Sam Taylor, ISFM Academy Lead and Feline Specialist discusses the exciting re-launch of this dynamic group of cat loving vets.
What is the ISFM Academy of Feline Practitioners?
The ISFM Academy is a community of veterinarians with a special interest in cats. They have taken further qualifications in feline medicine or specialised in other complementary disciplines and want to work together to share knowledge, discuss cases and further feline research.
Who can join the ISFM Academy?
Veterinarians with post-graduate qualifications can become members of the ISFM Academy. The majority of members hold the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) Membership (Medicine of Cats), but additionally, Diplomates of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Feline Practice), Fellows of the ANZCVS, RCVS Feline Specialists and Diplomates of the European and American Colleges (in complementary disciplines, e.g. cardiology, surgery) form part of our group. We welcome applications from anywhere in the world and vets can apply here.
Why is it important to bring together this group of vets?
At ISFM we have been at the centre of feline medicine and surgery for many years, and the Academy will bring together enthusiastic vets from around the world with a common interest – to improve the detection and management of disease in cats. By facilitating communication between cat vets, we hope to develop research opportunities, particularly from first opinion practice, discuss complex cases and share experiences. We all have a common goal to improve the lives of cats and love talking about anything to do with this fabulous species!
How do members communicate and collaborate?
We have recently launched the International Cat Care Community Platform and the Academy space has been busy so far with discussions about challenging cases, plus last week we ran our first journal club session online on feline lower urinary tract disease. Open discussion and lively debate are welcomed, and all members should feel confident to discuss cases and concerns. The forum is mentored, and we all learn from each other, whether we work in academia, general clinical practice, specialist clinics or charity clinics. Equally, if members would prefer to sit back and watch discussions, we welcome this too.
How will members of the ISFM Academy disseminate their discussions to the wider ISFM membership and cat owners?
It is vital that the Academy communicates with other groups. We hope to form links between the iCatCare Feline Wellbeing Panel and the Academy and work closely with the ISFM Membership Community. It is an important goal of the Academy to forge links between groups with a common aim of improving understanding of cats. We hope the Academy members will also be involved in communication with cat owners to help them care for their pets.
How can we find out more and contact the ISFM Academy?
I would love to discuss the Academy further with any interested people, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.