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FAQs related to Residency Program (Education & Residency Committee, ERC)

1) I’m interested in an ECVO residency training program (RTP) in veterinary ophthalmology. What are the requirements/qualifications?

Please look on the ECVO website for the Constitution & Bylaws, Article 4, Section 2.

The requirements are:

  • A veterinary degree from an *EAEVE-approved veterinary school, unless exempted from this obligation by the Credentials Committee (*European Association of Veterinary Establishments for Education, www.eaeve.org)
  • A license to practise veterinary medicine and surgery in the European Union, unless exempted from this obligation by the Credentials Committee
  • Completion of an internship (minimum of one year) or its equivalent (at the discretion of the Credentials Committee) prior to the start of the residency training program (RTP) (for example, a minimum of two years employed in a private clinic where all common diseases are diagnosed/treated)
  • Candidates need to have a satisfactory moral and ethical standing in the profession

2) Where can I do a residency training program (RTP) in veterinary ophthalmology?

Candidates interested in applying for an ECVO residency training program should contact ECVO Diplomates. A list of ECVO Diplomates is available on the ECVO website.

3) I’m planning to do a residency training program (RTP) – how do I get started?

Once you have found a supervising Diplomate who intends to apply for an RTP for you, please send your curriculum vitae (CV) and details of your internship, or equivalent training, to the Credentials Committee (credential@ecvo.org) for verification. Use the CV-form. If and when you receive approval from the Credentials Committee, you should inform the supervising Diplomate who can then proceed with the RTP application. The RTP application is sent by the Diplomate to the Education and Residency Committee (ERC).

4) I’m following a Regular/Alternative Residency Training Program (RRTP/ARTP). Some changes to my status will occur during the program (for example, pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, sickness, status of employment etc). What do I have to do?

Please contact the Education and Residency Committee (ERC) promptly to discuss modifications that may be necessary to the program.

5) What are the presentation requirements for application to take the ECVO examination?

Two presentations at ECVO or ACVO scientific meetings are required. You must present a minimum of one oral presentation and one poster presentation OR two oral presentations. The work presented should originate from studies conducted during the course of the RTP; see also the Information Brochure.

6) I’ve (nearly) finished my residency training program (RTP) and I’m planning to apply for the next ECVO examination. What are the deadlines for submission of forms and applications?

1st August: request for letter of approval from the Education and Residency Committee (ERC). Complete documents need to be sent via email to the Chair of the ERC.

1st September: send complete electronic documents to both the Chair of the Credentials Committee and the Executive Secretary. Use PDF format only. The Residency Program Director [Diplomate(s)] must write a reference letter saved in PDF format and email it directly to the Chair of the Credentials Committee.

Payment of credentials fee (€ 150) to treasurer (ECVO bank account details are on the website). 

1st December: application for the next qualifying examination must be received by the Executive Secretary and the Chair of the Credentials Committee. Use PDF format only.

Payment of examination fee to Treasurer. Examination fees and ECVO bank account details are on the website.  

All the relevant information for the above steps can be downloaded from the website (Residents/Application/Regular Route or Alternative Way).

7) Can I apply to the ERC by the 1st August deadline if I have not yet completed my RTP?

Residents that are to finish their RTP before 1st December can send their last annual report and end of RTP form to the ERC  by the 1st August deadline. Note however that the ERC will approve the RTP as being fully completed when all requirements listed on the Information Brochure are met. If all requirements have been met by the 1st August deadline but the end of RTP date is after 1st August, then a provisional end of RTP will be provided until the resident has completed the entire period of training.

8) I’ve received the letter of approval of completion of the residency training program (RTP) from the Education and Residency Committee (ERC). What do I do now?

Please submit your credentials application to both the Chair of the Credentials Committee and the Executive Secretary, see above.

All the relevant information can be downloaded from the website (Residents/Application/Regular Route or Alternative Way).

9) I’ve received the letter of approval for my credentials from the Credentials Committee (CC). What do I do now?

If you would like to sit the next ECVO examination, please submit form B to both the Executive Secretary and the Chair of the Credentials Committee and the appropriate examination fee to the Treasurer by 1st December.

10) I’ve received a letter from the Education & Residency Committee (ERC) informing me that my residency forms have not been approved. Can I appeal against this decision?

Yes. Refer to Article 9 (Appeal Against Adverse Decisions) in the Constitution &  Bylaws on the website for more information on the procedure to be followed if you feel that an adverse decision is not justified.

11) What does the resident coordinator do?

If you have any general question related to your training, credentials, the exam or would like to ask a question relevant to your particular situation, you can contact the resident coordinator. Contact details can be found in the ERC section of the ECVO website. The Resident Coordinator will assist you as quickly as possible, with or without help from relevant committee chairs or the Secretary. For particular situations you may request that your question be handled confidentially.

12) It says that 15% is the minimum amount of time off clinics and that 29/36 months (80%) of the time should be in ophthalmic clinics. I heard from a previous resident that if they took 20% off clinics that this was not acceptable? But that 18% was. How much off clinics time is acceptable?

To finish the training, every resident has to gain at least 29 months of on clinic time. It is a mathematical thing, that 80% of 36 months end up being 29 months (on clinic time). Therefore the 20% off clinic time in the information brochure is correct. Some residencies vary their off clinic time between the different years of the residency period. Some residents do more clinics in the beginning and have more time off for studying in the end. Maybe that's where the confusion comes from. Nevertheless, the 20% off clinic time is calculated over the entire residency period of a regular 3 year programm (36 months).

13) I am currently in a 4-year program ending August, with the required time on clinics ordered to span the whole 4 years. However, I am very keen to sit the ECVO board exam before I finish my residency. Does a candidate have to have completed their residency in order to be suitable to sit boards? Do all required clinic months have to be completed before the resident's credentials can be approved?

In order to sit the board exams you will have to have your residency approved and get your credentials accepted the year preceding the exam. You will have to fulfil the same requirements as any resident in a 3 year program: You need to send in your yearly report including the end of residency documents to the ERC by August 1st the year preceding your exam. To get your residency approved by the ERC, you need to have completed the adequate number of clinic months, fulfil the requirements of species and surgery case log, as well as presentations and specialty training. For the credentials, you will also have to have your publications accepted.

14) Until when do I have to send in my case log?

The deadline for the End of Residency documents is August 1st; these documents need to be sent to the chair of the ERC (residency@ecvo.org) 
It’s best to send them as early as possible, so you have enough time to make changes if needed.

15) Do the histopathology sessions at the basic science course count towards my histopath hours for the year?

NO, the histopathology course at the basic science course is separate from your specialty training at home. You can note your participation on your yearly report; however, aside from that, you will have to have a minimum of 1h / month of histopathology training. This training may also be grouped into blocks of 6h during one month for example. 

16) If an alternative resident who stays 7 months per year in an university environment and 5 months a year in private practice, has weekly histology rounds during his time at university and the number of required training hours is achieved, would this person need to get additional training during the other 5 months? Or would the histology training during the university period be sufficient?

YES, this would be acceptable as long as these are OCULAR histopath rounds that are run by a Board certified pathologist.

17) A resident should present a minimum of 3 different seminars during his/her residency. Can these be held in house? For instance as a seminar for the other veterinarians in the hospital?

YES, that is acceptable.

18) If I present a project (presentation or poster) at the ECVO I worked on as a second author, would it count for my credentials if I am not first author?

YES, your presentations will be counted even if you are the 2nd author on the abstract. However, in general the ERC strongly encourages residents to be presenting their own projects to help them get valuable feedback from the ophthalmology community and move along towards publishing their work.