January Message from the President

Jan 16, 2024, 09:53 AM by Sarah Gillings

Message from the president

Hello fellow Diplomates,

Happy New Year! I am honored to introduce myself as the new President of the ACVIM and am very thankful for the opportunity to represent you this year.

Before diving into a preview of our planned work for this year, I’d like to start by recognizing my fellow Board members members who are also beginning their terms in 2024:

  • Dr. Henry W. Green: ACVIM President-Elect
  • Dr. Joshua Stern, Cardiology President
  • Dr Sandy Taylor: LAIM President
  • Dr. Sheila Carrera-Justiz, Neurology President
  • Dr. Brent Credille, Member At-Large
  • Dr. Tracy Hill, Member At-Large

Welcome, all! I am eager to work with you in the months ahead.


I am pleased to share with you highlights of the priorities we will be focusing on throughout 2024.

  • Optimizing the residency training experience for all members of the educational team. This priority encompasses three lanes of work:

    1. A comprehensive overview of training program requirements. We will make more incremental changes for the 2024 program year, but the large-scale redesign will be effective for 2025.

    2. The implementation of an annual program evaluation process comprised of mentor surveys and resident exit interviews. Information from these activities, along with exam pass rates and other metrics, will populate a dashboard that will be shared with all program leaders.

    3. Ongoing conversations with the AVMA and other specialty colleges about the growing interest in third-party residency training oversight, similar to the role played by the ACGME in human medicine.

  • Strengthen the coalition of veterinary specialty colleges and affiliated organizations. The ACVIM has been a leader in assembling an informal network of other veterinary specialty colleges, now called the Veterinary Specialist Coalition. The VSC meets monthly to discuss areas of shared concern, which include building awareness of the value of specialty veterinary medicine and developing competencies for the profession.

  • Define and explore mechanisms to engage and provide professional development for paraprofessionals, particularly veterinary specialty technicians, in areas of our shared missions and interests. We will explore how to support the technician community, with the goal of helping our members provide quality care.

  • Expand the portfolio of educational offerings of interest to ACVIM members and Candidates. While everyone is familiar with the ACVIM Forum and ACE, we also are involved in other educational offerings and are looking to grow that portfolio through partnerships or other support mechanisms.

  • Modernize ACVIM technology platforms, including the Candidate and program tracking platform, learning management system, and central member database. We have fallen behind in deploying the growing number of technological innovations now available in the marketplace and are making significant investments this year to upgrade these systems.

  • Define and implement an ACVIM Endorsed Statement Program. The current Consensus Statement Program is being expanded to include three different types of statements: Consensus Statements, Systematic Reviews, and Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines. This work is being guided by the Education and Research Committee (ERC) and is being trialed by a current panel this year, to inform a launch in 2025.

  • Continue to promote the unique value of veterinary specialists to animal owners and DVMs. is the most widely known tactic in our strategy to promote the value of veterinary specialists. We are building on the success of that tactic by working with members of the earlier mentioned VSC to create resources that all colleges can use to promote specialists.

In addition to this work, this year presents exciting opportunities for connection in our college, namely the 2024 ACVIM Forum in Minneapolis, Minnesota in June. This will again be a hybrid conference, allowing those unable to join us in person to attend virtually from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the 2024 schedule of virtual town halls is now published, so you can mark your calendars and plan to tune in to provide your input on various issues and topics throughout the year.

My sincerest thanks for your trust and support as we embark on this new year together. Here’s to a 2024 filled with growth, collaboration, and progress for the ACVIM!


Sarah Gillings, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology)
ACVIM President

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