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Dr. Jackie Davidson, clinical professor at Texas A&M College
of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), recently
became one of the first diplomates of the American College of
Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR) through
successful completion of a subject matter examination.
The ACVSMR is the newest veterinary specialty college approved
by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), having been
recognized by the AVMA two years ago. According to the ACVSMR
website, the mission of the college is to advance the art and
science of veterinary medicine "by promoting expertise in the
structural, physiological, medical, and surgical needs of athletic
animals and the restoration of normal form and function after
injury or illness." Diplomates can become specialists in
either canine or equine sports medicine or rehabilitation. Davidson
received her certification in canine.
For a candidate to become a diplomate of the ACVSMR, they must
complete a three-year residency, be published in the field, submit
five case reports, and pass a two-day exam. Since the
specialty is only two years old, there are only a few veterinarians
in residencies now. Davidson, however, was one of the few
individuals who qualified to take the exam without doing a
residency. To be exempt from the residency portion of the
process, applicants were required to submit their credentials for
approval. Criteria that the board considered included having
at least 10 years of work experience, having publications in the
field, and being a faculty member actively involved in clinical and
research aspects of veterinary sports medicine and
rehabilitation. Once the credentials were approved, the
selected applicants were allowed to go straight to the exam portion
of the process. This residency exemption option will only be
available for the next two years. This was the first year the
certifying exam was offered.
Davidson said the exam was one of the hardest she has ever
"I'm boarded in the American College of Veterinary
Surgeons and the difficulty level was comparable to
that. You leave the exam and think, 'There is no way I passed
that.' But I did pass," Davidson said.
Davidson prepared for the exam by reading and taking continuing
education courses in the field. While reading a book or
article related to the topic Davidson would take notes, which she
later used to study for the exam.
"Then, the last six weeks before the exam, I had time off
clinicals and all I did was sit and study for 12 hours a day," she
Davidson said she took the exams because she felt prepared by
her experiences from working in post-operative rehabilitation for
10 years and her dedication to continuing education.
"I was working in this area so I wanted to have the
certification that represented this other special skill set and
knowledge area that sets me apart," she said.
Davidson explained that her dream is to have a residency program
at the CVM where residents of the program can receive training and
become specialists in the field.
Davidson is currently a surgeon for the small animal hospital,
but also oversees the physical rehabilitation service.
"My job here is primarily as a surgeon, but I would like to
build up the rehab portion of [the hospital]. That's kind of
what I do now, most of my time is spent actually in the surgery
service, but I help oversee the rehab service at the same time,"
Davidson is the second member of the CVM family to become a
diplomate. Dr. William Moyer, professor and special assistant
to the dean, is a founding diplomate of the college.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc- (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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