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Over 200 Attendees for Implicit Bias Webinar

February 2, 2024

This week Maurice Cottman, the Inaugural Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the college of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, presented a webinar entitled Implicit Bias: We All Have Them, Now What? to an audience of more than 200 attendees.  This webinar was held as part of WSVMA’s ongoing CE calendar.  This webinar was especially designed to meet the new Heath Equity CE requirements that have been set by WA State.  For Veterinary relicensing, the requirement is that each license holder attends 2 hours of Health Equity training every 4 years.

While this CE is now a requirement it was clear from the interaction during the training that attendees were there because they wanted to learn about implicit bias (and we all have these), where these biases come from, and once we become aware of our own biases how can we manage these, so they don’t become either personal or professional barriers.  Mr. Cottman delved into psychology to explain the differences between our conscious versus unconscious minds, and explicit versus implicit biases.  He also discussed how these factors combine to impact behavior.  Sometimes that additional second of pause before you step into a crosswalk can be literally lifesaving.  Other times these impacts may have negative impacts on our lives and the people we live and work with. 

The key to understanding biases will be different for every person.  Mr. Cottman asked attendees to think about their family structure/environment, education, media access/usage, and the cultures or communities that they grew up in as potential drivers of both conscious and unconscious biases.

In the second half of this presentation Mr. Cottman pivoted to discuss the importance of all the above to Veterinary medicine.  Drawing on resources from AVMA he noted how the awareness that comes from understanding our own unconscious biases is key to establishing a culture of cultural competence. 

The 2 hour webinar concluded with a rich Q & A, with many attendees asking how to take the first steps within their practice.

WSVMA wants to sincerely thank Mr. Cottman for this thought-provoking and timely presentation. It will be developing more materials that will meet the State’s Health Equity CE requirements, for both future webinars and the annual Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference. A recording of Mr. Cottman’s webinar is available shortly on the WSVMA website.  

Further Continuing Education Opportunities

Registration for a new DVM Masterclass Intensive, Canine Orthopedic and Neurologic Condition, has recently been opened.  This 4-hour virtual intensive will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2024, from Noon to 4pm.  Dr. Jessica Dunch, DVM will review several common canine orthopedic and neurologic conditions with a focus on conservative management utilizing a variety of integrative veterinary medicine therapies. Therapies discussed will include physical rehabilitation, photobiomodulation (laser), acupuncture, and other potential modalities.

 The following is the outline for this intensive.

12:00 – 1:00 pm Integrative Therapies for Orthopedic Conditions of the Canine Forelimb

1:00 – 2:00 pm Integrative Therapies for Orthopedic Conditions of the Canine Hindlimb

2:00 – 4:00 pm Integrative Therapies for Neurologic Conditions