ABVS - Residency Programs

July 2014

  1.  Recognized veterinary specialty organizations (RVSOs) requiring residency training for certification eligibility are requested to develop residency program criteria in sufficient detail and according to a standard format to enable a candidate, with the assistance of the training institution, to meet the requirements for certification in that specialty.
  2. A candidate should follow the guidelines of the particular RVSO with which he or she is concerned to develop a program that will fulfill the requirements for certification in that recognized veterinary specialty (RVS). The residency program should identify whether it is in compliance with the training requirements established by the RVSO before the candidate embarks on it.
  3.  Criteria for internship and residency programs should be formatted as follows:

    1. Brief description of the program.

    2. Detailed educational objectives of the program.

    3. Anticipated total time requirements.

    4. Minimum requirements for facilities, equipment, and diagnostic laboratory capabilities.

    5. A synopsis of the number and type of patients or cases that will be required and the emphasis and anticipated (or required) depth of study for each patient.

    6. A synopsis of the level and frequency of interactions between the candidate, board-certified member(s), and others deemed necessary for the program.

    7. Description of assessment methods.
  4. Approval

    Approval of veterinary residency programs is the responsibility of the RVSO. Recognition of veterinary specialty organizations and veterinary specialties is the responsibility of the AVMA.

    The ABVS recommends the following procedures for approval of residencies by RVSOs that have a residency component in their requirements for certification:

    1. The RVSO receives a report of self-evaluation from the residency program. This report will state the objectives of the residency and describe how the program meets those objectives and the standards established by the RVSO.

    2. A residency approval committee appointed by the RVSO (or RVS) will review the self-evaluation report. Each member of the committee reports any deficiencies he or she finds in the report to the chair of the committee.

    3. The chair of the committee will communicate with the dean of the college, or the chief executive officer of any other institution within which the residency program is being conducted, with a copy to the director of the residency, requesting clarification of any items that are unclear and further information on apparent deficiencies.

    4. The committee meets and considers all available information about the residency program, and develops a recommendation for action by the RVSO.

    5. The RVSO approves or disapproves the residency.