Application/Certification Process for ABVP - ECM Specialty

The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association to provide board certifications in ten species categories, including Exotic Companion Mammals. The main focus of Exotic Companion Mammal Practice is the traditional 'pocket pets' including ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, and other small pet mammals. Veterinarians who certify in this category become ABVP-boarded Diplomates, certified in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice.

Whether you are considering or actively pursuing ABVP certification in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice, the following documents will help explain the application and exam process. The Applicant Handbook in particular provides a wealth of information. It is ABVP's official guide to assisting veterinarians with board certification. Included are detailed instructions regarding application materials, recommendations for exam preparation and much more. Additional resources are also available in the Certification section of the website.

Study and reading guide:

In order to help you create an efficient and productive learning experience and prepare for the certification examinations, the ABVP has developed a study and reading guide. Click the following link to view the guide at the ABVP website: Exotic Companion Mammal Practice Study & Reading Guide. Please note: you will need an account to login to ABVP's website to view the guide.

As a guideline for those considering ECM certification:

  • The ABVP considers an average of ten exotic companion mammal cases per week as the minimum exposure that may provide sufficient experience to consider candidacy for ECM certification.
  • Recognize that the complexity and variety of case presentations may require a greater caseload in order to obtain sufficient experience.
  • Utilize the self-evaluation form to aid in assuring that the residency experience is sufficient in breadth and depth to qualify an applicant for ABVP Diplomate status.

Should you have any additional questions about certification in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice, please feel free to contact the ABVP office at 800.697.3583 or the Exotic Companion Mammal Regent listed at the bottom of this page.

Special Note for Exotic Companion Mammal Applicants:

ABVP's Exotic Companion Mammal specialty covers a number of small mammal species. Therefore, we require that your two case reports address separate species.

Special Note for Veterinarians Wishing to Certify in Exotic Companion Practice as well as Avian Practice and/or Reptile & Amphibian Practice:

ABVP realizes that some veterinarians will seek certification in more than one of these exotic animal specialty groups. The Specialty Examinations for all practice groups are scheduled during the same time on the same day and it is not possible for an applicant to sit for more than one Specialty Examination during the same year.

It is the applicant's responsibility to plan accordingly because ONLY ONE Specialty Examination can be taken in any one year. After your credentials are accepted and you are eligible to sit for a particular specialty examination, you then have three consecutive years to pass the examinations. Please be advised that if you overlap your Avian Practice, Exotic Companion Mammal Practice, and Reptile & Amphibian Practice applications, then you run the risk of not being able to sit for each examination the maximum number of three times. ABVP will not give an exemption to this requirement.

For current ABVP-Avian Diplomates who may be recertifying in Avian Practice in the near future and want to pursue certification in Exotic Companion Mammal Practice, you may want to consider recertifying in Avian Practice using the non-examination route so overlap with the ECM examination does not occur.

Special Note for Residents:

ABVP has a concurrent residency pathway for those applicants who wish to obtain the necessary hours and other material for both Avian and ECM credentialing. Although the residency covers both Avian and ECM, the applicant will be completing two SEPARATE applications. One for ECM, one for Avian. Each application is separate and distinct from the other (including fees).

The concurrent residency is to be a minimum of 36 months.

Exotic Companion Mammal Regent:

Dr. Angela Lennox
Avian & Exotic Animal Clinic
9330 Waldemar Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268

Phone:: 317-879-8633
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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