The ACVIM Fellowship Program

Fostering the professional development of veterinary clinicians looking to achieve a level of expertise and mastery in a narrower field

The new ACVIM Fellowship Program enables the ACVIM to approve programs (not individuals) that meet a set of established criteria, allowing Diplomates to gain distinction by using the title “ACVIM Fellow" upon completion of an approved program. The expertise gained in approved fellowship programs gives Diplomates the opportunity to provide a leadership role in matters pertaining to their disciplines to further knowledge in the field and apply that knowledge to patients.

The deadline to apply is September 1, 2024.

 Approved Fellowship Programs


The ACVIM Fellowship Program was approved by the Board of Regents in 2023 based on work done by the Fellowship Task Force comprised of representatives from all ACVIM specialties. As part of the Task Force’s work, the ACVIM leadership collaborated with leaders of other specialty colleges and leaders from the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) to ensure alignment with similar programs and forthcoming ABVS guidelines. This development marks a new era of excellence in the ACVIM community.


Fellowships have been helpful in both human and veterinary specialized medicine, where like-minded specialists create a formal means to advance the science of a focused area of study, providing learning opportunities beyond what residencies may provide. Knowledge and skills can be passed on from mentors to trainees in a narrowed and more in-depth aspect of the specialty. Fellowships may also provide a conduit for inter-specialty collaboration and learning that residencies may not provide. It is anticipated that fellowships will include a period of intensive applied training that should prepare its enrollees to successfully interact with other disciplines and to provide a leadership role in the area of study. It is expected that most graduates of fellowship training programs will devote a major portion of their professional effort to their fellowship discipline.

Program details: 
  • ACVIM approves programs (not individuals) who meet the established criteria. 
  • ACVIM Diplomates will register with the ACVIM.
  • The ACVIM will review applications from programs at least twice per year, with specific deadlines defined that allow time for the ACVIM Fellowship Committee to review the program plan and render a decision. Requests for consideration of program applications outside the published deadlines may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • The applications will be open in September and January each calendar year.
What does this mean for ACVIM Diplomates?
  • ACVIM Diplomates who complete an ACVIM Fellowship may use the title “ACVIM Fellow (e.g., Gastroenterology)"
  • ACVIM Diplomates may also use the postnominal FACVIM, followed in parentheses by the chosen field. Ex: FACVIM (Gastroenterology)
    • This allows recognition of that individual’s completion of such a program which has been approved by ACVIM.
    • It allows the public to understand their level of expertise, much like fellows in human medicine are recognized.
  • To earn the title "Fellow (chosen field)" the individual must first achieve Diplomate status with the ACVIM. An individual cannot become an ACVIM Fellow until they are Board-certified by the ACVIM. 
  • Individuals that complete an Approved Program that are Diplomates of another RVSO or an international specialty organization cannot use this postnominal designation to avoid confusion as to the level of training/achievement in an ACVIM specialty.
  1. Gain distinction – Fellows who complete the criteria of an ACVIM Fellowship Program will be set apart as experts in a specific area of study. Animal owners looking for specialized care will know that additional training criteria has been achieved making the Fellow an elite expert. 
  2. Attract top quality trainees – By providing specific training programs unique to a specialized area of study, it gives the facility a prestigious status in the profession.
  3. Advance the science of veterinary special medicine – The ACVIM Fellowship programs not just about individual growth; it’s about contributing to the global advancement of veterinary medicine. Fellows will be empowered to shape the future of veterinary medicine.

Fellowship Program FAQs

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