Veterinary Specialty Organizations Committee


The Veterinary Specialty Organizations Committee serves in an advisory role to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) and works to advance specialization in veterinary medicine. In these roles, the VSOC has the following charge:

  • Elect VSOC members to serve on the ABVS in the roles designated for representatives of RVSOs. The ABVS representatives should reflect the broad diversity of the VSOC member organizations.
  • Receive from, and provide to, the ABVS information regarding best practices for RVSOs and RVSs in credentialing, examination, certification, and MOC.
  • Provide input to ABVS on standards for recognition of new and current RVSOs and RVSs.
  • Provide advice and assistance to those groups expressing an interest in the establishment and recognition of a new veterinary specialty organization.
  • Provide commentary to the ABVS regarding new organizations interested in pursuing AVMA-recognition.
  • Be advisory to the AVMA Board of Directors in matters related to specialized veterinary medicine including rotating internships, specialty internships, residencies, and specialty fellowships.
  • Promote education of the public in regards to veterinary specialization.
  • Promote advocacy efforts toward state veterinary medical boards concerning the use of the term “specialist” and similar aligned terminology as well as advocate for the status of veterinary specialists with federal and state agencies.
  • Promote information sharing and collaborative efforts between RVSOs.
  • Facilitate information sharing with international entities performing accreditation/recognition of veterinary specialty organizations.

Membership, representation, and method of appointment

The voting membership of the committee will consist of one representative (must be an AVMA member) appointed by each AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization (RVSO). Terms shall be for four years and can be renewed for successive terms as determined by individual RVSOs. Each recognized-veterinary specialty (RVS) within those RVSOs will be permitted to have one non-voting member who may attend, or participate via electronic means, during all meetings. A liaison from the AVMA Board of Directors will attend VSOC meetings as a non-voting member. A liaison from the AAVMC will attend VSOC as a non-voting member.


The VSOC shall elect a chair-elect and a member-at-large from among its members. The chair-elect shall assume the position of chair in the subsequent year. The chair, chair-elect, member-at-large, and immediate past chair will comprise the executive committee.


The VSOC will convene one annual in-person, one-day meeting per year at the AVMA headquarters, immediately preceding the ABVS meeting, and may conduct business electronically throughout the year.


Except for the AVMA BOD liaison, the AVMA will pay for up to two nights hotel and one day of meals for each voting VSOC member and the AAVMC liaison. All other travel expenses for the in-person meeting shall be borne by the representative organizations. The AVMA will pay all travel expenses of the AVMA BOD liaison. The AVMA shall provide staff support to this entity, and provide a suitable space to conduct an annual meeting.


The committee will be advisory to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties. VSOC will provide an annual report to ABVS regarding relevant VSOC activities.

Reports to other entities—The VSOC may, through the VSOC chair, send memos, recommendations (unrelated to recognition of specific organizations), or requests to other AVMA entities including the AVMA Board of Directors.

Life expectancy

The committee will be reviewed in compliance with AVMA governance policies.