Texas A&M Professor Delivers 2011 Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture to Equine Practitioners
December 08, 2011
An interesting fact about veterinary medicine is that research
methods are not limited to just the laboratory, but are used in
clinical veterinary practice every day. At least that is the
important point that Dr. Noah Cohen, professor of large animal
clinical sciences at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, shared with fellow veterinarians and
veterinary technicians attending the 2011 Frank J. Milne
State-of-the-Art Lecture at the 57th Annual American
Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention on November
Cohen, an expert in epidemiology and equine infectious disease,
has presented numerous lectures nationally and internationally on
applying principles of epidemiology, the branch of medical science
concerned with the occurrence, transmission, and control of
diseases, to specific areas of equine practice, including racing
injuries, gastrointestinal disease, evidence-based medicine, and
"When most practitioners think about epidemiology and
research, they have the traditional view that epidemiology is about
public health and outbreak investigations," said Cohen. "However,
using methods from this scientific discipline is something that
practitioners strive to do every day in their practice."
Veterinarians use the principles of evidence-based medicine when
they determine a particular diagnosis for their client, as well as
what an appropriate treatment plan would be. The science foundation
behind evidence-based medicine is epidemiology.
"As a veterinarian," states Cohen, "the most important
information I have in the best treatment plan for a particular
disease comes from studying cases with the same disease. As an
example, if I see a patient with equine pneumonia, everything I
know about the best treatments comes from studying how effective
various treatment options have worked or not worked in other
patients with equine pneumonia."
Additionally, Cohen addressed the concept of cumulative
"At every turn, every day," said Cohen, "what I learn is based
on what I have learned from other patients. Examinations are given
additional context by what we have seen in previous cases. So while
we may actually be examining an individual patient in a clinic, how
a veterinarian proceeds with diagnosing and treating the disease or
injury is based on a population approach."
Cohen pointed out that much of what is practiced in veterinary
medicine came from conclusions drawn from research studies. For
this reason, it is important for veterinarians to have a healthy
appreciation for epidemiological research methods-to understand the
strengths and limitations of studies, so that they can have
confidence in the conclusions they choose to incorporate into their
"I was truly honored to have the opportunity to address the
members of the AAEP at the convention this year," said Cohen.
"While it was my hope to share something meaningful with them, and
give them a new appreciation for interpreting research findings and
putting them into practice, I found that I, too, was able to learn
from this experience."
In preparing for his presentation, Cohen enlisted
assistance from two colleagues - fellow veterinarians., Bo Brock a
practitioner in Lamesa, TX, and . Jim Moore, a faculty member at
the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
"Both of these gentlemen helped me to develop my presentation by
suggesting content and helping with some illustrative graphic
elements," said Cohen. "I found that they inspired me, encouraged
me, and challenged me with my presentation skills. It was a
learning experience for me about teaching. I learned new
presentation techniques in preparing for this lecture that will
benefit my students in the classroom."
Having returned back to the CVM from giving this distinguished
lecture, Cohen will now begin work on a study investigating
laminitis, an inflammation of horses' hooves, that has been funded
by financial support from the AAEP Foundation.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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