The ACVS Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination has been canceled. Please check the Phase I exam page for more details.


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Residency Standards and Requirements

Surgery residents must complete the requirements as outlined in the ACVS Residency Training Standards and Requirements in effect at the start of their residency.  Residency Forms must be submitted to ACVS at the start of training, for changes in Program Director or Resident Advisor, and upon transfer to a new program.

2019-2020 Residency Training Standards and Requirements

Residency Training Standards and Requirements (July 2019-June 2020)

Summary of changes in 2019 - 2020 Residency Training Standards and Requirements

  • Availability of ACVIM (Internal Medicine) specialist more fully defined.
  • Availability of additional allied specialists more fully defined for large animal and small animal programs.
  • Deadline for programs to meet revised allied specialty Diplomate requirements clarified.
  • Supervision of educational events to include Diplomates of other AVMA-recognized veterinary specialties.
  • Large Animal Curricula: Angular Limb Deformities has been removed as a category.
  • Small Animal Curricula: Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy cases to be recorded separately from other MIS cases
  • Semi-Annual Review requirements for Phase I examination eligibility have been further clarified.

2018-2019 Residency Training Standards and Requirements

ACVS Residency Training Standards and Requirements – July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 (amended November 2018) – All residents beginning programs between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 must follow these requirements. 

Note: The 2018 Standards were first published in May 2017. In November 2018 the ACVS Board of Regents approved the creation of a new category to track the existing three joint replacement requirement for small animal residents. The 2018 Residency Training Standards and Requirements have been amended to reflect this change.  Residents with joint replacement procedures already logged in a different category should contact for assistance with reclassifying these cases.

Previously amended version published in May 2018 to add policies regarding supervision by ECVS Diplomates.

Summary of changes in 2018

  • No application fee is required to submit a registration application.
  • Requirement for flexible endoscope has been redefined for large animal programs.
  • Recommended additional imaging equipment for large animal programs now includes fluoroscopy.
  • Impact of program probation and suspension on all residents in training has been clarified.
  • Requirement that residents track location on activity weeks has been highlighted.
  • Policies regarding Mass removal and wound repair have been updated.
  • ACVP Diplomate Supervision for required pathology cases has been highlighted.
  • Semi-Annual Review requirements for Phase I examination eligibility have been clarified.
  • ECVS Diplomate supervision of surgery weeks defined and allowed limit established.
  • Limitation on direct supervision of cases by ECVS Diplomates defined.

Prior Years' Residency Training Standards and Requirements / Residency Program Guidelines

For a summary of changes by year, see the Prior Years' Standards and Guidelines page.