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Advanced Certification
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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.

FAAVA candidate overview

Eligibility Requirements

 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 January 1st. Candidates are notified of their eligibility by February 1st, and the examination takes place in conjunction with the AAVA Annual Meeting. 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 three hours for each part.

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.

 Recommended Reading List:

  1. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Editor Cheng Xinong, Foreign Language Press
  2. Xie’s Veterinary Acupuncture, Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS and Vanessa Preast, DVM. Blackwell Publishing 2013
  3. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, VOL. I, Fundamental Substances Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS and Vanessa Preast, DVM, Jing Tang, 2002
  4. Medical Acupuncture: A Western Scientific Approach by J. Filshie and A White
  5. Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine by Yan Wu, Warren Fischer with Jake Fratkin editor
  6. Student Manual on the Fundamental of TCM Tyme, L.AC Living Earth Enterprises San Diego CA
  7. Student manual on the Differentiation and Treatment of the Zang Fu Syndromes Tyme, L.AC Living Earth Enterprises San Diego CA
  8. IVAS Basic Course Notes
  9. The Journal of Alternative Medicine is periodical that usually contains a lot of acupuncture articles worth looking at for more cutting edge information.
  10. American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
  11. A Manual of Acupuncture.  Peter Deadman.  2nd Edition. Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications. 2007.
  12. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists. 2nd Edition. Giovanni Manioca. Churchill Livingstone. 2005
  13. Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yan Wu. Paradigm Publications. 1997.
  14. Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text. Chen Chiu Hseuh. Eastland Press. 1981.