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ACVS Residency Requirements Updates

September 1, 2020

The ACVS Board of Regents recently approved clarifications to the Residency Training Standards and Requirements relating to specialty service rotations, as well an update to the eligibility requirements for the Phase I examination. These changes are intended to provide residents and programs with greater flexibility and opportunity. 

For diagnostic imaging rotations, residents are required to complete one full week of training with in-person interaction. The additional second full-week or 40 cumulative hours of training has been expanded to allow this part of the existing requirement to be completed in-person OR by teleconference (online/remote) interaction.

For clinical pathology rotations, the one week or 40 cumulative hours requirement has been expanded allowing it to be fulfilled as in-person OR teleconference interaction. Note: The Anatomic Pathology requirement has not been changed and cannot be completed remotely/online. 

For Specialty Service rotation requirements in diagnostic imaging, clinical pathology, and anatomic pathology being completed as 40 hours, the minimum segment of training is one hour. Any less cannot count to the 40 cumulative hour requirement.

Eligibility for the Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination will now be determined by the registered residency training program. The Program Director and Resident Advisor must attest that the resident is in good standing in their program requisite to taking the Phase I examination. A resident is considered in good standing if they are not on probation or subject to any other form of sanction, suspension, or disciplinary censure. The resident must attest that they have achieved a level of training and study which should enable them to take the Phase I examination. These attestations will be submitted during the Phase I registration process. Verification of eligibility is required each time a resident registers for the Phase I examination while in the residency. Should a resident complete their residency having met all minimum residency requirements and still need to pass the Phase I examination, they may submit an updated form indicating completion of requirements in good standing along with a copy of their Resident Training Log program completion email. This final form will be sufficient to authorize all remaining attempts to pass the Phase I examination. Residents who have not completed their residency and are not currently active must obtain an updated form for each attempt at the Phase I examination. 

These changes apply retroactively to all residents. Updated versions of the Residency Training Standards and Requirements have been posted to the ACVS website reflecting these changes. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Melia at jmelia@acvs.org

Sabrina Brounts, DVM, MS, PhD
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons (Large Animal)
Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Surgeons
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Director, ACVS Resident Credentialing Committee