About PennHIP Training Courses
The PennHIP technology for canine hip evaluation has been developed and refined since 1983 at the University of Pennsylvania. The training of veterinarians to understand and perform the procedure is an integral part of PennHIP. The following information explains PennHIP training and certification requirements.
The PennHIP technique is a medical diagnostic/screening procedure. Therefore, training courses are offered only to veterinarians and qualified technical personnel. Technical personnel must be accompanied by a veterinarian in order to attend the course.
Like all diagnostic procedures, good technique and consistency are critical to obtaining accurate results. The PennHIP method of canine hip evaluation depends on a particular position of the patient to obtain diagnostic radiographs. In general, each PennHIP evaluation consists of three separate radiographs, one of which involves the use of a special distractor to ensure that optimal joint laxity is induced. The positioning technique is not difficult but does require an understanding of the biomechanical principles involved and practice to ensure that your technique is correct and consistent. An appreciation of the science involved is also helpful to explain the rationale and benefits of the procedure to clients.
What is Involved in Training?
PennHIP training consists of 7 hours of lecture and demonstration (morning and afternoon) covering the current understanding of canine hip dysplasia with specific emphasis on the science to support the PennHIP radiographic procedure. The course is taught by Dr. Gail Smith and his colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Ample opportunity will be provided for hands-on practice of the technique through the use of bone and simulated mechanical models. Lectures will address multiple aspects of CHD and the research and scientific principles that led to the development of the PennHIP method. In addition, there will be presentations on population genetics, heritability of passive hip laxity and CHD, and a discussion of the statistical analysis and the PennHIP database.
Technicians are welcome to accompany a veterinarian, for a reduced fee.
All travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of the attendee.
After attending the training seminar, veterinarians must return to their practices and perform the PennHIP procedure on 5 dogs. There must be 5 radiograph exposures of each dog, for a total of 25 radiographs. It is not necessary that these 5 dogs be owned by clients requesting an evaluation. Evaluation of personal or staff dogs is encouraged. The radiographs are submitted to the PennHIP Analysis Center for evaluation. The purpose of this requirement is to demonstrate proficiency and consistency in patient positioning and radiographic technique. Certification status is granted upon successful fulfillment of this requirement. Note that patient films cannot be submitted to PennHIP for evaluation prior to completion of certification.
Anyone who has successfully completed certification requirements, is referred to as a PennHIP Member. To learn more about membership, please visit the Members & Veterinarians section.