications in dogs and cats, we found these specific examples of veterinary genetic testing and how the results may provide valuable clues as part of a patient’s history, workup, diagnosis and medical management.

There’s also a link to a pair of free online seminars, which makes this post even more valuable. And if you want to dig a little deeper, check out the course offerings of the Institute for Canine Biology, which focuses on population genetics and is already involved with making some breeds healthier. Interesting stuff! I liked the NAVC piece so much I shared it across all my social media accounts (by the way, are you following me elsewhere? Click the social media icons in the right rail to fix that).

So that’s one. Here are four more I found worth a read:

Go where you’re needed: Brendan Howard of DVM.360.com/Veterinary Economics made the point during our panel discussion at the Western Veterinary Conference that he thought more veterinarians should consider federal repayment programs that encourage veterinarians to go to underserved parts of the country. In the same subject area, VIN News has an article on the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and one family’s adventure in rural Iowa.

More help with debt relief: Also from VIN news, a personal essay by Dr. Anthony Bartels on how to navigate other programs designed to help ease repayment. Special note: I have a blog post coming up soon about how practice ownership can help with student loan debt.

When “average” needs a better look: The AVMA has an article on veterinary salaries (behind the firewall to AVMA members only) that is a good complement to our VPI-Veterinary Economics financial health study (accessible at our library link, top right). The article states that: “[I]ncome within the veterinary profession does not only differ by gender and veterinary sector, but also by location of place of employment, additional degrees held, and other factors.” A lot to digest in this one, and some questions raised.

What about those his-and-her bathtubs? On KevinMD.com, Dr. Melanie McCloud questions whether pharmaceutical companies should be allowed to air so-called D-T-C (Direct to Customer) ads. As always, I look at medical issues from a veterinary perspective: Do ads for human medicine affect how veterinary care is viewed? I wonder. … And as long as we’re on the topic of pharmaceuticals, DVM360.com reports that the so-called “Fairness to Pet Owners Act” is back. Wouldn’t it be nice if Congress couldn’t even take up this piece of legislation until they’ve passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act that everyone agrees is a good and necessary piece of legislations? (Here’s the AVMA’s call to action link.)

And finally, a “good news” closer: A $2.5 million donation to the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The St. Louis couple who made the donation had no previous interaction with the college. They are animal-lovers looking for a way to help.