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Credentialed and International AAVA members have the opportunity to pursue certification beyond the AAVA approved basic training courses. Eligible AAVA members can make application to sit for testing that, if passed, confers the title of Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (FAAVA). Full details of eligibility and application process can be found in the member area of the website or can be requested from the AAVA office.
The advanced certification procedure is designed following the process used by veterinarians to qualify for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) specialty certification of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). This process assures that successful candidates for FAAVA designation have demonstrated expert knowledge about the classical and neuro-physiologic basis of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and their application for successful diagnosis and treatment of veterinary patients.
The candidate for the FAAVA examination needs to be a Graduate of a college of veterinary medicine approved or accredited by the AVMA and be an AAVA Credentialed Member or International Member. They must also have five years practice experience in veterinary acupuncture, OR three years of veterinary acupuncture experience and an advance acupuncture degree (i.e. OMD, L.Ac), document fifty (50) hours of Veterinary Acupuncture and/or Traditional Chinese Medicine continuing education accumulated during the previous five (5) years, and submit two case reports. Three professional references are also required.
Applications are due on May 1st. Candidates are notified of their eligibility by July 1st, and the examination takes place in November. Candidates are given the results of the examination by Mid-December.
All examination requirements must be completed within three years after the candidate is first accepted by the AAVA. This means the candidate has three attempts to pass the exam. If the candidate chooses not to sit for an examination in a given year, that year is forfeited. The examination format consists of two parts, each containing 150 multiple choice questions. Responses are marked on answer sheets. The examination is timed, with four hours for each part. Examination Blueprints are mailed to all applicants eligible for the exam.
In regards to preparation for the examination, there is no specific formal education process (as for example the IVAS course). The preparation comes from one’s practical experience in veterinary acupuncture, participation and attendance at continuing education seminars and courses, and significant self-study. If using the analogy to the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), most diplomats of the ABVP are practicing veterinarians who on their own initiative have attended a wide variety of continuing education seminars (usually over a period of years), and self-study for an average of one hour per day for about 6 months prior to the exam. The ABVP has a suggested reading list. For example, in canine/feline practice, Ettingers Internal Medicine, Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy, etc. ABVP Applicants then decide on their own what and how to study.
General topics to be studied include Yin and Yang Theory, Fundamental Substances
Pathology, Differentiation Patterns
Meridian and Points: location, function, indications
Neuro-physiology of acupuncture
Zang-Fu Syndromes Differentiation and Treatment
Large Animal clinical applications (bovine/equine)
Small Animal clinical applications (canine/feline).