An interesting fact about veterinary medicine is that research methods are not limited to just the laboratory, but are used in clinical veterinary practice every day. At least that is the important point that Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of large animal clinical sciences at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), shared with fellow veterinarians and veterinary technicians attending the 2011 Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the 2011 Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention on November 20.

Cohen, an authority in epidemiology and equine infectious disease, has presented numerous lectures nationally and internationally on applying principles of epidemiology, the branch of medical science concerned with the occurrence, transmission, and control of diseases, to specific areas of equine practice, including racing injuries, gastrointestinal disease, evidence-based medicine, and infectious disease.

"When most practitioners think about epidemiology and research, they have the traditional view that epidemiology is about public health and outbreak investigations," said Cohen. "However, using methods from this scientific discipline is something that practitioners strive to do every day in their practice."

Veterinarians use the principles of evidence-based medicine when they determine a particular diagnosis for their client, as well as what an appropriate treatment plan would be. The science foundation behind evidence-based medicine is epidem