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 December 1, 2023.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Where can I find a Word or PDF version of the application?
Once I reach the online application platform, where do I go next?
What are the program requirements for approval?
When can I submit an online application?
What Fellowship programs will be offered?
Are both universities and private practices eligible to submit Fellowship program applications and subsequent training?
Will the sponsoring institution be required to provide financial compensation to the incoming Fellow Candidate?
Will prospective Fellows (Fellow Candidates) be expected to take time away from their practice to complete the fellowship, or will fellowships be designed to work alongside those in clinical practice?
How long are Fellowship programs required to be?
Are there limitations to what Fellowship programs can offer as it relates to other specialty medicine colleges’ educational content? For example, the college of Nephrology/Urology now exists; can there also be Fellowship on the same topics?
Once a program is approved, will there be ongoing oversight or a need to be re-approved at some point?
Will fellowship programs be allowed to provide virtual/remote capabilities?
Who is eligible to participate in Fellowships?
I am board-certified from another specialty veterinary college (RSVO), am I eligible to enter into a an ACVIM Fellowship program?
Is there a standard that programs must adhere to regarding humane treatment of animals?
Are combined Residency and Fellowship programs allowed?
Is there a VIRMP match option for Fellowships similar to how residencies and internships?
Are there opportunities to have past Fellowships retroactively approved?
Will the Fellowship programs essentially replace things such as the Neurosurgery Certificate?
Do the Program Directors of the Fellowships automatically receive the title of Fellow? If so, are there set qualifications to receive this distinction?
I have been accepted into an approved ACVIM Fellowship Program, do I need to register similar to what I did prior to my residency?
Are there plans to eventually have examinations to culminate the fellowship, similar to current ACVIM residencies?
Will there be additional mandatory Maintenance of Credentials (MOC) for Fellows that go beyond those for current Diplomates?
Who do I reach out to if I have more questions?