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Phase II Examination

2020 Phase II Surgical Competency Examination

February 3-4, 2020
Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego, California

Examination Registration

  • opens: September 16, 2019 -
    Residents who submitted credentials in 2019 will not be able to register for the examination until after your credentials have been accepeted.
  • deadline: November 18, 2019


To be eligible to sit for the Phase II examination, candidates must have successfully completed all resident training requirements, passed the Phase I examination, and have had their credentials application approved by the ACVS Board of Regents.

Candidates who are transitioning from the traditional Certification Examination should refer to the Information Pamphlet for full policies.

Examination Schedule




Sunday, February 2


Examination Orientation Session (mandatory)

Monday, February 3


Small Animal Practical – Parts 1 and 2



Large Animal Practical – Parts 1 and 2

Tuesday, February 4


Small Animal Case-based – Orthopedic/Neurosurgery and Soft Tissue



Large Animal Case-based – Orthopedic/Neurosurgery and Soft Tissue

Examination Materials

  • 2020 Phase II Examination Information Pamphlet - The Information Pamphlet includes examination rules and security policies, details on the format of the examination, the schedule, and a suggested reading list.
  • 2020 Phase II Reading List
    • Large Animal list changes:
      • Equine Surgery has been updated to the latest version (Auer and Stick, 5th Edition, 2018)
      • American Journal of Veterinary Research has been removed from the list.
      • Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound has been added to the list.
    • Small Animal list changes:
      • Small Animal Endoscopy has been removed from the list.
      • American Journal of Veterinary Research has been removed from the list.
      • Compendium has been removed from the list.
  • Sample Questions 
  • Tips for Taking the ACVS Examinations


Registering for the examination consists of submitting the online application and paying the examination fee.

  • Deadline: November 18, 2019

    • Submit your application and online examination fee payment no later than 11:59pm EST, November 18, 2019. Mailed examination fee payments must arrive by close of business (5pm Eastern time) on November1 18, 2019, at the ACVS office.
  • Submit the Online Registration Application at www.acvs.org/apply

    • Online registration opens September 16 for eligible candidates. The application includes identification, requests for accommodations, if applicable, and signing the Phase II contract.
  • Pay the Examination Fee

    • First time candidate fee = $1,695
    • Repeat candidate / dual certification candidate fee = $1,210

Hotel Information

Bahia Resort Hotel
998 West Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: 800-576-4229 (toll-free) or 858-488-0551

Make your hotel room reservation by January 2, 2020, to receive the ACVS discounted rate of $179 per night. There are a limited number of discounted rooms available for ACVS examination candidates. When making your reservation, identify yourself as an ACVS 2020 Conference attendee. If you are sharing a room, be sure that both names are on the reservation.


In the event that a candidate needs to cancel their examination registration, the candidate must contact ACVS. Refer to the Information Pamphlet for refund policies.


Common questions are answered in the Examination FAQ. Address other questions about the Phase I Examination to Jeff Melia (jmelia@acvs.org, 301-916-0200, x102)

Maintenance of Certification

Individuals who have passed the Phase II examination and are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2016 or later are subject to time-limited certification and must undergo mandatory maintenance of certification (MOC). Activities acceptable for maintaining certification should result in the acquisition of new knowledge by the Diplomate, such as attending or presenting at continuing education meetings, publishing manuscripts, serving on ACVS committees, and participating in resident training.  View the ACVS Diplomate Maintenance of Certification Policies and Procedures.