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Southwest Veterinary Symposium

This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Southwest Veterinary Symposium (SWVS) in San Antonio, Texas. After a demanding week of clinical pathology case write-ups, preparing for surgery and pig-wrangling, a few classmates and I made our way south for a weekend of networking, learning, and relaxing with our future colleagues. My friends and I agreed we were in desperate need of a weekend away from College Station. What better way to spend that weekend than on the Riverwalk, enjoying a surplus of authentic Mexican food? Like a flashback to elementary school, the bell rang on Friday afternoon and we were out of there!

SWVS is a unique partnership among fellow state veterinary medical associations and sponsors. Veterinary associations from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee host this annual symposium each fall to enrich the veterinary profession with continuing education courses, corporate exhibits, interactive teaching labs, and social events. Needless to say, this is a massive event with thousands of participants from the veterinary community coming together for the betterment of veterinary medicine.

Throughout the weekend, we were fortunate to attend lectures with prestigious and renowned veterinarians, many of whom are considered experts in their respective fields. It's funny, as we were meeting people throughout the day, it was fairly common to come across the names of veterinarians we typically see on the inside cover of our textbooks. These folks are the best of the best, and it was truly an honor to sit back and think, " less than two years, I will be Dr. so-and-so's colleague." It was humbling, to say the least.

No symposium is complete without visiting and thanking the generous sponsors who help make this symposium happen on an annual basis. We made our way to the exhibit hall and, like most poor college students, could not wait to get free stuff. I'm certain we left with more pens, note pads, computer bags, textbooks, and more candy than you could possibly imagine. But, in all seriousness, we are grateful for these sponsors and everything they do for our profession!

Finally, as the symposium began winding down, we were invited to an awesome social event filled with live music, dancing, and, yes, more free food! My friends and I met a countless number of practitioners and technicians from multiple states - each and every one of them had nothing but positive reinforcement and great advice for our years to come. To those interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, always remember to network as much as you possibly can: you never know, the next practitioner you meet may have a job opportunity waiting for you!

After a much needed fun-filled weekend, we unwillingly made our way back to College Station. Weekends like these are confirming reminders of how privileged we are to be a part of this extraordinary profession!

Be sure to check out for more information about SWVS 2012 in Dallas, Texas!