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Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Symposium – a UK first

9 November 2012

The first-ever open symposium on evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) in the UK was held in London on 30 October 2012, organised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Charitable Trust.

Delegates at the Trust's EBVM symposium

The symposium aimed to discuss lessons learned from human medicine, and to encourage the development of a forward-looking strategy for implementing EBVM practices across the veterinary profession.

Speakers included Dr Sally Everitt, BSAVA Scientific Policy Officer, and Dr Brennen McKenzie, President of the American Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine Association (EBVMA) and author of the popular blog SkeptVet.

I think there is a real role for the Trust in helping to develop a knowledge pool on evidence-based veterinary medicine.

Jill Nute, Chairman of Trustees

Over 160 delegates from veterinary practices, academia, industry, veterinary publishing and veterinary policy organisations attended the event.

It was suggested that organisations such as the Trust, which has the only library open to veterinary practitioners offering access to the majority of veterinary literature, could have a vital role to play in embedding EBVM within veterinary practices.

The Library team already provides support to enable effective use of its resources, and it was suggested that the Library could support the production of systematic reviews and critically-appraised topics.

Feedback from delegates was that the Trust Library is a “worthwhile [resource]” that can bring about “benefit for all the staff of [their] practice” and that therefore “should be available for all the staff in [their] team”.

Other delegates said that the symposium had “given me ideas for many aspects of my job from clinical governance to my own appraisal of literature and research” and that it “was an excellent use of my time. [I have] not been to an event like this before and would do it again. It inspired me and enthused ideas - very useful”.

Other measures to strengthen the evidence base in veterinary medicine include projects such as REFLECT (Reporting Guidelines for Randomised Control Trials), which aims to produce reporting guidelines for randomised control trials for farm animals, and CARES (Companion Animals Reporting Expectations and Standards), which is for small animals.

“I was delighted with the response to the RCVS Trust Symposium,” said Jill Nute, Chairman of the Trust Board. “I think there is a real role for the Trust in helping to develop a knowledge pool on evidence-based veterinary medicine, and I look forward to pursuing this with the Trustees.” 

A full description of the Symposium’s aims, expected outcomes, and copies of the presentations are available on the Trust website.

The symposium was fully funded by the RCVS Charitable Trust and was free for delegates to attend.

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