Technology's Role in Continued Education for Veterinary Professionals

Technology has expanded continuing education (CE) options for veterinary professionals, who can now more easily and conveniently stay up-to-date on the latest advancements, take advantage of growth and development opportunities, and meet veterinary education requirements.

How Practices Typically Utilize Technology for CE

Most individuals and organizations repeat the same pattern to obtain veterinary continued education—they earn their credits at the same time each year and use the same online platform or provider (e.g., well-known formats, such as courses, webinars, or virtual conferences). This likely is partially due to convenience and familiarity, but many practice leaders may be unaware of all the tech-based CE options available, and the various formats that could enhance and expand the learning experience.

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How Tech-Based CE Can Optimize Learning

To appreciate how much technology has improved our lives, most of us don't have to look further than our wrists or palms. In addition to well-recognized advantages, such as convenience and flexibility—a must for today's busy veterinary teams—tech-based CE resources deliver benefits that include:

  • On-demand resources: Users can learn at their own pace by reviewing recorded materials that can be accessed on any internet-enabled device.

  • Variable formats to suit different learning styles: Matching the learner to their preferred style optimizes the learning experience and may lead to better knowledge retention and application.

  • A less expensive option to in-person CE: Practice or team accounts to major online CE hubs save money and ensure the entire team can access a range of educational options.

  • Broader topic varieties to provide a targeted learning experience: Tech-based CE puts countless specialties and niche subjects at your team's fingertips, allowing customized learning opportunities for each member's role, interests, and goals.

  • Up-to-date content and timely releases ensure the latest information: Tech-based CE also provides fast access to hot topics and trends, so you can rapidly equip and empower your team with the latest insights, developments, and recommendations they can share with clients.

How To Increase Technology Use for CE

Optimize your team's learning potential by providing digital resources that meet your practice's collective needs and allow each team member to explore their own professional interests. CE that provides on-demand content access in useful formats will become part of the practice's daily routine and its culture, rather than a mandatory annual or semiannual event.

Tech-centered CE tools to consider for your practice include:

  • Continuing education platforms: These account-based online hubs provide rich libraries of countless CE topics and multimedia formats, including on-demand and live courses and webinars, podcasts, instructional or procedural videos, and articles. With CE platforms, it can be easier to find something for every team member and any situation that requires further learning, such as onboarding or adding a new service. Some CE platforms also provide customizable tools and content for practices, which allows managers and owners to curate and control their team's learning experience.

  • Web-based case discussions: Live or on-demand case reviews walk attendees through the thought process, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of various real-life patients. Virtual rounds can help early career veterinarians broaden their exposure to various cases and build confidence in their clinical decision-making.

  • Remote mentorship: With interactive virtual learning, team members can earn CE credits from field experts who offer novel experiences and tutelage. Remote mentorship is a great example of how tech-based CE allows veterinary professionals to learn specific, in-depth topics that can positively shape their future growth and increase job satisfaction.

  • Online communities and networking: Online communities such as the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) and the Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN) provide support and guidance via interactive forums, and online CE courses, content, and a vast digital library.

  • Telepathology: Telepathology provides enhanced opportunities for distance learning and collaboration, as well as structured CE courses for veterinary teams.

  • Specialized certificate programs: Accredited online certification programs on various topics, such as veterinary nutrition, pain management, business leadership, and diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine, are available. Topics for specific positions, including veterinary assistants, technicians, or client service representatives, also are available.

  • Online workshops and virtual hands-on training: Virtual wet labs allow veterinarians and team members to experience direct, in-person learning without leaving their home practice. These online events allow participants to ask questions and receive feedback in real time via video chat.

Like technology, veterinary medicine is an ever-evolving and fast-paced industry that requires professionals to stay open to new information and new schools of thought. Leveraging multiple tech-based continued education resources can best create a growth-minded culture at your practice, ensure your team stays up-to-date on industry advancements, and provide team members with the tools to continuously hone and refine their skills, so they can continue to deliver exceptional care to patients.

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Sarah Rumple
Owner, Chief Creative Officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing

Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Since 2011, her work has focused on pet health/behavior and veterinary practice management topics. Her clients include individual veterinary practice owners, national corporations, nonprofit associations, media companies, consultants, and others. Learn more at

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