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About Us

Founded in 1965, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) is the specialty board which sets the standards for advanced professionalism in veterinary surgery. ACVS is the AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization™ for certification of veterinarians in large animal surgery and small animal surgery. The ACVS undergoes a comprehensive evaluation by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS), a committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association, every three years to ensure that we are maintaining the required standards for our certification process.

Following the 2022 certification examination, ACVS includes approximately 2,381 Diplomates. Approximately 70 veterinarians earn their Diplomate credentials every year. More than 65 percent of the ACVS Diplomates operate in private and specialty practices that accept cases on a referral basis from primary care practitioners. The remainder are primarily employed by academic institutions and industry where they teach, conduct research, practice in teaching hospitals, and participate in the development of new products and treatments which improve the quality of veterinary and human health care.

The ACVS defines the standards of surgical excellence for the profession, promotes advancements in veterinary surgery, and provides the latest in surgical educational programs. By fostering the highest standards of excellence in veterinary surgery, the ACVS is helping the veterinary profession achieve its goals of providing outstanding service to the public and care to animals.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

ACVS is committed to and values diversity, equity, and inclusion and embraces the perspectives that it generates.

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons is to advance the art and science of surgery and promote excellence in animal health care through research, education and service to the public.

The Constitution of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons states that the objectives of the College shall be the advancement of the art and science of surgery by:

  • Establishing the standards for post-graduate residency training and education for veterinary surgeons.
  • Acting as the agency by which veterinarians are certified as specialists in surgery.
  • Encouraging and supporting research and the dissemination of the results of these investigations.
  • Offering educational opportunities for Diplomates, other members of the veterinary profession, and the public.
  • Promoting the College as the specialty organization representing excellence in veterinary surgery to the profession and the public.