Comments invited on proposed sports medicine and rehabilitation specialty

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The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties has received a petition for recognition of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation as a new "recognized veterinary specialty organization." In compliance with ABVS procedures, the ABVS is now seeking comment from the public and the profession regarding the proposed new specialty organization.

The organizing committee of the proposed American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation submitted a letter of intent to the ABVS in 2003 and a formal petition for recognition of the specialty organization to the ABVS Committee on the Development of New Specialties in November 2008. The development committee determined the petition fulfilled minimal requirements.

The ACVMSR organizing committee has indicated the new specialty organization would meet the unique needs of athletic and working animals to optimize performance, treat injury and disease, and provide rehabilitation after injury. The organizing committee has said the growth of animal participation in sports and service activities, coupled with recognition of the benefits of rehabilitation, are substantial enough to warrant formation of a new specialty certification program and recognition of a new veterinary specialty organization.

The petition estimates 30 veterinarians are currently involved in graduate or residency programs with a sports medicine or rehabilitation focus.

Twenty veterinary specialty organizations are currently recognized by the AVMA ( All AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures Manual, which are available online at Refer to those guidelines when developing comments regarding the proposed new American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation specialty organization.

The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is the first organization to petition to become a stand-alone specialty organization and to have its petition distributed for public comment since the early 1990s, when the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists sought initial recognition. The ABVS reviews petitions and forwards recommendations regarding recognition to the Council on Education, which if in agreement, forwards any ABVS recommendations to the AVMA Executive Board.

Comments must be signed and received no later than Nov. 1, 2009, by David Banasiak, AVMA Education and Research Division, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360, or via e-mail at dbanasiakatavma [dot] org (dbanasiak[at]avma[dot]org). Questions regarding the recognition guidelines or the proposed new specialty may be directed to Banasiak via e-mail or by phone, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6677.