That's Dr. Richard Bartels in the blue scrub top. Along with 26 other veterinarians, he attended one of the joint stabilization
wet labs at this year's Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City, Mo. He's flanked by Dr. Mark Anderson, who, along with
Dr. Darryl Millis, conducted the lab.
When Dr. Bartels nabbed another attendee to take this picture, I asked him what he was going to use it for. He said he planned
to post it on the bulletin board at his practice, Bay View Veterinary Hospital in Panama City, Fla. That way, he said, his
clients would see that while he was away he was training with, as he put it, "the best veterinary surgeons in the world."
What a great idea! Dr. Bartels is like most veterinarians—conscientious and caring and determined not to get complacent about
their skills and competence. Wet labs, seminars, Web-based communities, and teleconferences are all fine ways to keep learning.
Of course, our journal is another important source of continuing education. We, too, keep you up-to-date on what's new in
veterinary medicine as well as refresh your memory on subjects you learned about in school. So if you think you already know
everything about skin grafting and can forego reading this month's symposium, consider this: If you read the articles and
discover you do know all those important facts, then that's great news! By reviewing this material, you've still reinforced
your knowledge, probably recognized some things that you really had forgotten, and picked up some commonsense reminders. Case
in point: In one of this month's articles, Dr. Karen Tobias and her fellow authors remind you that when making a pattern of
a graft recipient site, you should mark the side of the pattern that faces away from the wound. That way, you won't incise
a useless mirror image at the donor site.
Veterinarians have many ways they can train with the best. Dr. Bartels' clients—and yours—will get the message even if it
doesn't appear on the bulletin board. They'll get it loud and clear when their pets receive the highest quality of care, whether
it's a cruciate ligament repair or wound reconstruction. So keep learning, keep reading—after all, it's an oath all veterinarians