Dairy reproductive management: assessing a comprehensive continuing education program for veterinary practitioners.
ABSTRACT Comprehensive continuing veterinary medical education (CVME) programs are critical for veterinary practitioners to update their knowledge and improve their skills and services. CVME must offer an educational environment in which veterinarians can effectively rejuvenate their knowledge and skills and learn about new practices. The Ohio Dairy Health and Management Certificate Program is a comprehensive CVME program for practicing dairy veterinarians that was developed to provide advanced training on previously identified needs of the dairy industry. Our objectives in this article were (1) to provide a description of a comprehensive CVME program designed to enhance the flow of applied, research-based knowledge from educators and researchers to dairy veterinary practitioners and (2) to provide an assessment of outcomes achieved and experiences gained after the delivery of the first two modules on advanced dairy reproductive management. Findings from the two reproductive modules suggested that (1) the designed dairy reproductive management program was able to meet the participants' educational needs, (2) the implemented delivery methods significantly increased participants' knowledge level, and (3) additional educational needs should be addressed with future programming. In conclusion, results from the participants' self-reports suggested that both reproductive modules were relevant and effective, offering new information with immediate field application. These types of educational programs are important for dairy veterinary practitioners because they are a vital source of information and service providers for dairy producers. For the program to be considered completely successful, a detailed follow-up assessment of participants' behavior change, adoption of new practices and skills, and their on-farm impact is needed.