Arrangements for the 2022/23 ACVO Basic Science Course (BSC) are moving ahead rapidly. It remains our hope to host the BSC in person at the University of California-Davis (UCD) from June 21-July 8, 2022.

The University has very strict vaccine, masking, and Covid testing requirements, and has been safely holding in-person classes within the Vet School for about 1 year now. For more information, see the UCD Covid Dashboard. We will have strict compliance requirements in place for the BSC, while remaining ready to pivot to an online format if required.

New alternating annual BSC format. It is clear that the two online courses in 2020 and 2021 were remarkably popular with certain registrants, and it was heart-warming to see how it permitted inclusiveness that is not always possible with the in-person course. But there is also enthusiasm from many speakers, mentors, and attendees who wish to maintain access to the labs and the lifelong camaraderie possible through attendance at the traditional in-person course. Therefore, in 2022 (pandemic regulations permitting) the BSC will be in-person at the University of California-Davis using the traditional 3-week residential format. All lectures will be recorded at the in-person course and used (along with live discussion sessions) for an online course in 2023 which will be hosted using the 2020-21 model. The success of this alternating format will be closely monitored before a long-term decision is made to make this change permanent.

We expect that the two course formats will appeal to different groups. The online course will continue to offer 8-week at-will access to recorded lectures and live discussions, as well as virtual social events. The in-person course will be a more intense 3-week residential experience with opportunities for live interactions with the speakers, and attendance at the retinoscopy and cytology labs, as well as in-person social events. In addition, the annual format will permit residents and mentors more flexibility when choosing which year of their training program this basic science education is best received, and which format best suits the attendee’s learning style. Especially appealing, the ACVO will offer discounted registration for those wishing to attend both formats in successive years. This arrangement will permit – for example – a resident to attend the in-person course during the 2nd year of their residency (so as to attend the retinoscopy and cytology labs, and enjoy the international camaraderie the BSC has long been known for), and then to register at a discounted rate for the online course during their 3rd year so as “brush up for boards” using 8 weeks of ad-lib online access to the recorded materials, image recognition sessions (“slide rounds”), and discussion sessions with the speakers.

Please refer to the BSC Website for current details. Registration for the 2022 course will likely open in January

Kind regards
David Maggs and Sara Thomasy

Chairs, Basic Science Planning Committee