October 31, 2023
ACVS Chief Executive Officer Ann Loew reflected on this year’s efforts to bring the 2022-2027 strategic plan to life during her address to College membership at the 2023 ACVS Surgery Summit. The College is pleased to recap some of her remarks about the progress made in each of the plan’s four strategic objectives.
Focus on Excellence in Continuing Education
To drive improvements in the quality of and access to training for Diplomates and residents, this year, Loew explained, ACVS launched a new Digital Learning platform (learn.acvs.org). “The platform enhances access, users’ customized experience, efficiency with claiming continuing education credits, and more.”
Loew also reported on the results of the continuing education (CE) needs assessment sent to Diplomates and residents. “The assessment had a strong response rate,” Loew said, “and revealed valuable insights for the CE Committee to harness. For example, respondents indicated they want hybrid laboratories and shorter webinars. The committee moved swiftly to request hybrid laboratories in the recent 2024 call for laboratories and identify webinars that can be delivered in shorter sessions in the 2024 webinar series.”
What’s ahead in 2024? ACVS will address other key findings from the CE needs assessment.
Update Training and Certification
Residents and their training programs have been, are, and will continue to be top ACVS priorities.
To improve support for both, ACVS launched additional components of CERT, ACVS’s certification record tracker. The system now integrates residency program registration; resident registration and requirements tracking; credentials application; examination registration and outcomes; and maintenance of certification activities tracking.
To establish resident competencies as part of certification, Loew told Diplomates, “A working group is exploring options for creating a competency framework, and another working group will propose resident protection and well-being guidelines.”
What’s ahead in 2024? The certification team will continue to refine CERT, and the working groups will present recommendations to the Board of Regents.
Cultivate an Engaged Community
Diplomate engagement is at the core of ACVS’s success, and the College applauds Diplomates’ desire and willingness to volunteer their time—time that becomes increasingly harder to find. Loew outlined the steps ACVS has taken in response to this time crunch. “We’ve reduced the number of in-person meetings that committees require; we are providing additional support for volunteers who incur costs to participate; and we are identifying opportunities for shorter volunteer requirements.
“We are also preparing to launch a comprehensive member needs assessment in 2024. The assessment will provide definition to ACVS’s value proposition and reveal what member benefits Diplomates along all stages of the career arc need and want from ACVS.”
Loew reported that the demographic study of the College by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was published in JAVMA. The findings show that many respondents consider DEI to be an important initiative to promote in the College. Members can access the article via the Diplomate Hub on the ACVS website.
What’s ahead in 2024? ACVS will continue to identify shorter-term volunteer opportunities for Diplomates and field the member needs assessment.
ACVS is strongly committed to improving communication with ACVS members and related stakeholders.
A major effort in this direction this summer was the launch of the redesigned website. “Users of the site will find revised Animal Health Topics, a visual depiction of the certification process, and the ACVS Collaborative Relationship Communication Tool, and much more.”
Loew also commented on the upcoming effort to rebrand ACVS. “The College’s membership, residents, and animal-owner following have grown, evolved, and become more diverse. We look forward to developing a brand that reflects these changes and ensures ACVS’s relevance and accessibility to all stakeholders.”
Loew assured annual business meeting attendees that ACVS will update Diplomates on further strategic plan developments. “We are here for you, we are committed to you, and we will continue to be successful because of you.”
What’s ahead in 2024? Continuous refreshing of the ACVS website and initiation of the rebranding effort.