American College of Veterinary Dermatology
(Recognized by the AVMA in 1982)
Formerly Specialty of Dermatology - American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Mrs. Alexis Borich, Executive Secretary

* The information below is provided by the AVMA and is general information only and may not reflect the current program requirements. Active residents and mentors should refer to the credentials, education and examination pages of the website for specific information.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objectives of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) shall be to advance veterinary dermatology and increase the competency of those who practice in this field by:

1. Establishing guidelines for post-doctoral education and experience prerequisite to certification in the specialty of veterinary dermatology.

2. Examining and certifying veterinarians as specialists in veterinary dermatology to serve the public by providing expert care for animals with dermatologic disease.

3. Encouraging research and other contributions to knowledge relating to pathogenesis, diagnosis, therapy, prevention and control of diseases directly or indirectly affecting the skin of all animals, and promoting communication and dissemination of this knowledge.


1. The candidate shall have served a minimum of a one-year internship in a veterinary college, or other institution, or have otherwise obtained appropriate clinical experience through a practice equivalency.

2. The candidate shall have a minimum of three years of educational experience in the discipline of dermatology after completing the one-year internship or equivalency.


An applicant for a residency must have the same general qualifications as required of Diplomates, namely:

A. Be a graduate of a veterinary school or college.

B. Have satisfactory moral and ethical standing.

C. Be approved to practice veterinary medicine in a state or province of the USA or Canada.

D. Foreign applicants should have an equivalent license to practice in the country of citizenship.

E. Be a member of the AVMA or an equivalent national veterinary medical association.

F. Have completed a one-year internship or practice equivalency.


The ACVD Education Committee is tasked with oversight of all residency training programs. All residency programs are to be under the direct supervision of a Diplomate of the ACVD, a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Dermatology (ECVD), or a Fellow of the Dermatology Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (DCANZCVS). This individual is hereafter referred to as the primary mentor. College members are not required to act as primary mentors, as this commitment is voluntary. Diplomates of other dermatology specialty colleges can serve as co-mentors in the residency program.


1. All residency programs are to be approved by the Education Committee of the ACVD before the training begins. Any training obtained prior to the approval date is not acceptable.

2. The residency program must be documented completely before it is submitted for approval. Any individual, institution, or organization supervising a part of the residency must supply a written acceptance of their commitment, a description of their part of the program and the dates of the training period. All residency training programs begin on July 15th of the approved year. The primary mentor is to receive this information and include it in the program description. Diplomates of the ACVD may find instructions on applying for a residency under the Mentors page of the Secure Access section of the ACVD website. Diplomates of other colleges can contact the Executive Secretary of the ACVD for application instructions.

3. After the program is accepted, the primary mentor must submit yearly benchmark reports. All individuals who are participating in the training of the resident should document the resident''s performance and forward this material to the primary mentor for inclusion in the yearly report.

4. If the training program does not develop as it was described in the initial application or if the resident''s performance becomes unsatisfactory, the primary mentor must notify the Education Committee immediately. The Committee has the authority to withdraw approval of the program permanently or temporarily until appropriate modifications can be made. The decision of the Education Committee can be appealed by notice to the ACVD President within 30 days.

5. At the end of the training period, the primary mentor must notify the Education Committee that the training has been satisfactorily completed. Appropriate documentation should be forwarded to the Committee for its review. Once the Committee has approved the training, the resident can submit his credentials application packet for certification provided that all other qualifications are met.

6. Approval of the training of an individual does not guarantee the acceptance of the application to take the certifying examination since all other aspects of the credentials process must also be completed satisfactorily.


1. A residency program is designed to train the resident in all aspects of veterinary dermatology. All appropriate study areas such as basic dermatology, histopathology, comparative dermatology, and clinical dermatology should be included.

2. Residency programs must include clinical training periods under the direct supervision of a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. The primary mentor of the program may perform all or part of this clinical training. If the clinical training is to be done under multiple individuals, all other co-mentors should be listed on the program.

3. At the completion of training, the candidate shall submit electronic copies of the complete application packet to the Credentials Committee. Each packet shall contain:

  • Completed, application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter from the Education Committee confirming satisfactory completion of the program
  • Letters confirming submission and acceptance of publication(s). One is required. The candidate must be the first author. The paper must be submitted and accepted for publication in a referred journal. The article must be an original or retrospective study based on work done during the candidate's residency. Review articles are not acceptable.
  • Copy of letter of successful completion of case report from the Credentials committee.
  • Copy of the presented abstract
  • Letters of completion from mentor
  • Check list for credentials packet

4. To receive Diplomate status, the candidate must pass the certifying examination given by the College.

5. The candidate shall submit the examination fee with the application. The fee is determined annually; presently $3,200. The fee deadline is June 1st.

6. General inquiries should be directed to the Executive Secretary. Prospective candidates should consult the ACVD website and current JAVMA listings regarding forthcoming examination dates. Applications must be received by the Credentials Committee by June 1st for consideration for that year's examination.



The certifying examination is designed to test the candidate's broad and specific knowledge of skin and skin disorders (cellular and subcellular, microscopic and macroscopic, physiologic and pathologic, etiologic, and clinical). The examination is given annually (pending qualified candidates) at a time and location acceptable to the Examination Committee and the College, and only for those candidates approved by the Credentials Committee. The examination covers all phases of dermatology, as well as aspects of internal medicine related to the practice of dermatology, and is weighted approximately as follows in the chart below: 

Knowledge domain
Percent weight
Atopy and Hypersensitivity
Infectious Diseases
Structure, Function, and Disorders of Epidermis, Dermis, and Adnexa
Immune Function and Immune-Mediated Diseases
Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, and Oncology
Nutritional and Environmental/Traumatic Disoders
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