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Fellowship Programs

The ACVS recognizes that many of its members have achieved, or may wish to achieve, a level of expertise in a specific field (e.g., Minimally Invasive Surgery, Surgical Oncology). This expertise allows ACVS Diplomates to interact with other surgeons, related non-surgical experts and the lay community in such a way as to provide a leadership role in matters pertaining to surgery in their focused field.

In order to fulfill this membership need, ACVS established ACVS Fellowship Programs. Fellows of these programs have or would have specific expertise and knowledge in their specialized disciplines beyond what can be mastered within a 3-year ACVS veterinary surgery residency program. Individuals participating in fellowship programs must have completed all requirements of an ACVS veterinary surgery residency and have had their credentials approved by the ACVS. The title of ACVS Fellow in the specific field is not conferred until achieving ACVS Diplomate status. The ACVS recognizes this discipline-specific expertise within its own ranks and wishes to formally acknowledge this achievement, as well as provide assistance in formalizing training programs. The ACVS Fellowship Programs serve to develop highly skilled surgeons who, in turn, will become recognized experts in a specific surgical field.

Additional information on ACVS Fellowship Programs 

Application guidelines to establish an ACVS Fellowship Program

ACVS Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery

A Founding Fellow in Minimally Invasive Surgery is an ACVS Diplomate who has obtained additional training and experience in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) beyond ACVS surgery residency training and devotes a major portion of his or her professional effort to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients undergoing MIS therapies and to research in the field of MIS. Surgeons applying for Founding Fellow status should be able to demonstrate high level proficiency in performing MIS procedures and managing comprehensive care, including preoperative and postoperative care and management of morbidity related to the procedures. Founding Fellow status may be achieved in the following disciplines:

  • Small Animal Soft Tissue (laparoscopy and thoracoscopy)
  • Large Animal Soft Tissue (laparoscopy and thoracoscopy)
  • Small Animal Orthopedics (arthroscopy and fracture repair)
  • Large Animal Orthopedics (arthroscopy, tenoscopy, bursoscopy and fracture repair) 

ACVS Diplomates who want to apply for Founding Fellow status must have completed these requirements by the time they submit their application:

  1. A minimum of five years of ACVS Diplomate status.
  2. A minimum of three years of experience in minimally invasive surgery, beyond what was attained during surgery residency training.
  3. A minimum of three scientific publications as a primary or corresponding author related to surgical laparoscopy and thoracoscopy or arthroscopy or minimally invasive fracture fixation. Review articles or articles in Compendium or Veterinary Clinics, case series with less than six cases, or single case reports do not qualify unless they describe a new technique.
  4. Have presented a minimum of five abstracts on MIS at the ACVS Symposium/Surgery Summit, ECVS Annual Meeting, or equivalent national or international meetings, including:
  • Veterinary Endoscopy Society for soft tissue surgery (laparoscopy and thoracoscopy)
  • Veterinary Orthopedic Society
  • European Society of Veterinary Orthopaedics and Traumatology for orthopedics (arthroscopy and minimally invasive fracture fixation)

Applications will be accepted during the open call period, October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017. View the procedure for applying (updated 2.8.17) for Founding Fellow in Minimally Invasive Surgery status. Application fees can be submitted online at www.acvs.org/fees or by sending the Founding Fellow Application Fee payment form to the ACVS office by mail of fax. 

During the current open call period, ACVS Board of Regents have approved 15 Diplomates for Founding Fellows in Minimally Invasive Surgery. View list of Founding Fellows in Minimally Invasive Surgery.

For questions about the application process or about the fellowship program, contact the ACVS office (acvs@acvs.org) or Dr. Cheryl Hedlund (chedlund@iastate.edu), Chair of the Fellowship Committee.

ACVS Fellowship in Surgical Oncology

Current ACVS Fellowship Training Programs in Veterinary Surgical Oncology

As of September 2016, Surgical Oncology programs are in place at Colorado State University, The Ohio State University, University of Florida, and the University of Illinois.  If you are interested in applying for a position in an ACVS Fellowship Program in Surgical Oncology, please contact Dr. Nicole Ehrhart, Chair of the Surgical Oncology Fellowship Committee, (nehrhart@lamar.colostate.edu).

Establishing an ACVS Fellowship in Surgical Oncology Program

Diplomates can become an ACVS Fellow in Surgical Oncology by completing a 52-week fellowship training program at an institution that has an active program. The ability to meet the requirements set forth in the Minimum Standards for ACVS Fellowship Training Program in Veterinary Surgical Oncology must be in place when a Fellow Candidate begins their training.

Both the Fellow Candidate and training institution must read and understand the Minimum Standards for ACVS Fellowship Training Program in Veterinary Surgical Oncology. Fellow Candidates must register with ACVS 60 days prior to the start of the Fellowship Training Program. Download Fellowship Training registration materials.

ACVS Diplomates interested in establishing a Fellowship Program in Surgical Oncology at their institution are encouraged to contact the ACVS office (acvs@acvs.org) or Dr. Nicole Ehrhart (nehrhart@lamar.colostate.edu), Chair of the Surgical Oncology Fellowship Oversight Committee.

Founding Fellows and Fellows in Surgical Oncology 

These well-qualified ACVS Diplomates obtained additional training and experience in the multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients beyond ACVS surgery residency training, and devote a major portion of his or her professional practice to these activities and/or cancer research. 

In 2012, the ACVS Board of Regents approved 36 Diplomates as ACVS Founding Fellows in Surgical Oncology after a 16-month “Open Call” application period. View list of ACVS Founding Fellows and Fellows in Surgical Oncology.



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