The Eastern European Regional Veterinary Conference (EERVC) is to a large degree the realisation of the vision of my friend Denis Novak, a Croatian vet with a clinic in Belgrade in Serbia and the new President of FECAVA. Denis had a part of his veterinary training in the UK and he has a good understanding of veterinary medicine in both Western and in Eastern European countries. As long as I have known Denis, he has tried to create a new breed of veterinary surgeons in Eastern Europe, by not only bringing world renowned speakers to continuing education events near them, but also by breaking down historic barriers between teachers and students with a far more relaxed atmosphere at these events and with the prudent use of great rock music……
At the first conference three years ago in Belgrade, Denis and his colleagues started from nothing and yet, due to an excellent scientific programme and due to endless hours of preparation, the event attracted more than 1000 veterinarians from all over Europe and the party at the end of the conference – with one of the best live bands on the Balkan – turned out to be truly legendary. The success of this concept was repeated a year later in Bukarest in Romania and in the following year in Zagreb, Croatia.
This year it was the turn of Thessaloniki in Northern Greece and – with most of my more presentable cloths still in the suitcase which was delayed in Moscow – I looked somewhat out of place in the entrance hall of the Grand Hotel…..
But as luck had it, I bumped right away into both Denis and Kyriakos , the “fixer” of my monastic detour….
This now was more familiar territory for me and once re-united with my suitcase and following a shave, a shower and a change of cloths, three days of lectures and learning followed.
I also found time – but sadly no company – for a sunset run along the promenade of Greece’s second largest city and to catch up with my colleagues over dinner with the outstanding local food (and – of course – wine)!
The event closed – as in the years before – with the hallmark party and dancing into the early hours (we were in Greece after all….).
This also was the end of another journey and not even 24 hours later I found myself – and the remains of my belongings –
back in the UK, where I had to prepare now for a “new” task :
becoming a “normal” practicing vet again!…….