Recently, 10 Texas A&M veterinary students, including myself, traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, for the 51st annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Conference. As if simply attending my very first AABP conference wasn’t exciting enough, three fellow third-year veterinary students and I had the opportunity to compete in the Quiz Bowl competition!
The Quiz Bowl is bracket-style competition, during which students must not only be well-versed in a variety of bovine veterinary medicine related topics, but also have lightning-fast fingers in order hit the buzzer before another team does! While our team, unfortunately, did not advance out of the first round (congratulations to University of Georgia for winning our round and the entire competition!), it was still a very fun, worthwhile experience and I am proud of our team!
The AABP Conference also offered a trade show with more than 100 exhibitors ranging from pharmaceutical and ultrasound companies to our very own Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory! The most beneficial part of the trade show, for me, was learning about a student loaner ultrasound program, through which students can request to borrow an ultrasound for use during a two-week externship. As someone who plans to practice dairy medicine, the opportunity to have substantial reproductive ultrasound experience prior to graduating from vet school is HUGE and I am so excited about taking advantage of this opportunity.
When not wandering around at the trade show, talking to company reps and snagging some cool freebies, you could likely have found me sitting in on the dairy sessions. What was neat about the AABP conference is that they offered concurrent dairy, beef, practice-management and student sessions—something to pique everyone’s interest! Talks on the use of thoracic ultrasound to monitor lung health in dairy calves, antimicrobial stewardship (presented by Texas A&M’s own Dr. Virginia Fajt), and field necropsy were just some of the many diverse topics aimed at equipping us to embody this year’s conference theme to “Become Indispensable.”
Another highlight of the conference was the opportunity to reconnect with friends made at past externships, as well as meet other students and veterinarians. We came to Phoenix from all over the country, but we all have one thing in common—we are proud to be future and current bovine practitioners and will continue to strive to do the best job we can protecting the beef and dairy industries.
The countdown is on for next year’s AABP conference in St Louis, Missouri! 🙂