Since 1991, VIN has been the number one online veterinary destination - and always has been and always will be -- for veterinarians, by veterinarians.
Those who don't "know" VIN, likely think VIN is a web site. But VIN members (VINners) quickly recognize that although VIN is a "site" on the "web", it is much more than a web site.
VIN is a place. VIN is home to over 53,000 colleagues.
Like many "sites on the web", VIN has lots of features - databases, message boards, conference rooms, online proceedings, and much more. And although those features are very useful and help busy veterinary professionals be the best clinicians they can be, providing those features is in no way what VIN is all about.
Much more than the sum of its parts ("features"), VIN provides, for the first time in the history of our profession, what no other organization or service has been able to. Simply stated, VIN's greatest accomplishments are:
- Bringing together veterinarians "world-wide" as colleagues
- all too often the primary contact most veterinarians have had is with other veterinarians in their own town. In some cities these "neighbors" were neighborly and collegial. But all too often, more than colleagues they viewed each other as competitors. VIN has enabled the wonderful individuals who pursue the passion of veterinary medicine - to "leap" over the "competitor" down the block or across town and find true colleagues to in the next county, state, or country.
- Bringing instant access to vast amounts of up-to-date veterinary information to colleagues
- until VIN, most had the "excuse" that they couldn't subscribe to many journals and certainly couldn't afford to build a library large enough to serve their information needs. And even if they did subscribe to many journals and buy all the textbooks available, the time it takes to publish most texts and journals guarantees that some of the information contained in the newest editions is already "out of date". Access to colleagues (including specialists) helps individual practitioners to recognize what is "the latest and greatest" and what might need updating.
- Bringing instant access to "breaking news" that affects veterinarians, their patients and their practice
- whether it is a new drug, treatment, virus, or just a rethinking of old ways, the first place most VINners hear about it is on VIN. And more than just being consumers of new information, more and more VINners are finding themselves participating in the process of generating and assessing new information. No longer is the newest information and insights into the process by which it is generated available to only those in academic or large specialty practice.
- Bringing easy access to colleagues who have specialized knowledge and skills
- before VIN, many veterinarians had limited access to specialists, depending upon a few local boarded specialists or "mavens". Local specialists are wonderful resources that all colleagues should support. What VIN adds to that is access to thousands of colleagues (generalists and specialists) with diverse backgrounds, opinions and a vast array of experiences.
- Making CE - continuing education - available EVERY day
- local lectures and large conferences are wonderful and VIN does not in anyway replace the experience that these provide. However, it is not possible to keep current when CE is a once or even a few times per year endeavor. Through the many searchable and interactive resources on VIN, CE becomes a daily event for VINners - so much so that we call CE on VIN "Continual Education".
- Empowering our profession
- as mentioned above, we veterinarians have traditionally worked alone or in small groups with little contact with colleagues. This has made it difficult for veterinarians to gain "power" and "protection" in the marketplace - whether dealing with ethical suppliers or "less ethical" elements of society who choose to target veterinarians. The VIN community has proved time after time that "united as a community" we can watch out for each other and make a difference.