Between 1950 and 1965, veterinary specialty boards, under the jurisdiction of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), began to emerge. It was during this period that the need for a veterinary specialty board became apparent to a number of leaders in the field of veterinary surgery. Foremost among this group was Dean Mark Allam of the University of Pennsylvania, who was the motivating force in forming an organizing committee.
This organizing committee consisted of Drs. J. Archibald of Ontario, W. O. Brinker of Michigan, E. A. Churchill of Maryland, R. L. Rudy of Ohio; with J. Jenny of Pennsylvania as Chairman. The objectives of this committee were to draft a constitution and bylaws and certify the credentials of charter members of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).
The organizing committee examined the credentials of numerous veterinarians and accepted 35 as charter members. On December 16, 1965, the College was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois as a nonprofit educational organization.
The first annual meeting of the College was held in Chicago, Illinois on February 4, 1966. The Constitution was adopted and a slate of officers was elected with Dr. Jenny as President and Dean Mark Allam as Chairman of the Board of Regents.
The AVMA granted probationary approval to the ACVS on July 9, 1967, and the first examination of candidates for membership was given in Boston, July, 1968. The ACVS received full approval from the AVMA on June 22, 1970.
ACVS assures improved veterinary medical services are offered to the public by establishing and monitoring veterinary surgical residency programs; maintaining fair and reasonable examination standards; abiding by a policy for humane care and use of animals; promoting and funding surgical research; disseminating new knowledge to Diplomates, residents and practitioners at the annual ACVS Surgery Summit and through the official ACVS journal Veterinary Surgery; and, encouraging the ethical representation of specialty certification status.