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Preparing Your Biographical Sketch
October 12, 2012 (published) | April 9, 2015 (revised)
Peggy Hall; Charlotte Waack; Debbie Friedler



The CE Instructor Biography

VIN and VSPN CE participants want to know about you; help us learn who you are by writing a biographical sketch. These sketches are a great way for the current and prospective CE participants to know about your background, so please write as much about yourself or as little as you want everyone to know (but more is always better). Your biographical sketch is linked to the course main page.

Please note that your biographical sketch will reside in the public domain, not behind VIN security. This means, for example, that anyone doing a Google search on your name will find this information. So do not include anything that you don't want available to the general public. If it is not already on file, VIN/VSPN will also need an academic curriculum vitae for submission to RACE. The curriculum vitae will not be linked to the biographical sketch and will not be posted to the internet.

So you don't know where to start and what to include?

Following is a description of the instructor biography with some key information, topics, and examples to help you get started. Remember, you don't need to provide information about all the topics. Make your sketch fit your personality. We hope you'll include a picture (color preferred) of yourself. Also, take a look at the sample sketches referenced below. We've noticed that some of the information, e.g., board or specialty certifications; education; and honors, awards, and fellowships, lends itself to being listed rather than presented in paragraph format. We suggest that other topics are best handled with a paragraph to personalize their presentation.

Topics marked "(Standard)" should be included in all sketches. These are the topics of special interest to people who are considering whether or not to take your course. The other topics listed below will add interest and character to your biographical sketch.

Examples of Instructor Biography pages

Download the instructor biography template, fill it out, and return it with a photo (headshot) of yourself to your course facilitator.


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Topics for your Biographical Sketch

Name, Credentials (please attach a recent photo)

Board or Specialty Certification (Standard)
Let us know about the certifications you have earned.

Education (Standard)
Remember to include what school or schools you attended, the year you graduated or the years of your internship and residency, and the degrees you earned: Associate, Bachelors, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, etc.

Current Professional Activities (Standard)
Under this topic you could document where you work, the type of practice, any special or unusual duties at work, and association offices held. Let participants know if you're a VIN consultant or representative or a VSPN board moderator.

Past Professional Activities (Standard)
Under this topic you could mention other practices where you worked, how long you worked there, and your publications.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
This is your area to brag about all your awards and special recognition. Please, don't hold back.

Special Interests
Do you have any specific medical topics that interest you at work or for study? Examples would be such things as feline reproduction and pediatrics, canine rehabilitation.

Under this topic you could list the professional associations of which you are a member. Examples would be such organizations as American Academy of Pain Management, American Veterinary Medical Association, Society for Theriogenology, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, and Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians.

Current Research/Clinical Interests
For this topic you could mention your research, clinical studies, or your current clinical interests. Examples would be such topics as clinical implications of thyroid dysfunction on reproductive physiology or disaster medicine.

If you happen to have a wonderful, special person in your life, let us all know. Maybe even include where you met and how long you have been together. Do you want to share some information about your family? If you are a proud parent, please feel free to brag about your children, whether they are young or grown, and include things that are special about them. Since CE participants have a special interest in animals, you may want to include information about your "kids of other species": their names, ages, and maybe their traits that make them special to you. For example: The real bosses at my house are our two Australian Shepherds (Lex, 6 years, and Cope, 2 years); both are spoiled rotten.

This is where you can put what interests you when you aren't working. For example, do you swim, dance, ride horses, play softball, bake, or write poetry?

Favorite Book, Movie, and/or Song
Do you have a favorite book or movie, one that has particular meaning for you? Or perhaps a song that you find yourself singing all the time?

Favorite Quote
Do you have a favorite quote, perhaps one that's included in the signature block you append to your VIN and VSPN posts? It might be something that makes everyone laugh or something you live by. It could be from your favorite author, book, or movie, or maybe even something a family member used to tell you. For example: "Enjoy life today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come." Don't forget to attribute your source for a quotation.

What You Like Most About VIN/VSPN (Standard)
Let everyone know your favorite thing about VIN/VSPN: whether it's being able to communicate with other veterinarians and veterinary support staff members, the vast information that is immediately available right at your finger tips, the consulting resources for help with troublesome cases, the opportunity to share your expertise with other veterinarians and support staff members by teaching VIN and VSPN CE courses, participating in rounds, or one of the many other advantages offered by the VIN/VSPN community.

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