Liesbeth and Gillian were fortunate enough in November to attend a conference in Thailand.
The International Society of Feline Medicine, Asia-Pacific Congress was held on the beautiful island of Phuket.
During the welcome speech we learned there were 400 delegates from 28 different countries – a truly international event. Fortunately for us, all lectures were delivered in English!
The main speaker during the 3 day congress was an American vet, Professor Jessica Quimby. Prof. Quimby is now based at Ohio State University, having previously completed a PhD in feline kidney disease at Colorado State University. She delivered a number of lectures each day, all with a focus on the kidneys and urinary system. Prof Quimby was a very engaging speaker and we found it intriguing to learn how things are done slightly differently in the US compared to the UK, especially with regards to which drugs we have access to in different areas of the world.
The second principle speaker was Carolyn O’Brien, a feline specialist based in Melbourne, Australia. Carolyn has a special interest in feline infectious disease and microbiology. Her lectures included feline upper and lower airway diseases, parasitic infections of cats and feline cardiology. Again, Carolyn was an excellent speaker and was engaging enough to keep us alert through the jet lag! She make the European and American contingent of the audience very jealous by often referring to a palatable liquid version of an antibiotic available in Australia which, in the UK and US, is only available in tablet form – and we all know how much cats like taking tablets!
Interspersed with the two main experts were occasional speakers from Thailand. They seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to speak to such a large, international audience.
It wasn’t all work of course. The refreshment breaks were amazing – with platters of fresh fruits replacing the chocolate digestives we’re more accustomed to at UK conferences. After the first day of lectures we were treated to a traditional Thai banquet and live traditional music from a local children’s group. As if that wasn’t enough, the banquet was held on the beach of the beautiful resort where the conference was held.
It was a very informative conference with world class speakers, in a magical location. We had the opportunity to meet many interesting people doing the same job as us, in completely different areas of the world. It was an amazing experience!