Hello Foundation friends and supporters, this message will be a little long but please stick with it.
Nobody needs to be reminded that this has been a weird couple of years. When we decided to offer a hybrid version of the Descriptive course at Auburn University, we knew it was experimental. Unfortunately, 5 weeks out we have zero registrations for in-person, likely for a lot of reasons including that airfares have gone sky high (groan) and availability is more limited. Many folks are still a little hesitant to travel, and we get that. So, we have some good news and some bad news.
I’m a “worst first”, rip-the-bandaid-off kind of person, so the BAD news is that we’ve decided to pull the plug on hybrid and go back to virtual only. Whomp-whomp. We say “bad” because the in-person experience is far superior in that it offers trainees a chance to get away from all of their work and home responsibilities and immerse themselves fully in their education, as well as meet instructors and fellow trainees face-to-face and form lifelong connections. Humans are social creatures, and virtual meetings are not great for helping us form real bonds with each other. People tend to delude themselves that they can multi-task as well as they can single-task, but science says this is a lie (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32206165/) and for that reason the educational experience suffers when people try to wedge courses in amongst other things (so tempting with virtual).
OK, the GOOD news is that because we won’t have the overhead of speaker travel/housing/meals/catering/room rental, we are rolling prices back to last year’s! You know we love you, this is YOUR Foundation, and if we don’t have those expenses, we certainly aren’t going to pass that added cost on to you. If you have already registered, you will be receiving a refund of the difference between what you paid and the reduced rate, and you should already have gotten an email from Bruce. For those who have yet to register, you can use the same link listed on the website but you will see only four options: member “live”, non-member “live”, member “rebroadcast”, and non-member “rebroadcast”. Pro tip: ask your residency coordinator if your institution is a member! (most US vet schools are). Remember that rebroadcast is only the lectures, not any of the mock tests or breakout sessions.
Next year, provided things don’t get weirder and airfares come back to reality, we will be going back to IN-PERSON ONLY for the Descriptive, CLIIC, and POLA courses because we strongly believe in the power and value of that experience. But never fear, we will be putting on in-person Descriptive courses in Europe and multiple places in Latin America (stay tuned for information!). So, soak up the pajama-wearing virtual experience while you can, and we look forward to “seeing” you virtually for one more year.