• Profiles in Leadership – Brad Case & Howard Seim

    Profiles in Leadership is a monthly Connect2Care feature that provides insight into the bright minds of leaders in the global veterinary healthcare community.

    Brad Case, DVM, MS, DACVS and Howard B. Seim III, DVM, DACVS are co-presenters at NAVC Discovery, Buffalo, NY, July 29-August 2, 2017.

    Modeled after the NAVC Institute, NAVC Discovery is a new event, featuring three in-depth courses: Soft Tissue Surgery, Small Animal Ultrasound and Fear FreeSM, will hone practitioners’ skills in a stimulating setting alongside other motivated professionals. Discover the possibilities of hands-on, interactive learning in a small class setting.  Topics have been chosen that represent surgical conditions commonly seen in veterinary practice and will include: enterotomy, intestinal resection and anastomosis, splenectomy, liver biopsy, partial liver lobectomy, gastrotomy, gastrostomy tube placement, diaphragmatic hernia repair, techniques for OHE and OVE, incisional gastropexy for the treatment of GDV, knot tying techniques and open topic discussions. Click here to learn more and to register.

    The course on soft tissue surgery procedures will be taught by Dr. Howie Seim and Dr. Brad Case.

    Dr. Seim graduated from Washington State University, completed an internship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada, and a surgical residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He obtained Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1983. He is currently on the surgical staff at Colorado State University. He was recipient of the Merck AGVET Award for Creative Teaching, the CSU Award for Instructional Innovation and selected as the North American Veterinary Community’s Small Animal Speaker of the Year in 2009. Dr. Seim is founder of VideoVet, a Veterinary Surgery Continuing Education video series.

    Dr. Case is an assistant professor of small animal surgery at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and a small animal surgeon at the University of Florida, Small Animal Hospital. His primary areas of interest are minimally invasive soft tissue and interventional hepatobiliary surgery. He is currently working on evaluating methods for laparoscopic- and video-assisted exploration of the gastrointestinal tract and cardiopulmonary organs, respectively.  He completed his master’s degree and residency in small animal surgery at the Colorado State University in 2011.  He completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University in 2007 and his doctor of veterinary medicine degree at the University of California, Davis in 2006.


    NAVC: Thank you for partnering to teach at NAVC Discovery. Give us an idea of how the sessions are structured and what resources will be used.

    Dr. Seim: A hands on laboratory experience is important when teaching veterinarians technical skills. Our unique structure of showing a video tape clinical example of the procedure that will be performed in the laboratory, then immediately going to the lab and performing the procedure is a very powerful way of teaching surgical skills. In addition, we will be using synthetic cadavers to teach the laboratory procedures. This cutting edge technology has not previously been utilized in this type of laboratory setting.


    NAVC: We understand you have a history of presenting together. How are your teaching styles different or complementary? What’s the spark that makes you a dynamic duo?

    Dr. Seim: Brad and I have presented laboratories together for 5+ years. During that time we have learned many things about the others’ teaching style. Our styles are similar due to our strong belief in the use of video to teach the procedure and then focusing on those ‘technical skills’ in the lab. Our ‘spark’ is the fact that we believe practicing veterinarians are better surgeons than they think. Participating in the laboratory allows us to convince them this is true.

    Dr. Case: I believe that the main reason attendees find our labs to be so enjoyable and useful is due to our approach. First, we are easy going and supportive so the attendees feel very comfortable asking questions and learning from us. We also tend to infuse some humor and sarcasm into our instruction which serves to entertain! Overall, we are informal and happy guys so the environment is jovial in addition to highly educational.


    NAVC: How will mastering these soft tissue surgery procedures further empower the attendees? What else makes this opportunity a good return on investment?

    Dr. Seim: Once the attendees have had the opportunity to see the procedure done on a clinical case (video), then successfully perform it in the lab, it empowers them with the confidence that they can incorporate these procedures into their practice to help their surgical patients more than before.

    Dr. Case: The procedures and education provided are practical in nature so the attendee can plan on being able to implement their new surgical abilities right away.  Further, we focus on common procedures so it should not take long to generate a positive return on the investment!


    NAVC: What’s the story behind what led you to what you are doing now? When did your profession become a passion?

    Dr. Seim: When I first began working at Colorado State University, I realized learning surgery from a book was very difficult. In addition, once veterinary students graduate, they can no longer ‘see’ a procedure performed before they attempt it. Thus I began videotaping all of my clinical cases in an effort to enable practicing veterinarians to see how a case is performed before they have to do it for the first time. In addition, I can talk them through the procedure as the videos are voiced over. Then, as practical laboratories became more available, the use of this video tape/lab combination became even more powerful as a surgical teaching tool.

    Dr. Case: For me, I simply love surgery and love teaching eager and motivated individuals. When it is all said and done, most veterinarians want to be able to help improve and, in many cases, save their patients’ lives. Our laboratories absolutely accomplish these goals by giving the attendee the knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic abdominal surgery safely and effectively!


    NAVC: If time and money were no object, what innovation or new approach could revolutionize the way you currently practice? What’s the first next step toward those concepts become reality?

    Dr. Seim: The ability to perform robotic surgery in veterinary medicine. This will eventually happen when robotic instrumentation costs come down and continuing education laboratories can be created to teach veterinarians this new and exciting technology.

    Dr. Case: My professional passion is minimally invasive and interventional surgery. These modalities allow us to perform surgery with minimal tissue injury and pain. Technology has been integral to the development and success of surgery without injury. If time and money were no consideration, I would develop instrumentation and devices that would allow me to access and treat every one of my patients’ maladies without invasive surgery.


    NAVC: Dr. Seim, we’d like to know more about VideoVet and its options for earning CE.

    Dr. Seim: VideoVet was created to give practicing veterinarians the ability to ‘see’ a surgical procedure performed in a clinical case before they have to perform it for the first time. It’s also an important teaching modality for new graduates that have an interest in performing more surgery in their practice but did not have the chance to perform those procedures in veterinary school. They can view the video of the procedure prior to performing it. The voice over can ‘talk them through it’.

    VideoVet has 9 DVD’s that are approved for 4 hours of CE credit each. CE credits are earned by viewing the DVD, answering multiple choice questions and completing a short evaluation of the DVD content. If the veterinarian scores 70% or higher on the exam, they receive a certificate for 4 hours of CE credits.


    NAVC: Dr. Case, you and your team are quite the hometown heroes to many children. Tell us about the Wish upon a Star program in Gainesville.

    Dr. Case: Wish upon a star is a Holiday charity for abused and neglected children. These children have been exposed to unconscionable treatment in many cases and our group provides gifts and love to these kids over the holidays.  We typically deliver 2-3 new gifts to 30-40 kids each year in December. It is our goal to let them know that they are wonderful and that there are kind people in the world around them.

    Dr. Brad Case stands in front of a board full of stars claimed by faculty and others who supported a needy child through a gift. (Photo courtesy of SACS)


    NAVC: We’re curious about your avocations – what you like to do in your personal time. And we’d like to hear about your family and your pets.

    Dr. Seim: Living in Colorado has given me the opportunity to get involved in many outdoor sports. I am an avid mountain biker, camper, hiker, downhill skier, cross country skier and white water kayaker. I am married to Martha Tissot Van Patot and have two children – Howie IV (18) and Miranda (21). We are all the proud parents of one black cat, one white rabbit, and one black Labrador Retriever.

    Dr. Case: My absolute favorite thing to do in the world is to spend time with my son Asher and my wife Claire. I travel quite a bit as a part of my professional life and I try to take them along with me every chance I get! Asher and Claire are regulars at NAVC and we have a Scotland trip planned for this summer prior to NAVC Discovery. Asher and I train in martial arts for fun and fitness and both currently have black belts in Taekwondo. I also enjoy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing, both of which I have practiced for the past few years. We have two cats (Kevin and Blueberry), two dogs (Jezebel and Olive) and a ferret (Mika). For fun, the whole family (humans and pets) enjoys sitting out and playing by the pool and swimming.


    NAVC: What do you wish a mentor had told you when you were graduating from veterinary school? What advice do you give young professionals?

    Dr. Seim: Thankfully, my mentors steered me in the direction of becoming a veterinary surgeon. I am grateful to the individuals that have mentored me along the way and encouraged me to become a small animal surgeon.

    I try to remind veterinary students and young graduates that veterinary medicine is a wonderful profession to be in. There are so many opportunities within the field that most everyone can find a direction that makes it a pleasure to go to work every day.

    Dr. Case: I wish a mentor had told me the secret to work life balance.  I tell all my students to “work hard and work in a field or practice that you love. When you go home, do not do any work and enjoy life with your family and friends.” We all need time to be human and to keep our bodies and minds healthy.

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