Letter from the CE Director


Dear Friends,

It is with great optimism and excitement that I join the Continuing Education (CE) team at the C. Wayne McIlwraith Translational Medicine Institute @ CSU as its new Associate Director. I am fortunate to be building upon a strong foundation created under the direction of my predecessor, Dr. David Twedt. The CE team is a small & focused core group crew of extremely talented individuals who are eager to improve the lives of animals and people through impactful CE.


We envision a future in which a team of inspired educators improve human and animal lives on a global scale. Sound grandiose? …. we don’t really think so. Bold? – yes. Unrealistic? – far from it! As we cast this bold vision for the future, we find inspiration, conviction and strength in our past. It is safe to say that the Translational Medicine Institute may very well not exist today if it weren’t for a fateful CME event in 1976. Diagnostic arthroscopy was a growing practice in human orthopedics at the time and Lanny Johnson, MD was teaching a CME course on diagnostic arthroscopy of the human knee to a group of physicians. A young veterinary surgery resident and graduate student named Wayne McIlwraith saw arthroscopy as a possible means by which he could better study joint health and disease. After a bold inquiry from the cheeky, young Dr. McIlwraith, Dr. Johnson welcomed him to the human arthroscopy course. The rest, as they say, is history…but the impact of that single event is both our remarkable present and our bold future. Today we are inspired by recognition of the impact that an educator, a learner and a meaningful learning experience can have upon countless animal and human patients and an entire profession.

Learning has been defined as “a durable change in action or practice as the result of an experience”. I personally love that definition and find those words profound. It has also been said that “a man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that he can learn in no other way” (Mark Twain)….and while I am sure that experience would stimulate learning, we support learning experiences that are better for both the cat and the learner! As the child of a career airline pilot, I know full well the value of simulators upon learning and skill refinement. I would watch my father in the TWA simulator as he rehearsed specific scenarios over and over (some of which he would fortunately never actually experience) until the desired response became rote and instinctive.

As a child, I witnessed simulators as they fostered durable change in action as a result of an experience. Simulators, both inanimate and virtual reality (VR) based, also hold great value in the training of health care professionals. The fidelity of the simulation experience is based upon the complexity of the skills to be learned. Basic skills can often be taught on lower fidelity simulators, whereas more complex situational skills typically require higher fidelity simulators. Development of a comprehensive Simulations Laboratory is one ‘stretch goal’ for our team to offer impactful experiences to our future learners. We also aim to support our learners through development of a robust library of Online and Hybrid course offerings. Optimally, we will find the means to offer Educator Grants to stimulate and hasten the process of developing our Online & Hybrid Course library in the near term. While the COVID pandemic certainly expanded the demand for online learning, we’ve long realized its strategic importance in supporting the health care learner by giving them the time and the tools to fully process the information they’ve learned before attempting to apply it. That said, we strongly believe that the current standard of online CE learning is a bar set low and offers us ripe opportunities to redefine current best practices. Our own Aaron Massecar, Assistant Director of CE, is both passionate and skilled in the arena of optimized online learning and seeks to make the Translational Medicine Institute the global leader in impactful online learning for the medical professions. Our small core CE team will certainly need to grow before our bold visions are fully realized and we can hardly wait to bring you along with us in that journey!

We get it, COVID has last far long than any of us would have hoped. We working hard to split many of our scheduled 2021 courses into an online portion that you can take now and onsite / hands-on portion that you can take when you are ready to travel again. Please use this Holiday200 code good for $200 off for any in-person course over veterinary CE course registration in 2021 through our new state-of-the-future CE facilities within the CSU Translational Medicine Institute

While there is so much I’d love to share in this introductory message, let me leave you with this…we are inspired by our legacy, in awe of our present and excited about our future. I’d love to hear more about what inspires you. The door is always open for you so please come visit us!

Ross H. Palmer
Associate Director, Continuing Education
Translational Medicine Institute