The VetEd Conference Evolution of an Educational Community of Practice

veterinary and medical education

Sarah Baillie

Susan Rhind

Jill MacKay

Leigh Murray

Liz Mossop


June 14, 2021

The VetEd conference was developed with the aim of growing an educational community by providing an opportunity to share ideas, innovations, research, and best practices in veterinary education in a friendly, affordable, and inclusive environment. The annual conference has been hosted by the veterinary schools in the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands, becoming the official conference of the Veterinary Schools Council in 2017. The current study investigates the extent to which the development of the conference has contributed to the evolution of a community of practice. The conference proceedings abstracts were analyzed to identify trends in number, type, and author information. This was complemented by oral histories exploring the impact of VetEd on developing the veterinary education community. The number of abstracts has increased from 40 (2010) to 137 (2018), and these are predominantly posters, with the major themes being technology-enhanced learning, clinical skills, and assessment. The authors have been increasingly international, representing 8 countries in 2010 and 22 in 2018. Nine interviews were undertaken with those involved in organizing VetEd. The inclusivity of the conference and the engagement of a wide variety of delegate groups are key themes that emerged. Concerns emerged around the organizational challenges and the potential for the conference to outgrow the founding principles in the future. VetEd has become a key event in the annual calendar and represents an initiative that has contributed to the ongoing development of the veterinary education community.