What is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS)?

The terms "ACVS Diplomate" and “Veterinary Surgeon” refers only to a veterinarian who has been board certified (received a diploma) in veterinary surgery. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements of the ACVS are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and have earned the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery.

Required training to become board certified includes completion of an undergraduate program prior to earning a doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Following completion of the veterinary degree an individual chooses to acquire further training by completing a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery. Individuals that wish to specialize in a very specific area of veterinary medicine may apply for a residency. Surgical residencies are highly competitive and involve three years of intense training in all aspects of surgery. In addition to clinical duties there are requirements for research, publication of articles in veterinary journals, studying of current literature in veterinary surgery, and successful completion of a certifying examination given by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. When all phases of training are satisfactorily completed a veterinarian is allowed to apply to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. This process is supervised by current ACVS Diplomates, ensuring consistency in training and adherence to high standards. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of ACVS Diplomate. As you can see, extensive training is required for a surgeon to be considered competent at what they do best: surgery. For more information about what it means to be a board certified surgeon please visit the
American College of Veterinary Surgeons Website.