After its establishment in June, the Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy wasted no time in launching programming for the veterinary community with an inaugural conference, “Professions, Professionals and Professional Identity,” held virtually Aug. 10 and 11.
“The conference was a big success,” says Katherine Edmondson, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’89, assistant dean for outreach in health professions education and director of the Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy. Recognizing that the process of becoming a professional is unique to each veterinary student, attendees discussed barriers and enabling factors to this process, as well as effective instructional approaches. “The program explored the challenges minoritized students face as they develop their professional identities, as well as the roles perfectionism and tolerance for ambiguity play in students’ professional development,” Edmondson says. “The broader theme of negotiating multiple identities created a logical thread that allowed each session to build upon the one that preceded it.”
The conference was free to Cornell students, faculty, staff and alumni. Of the 40 registrants, 25% were from Cornell, and the rest represented a number of U.S. and international institutions, as well as some from industry. The featured speakers included Dr. Jonathan Wood, assistant clinical professor in the Section of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, while three others represented the field of human medicine.