The Executive Board has granted the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation provisional recognition as a veterinary specialty organization.
The AVMA Council on Education recommended the board's formal recognition of the organization, a move also supported by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.
The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation had its beginnings in 2003, when the group's organizing committee first submitted a letter of intent to the ABVS to organize as a veterinary specialty organization.
In recent years, pet rehabilitation has become less of a niche service and more of a mainstream treatment option within veterinary medicine.
The ACVSMR organizing committee is currently made up of 27 charter diplomates, according to Dr. Hilary M. Clayton, the McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Given the growing demand for pet rehabilitation, she expects membership will reach 400 in the next few years.
Dr. Clayton, a committee member herself, said the group is eager to move ahead with the organization and implementation of the new specialty. There will be two categories within the college: Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (canine) and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (equine).
"I believe that recognition of ACVSMR will benefit veterinary rehabilitative medicine not only by certifying specialists but also by raising awareness of the value of the physiotherapeutic approach and by stimulating evidence-based research that will provide a framework for effective veterinary rehabilitation protocols," Dr. Clayton said.
The ABVS currently recognizes a total of 21 specialty organizations.