De Facto ZHM Call

As of April 18th 2009, the new umbrella organization named the European College of Zoological Medicine was approved by the European Board of Veterinary Specialization (EBVS), incorporating different specialties, namely: Avian, Small Mammal, Herpetology and Wildlife Population Health. On April 21, 2012 the specialty Zoo Health Management was added as well. Founding Diplomates have already been appointed in each discipline.

The objectives of the College shall be: to advance zoological medicine in Europe and increase the competency of those who practice in this field by:

  1. Establishing guidelines for post-graduate education and experience prerequisite to become a Specialist in one of the Specialties of zoological medicine.
  2. Examining and authenticating veterinarians as Specialists in zoological medicine to serve the Zoological patient, its owner and the public in general, by providing expert care
  3. Encouraging research and publications relating to zoological medicine.
  4. Encouraging the use of veterinarians to provide clinical zoological medicine at the Specialty level.\
  5. Positioning the zoological Specialist as a common source for referrals.
  6. Improving and promoting health care for zoological animals.
  7. Providing an incentive and reward for achieving postgraduate education and experience in zoological medicine at the Specialist level.
  8. Encouraging veterinary colleges to establish in-depth instruction and high standards for training and research in clinical zoological medicine.
  9. Promoting continued improvement of standards in clinical zoological medicine through CPD and peer assessment.
  10. Supporting the preservation of zoological species and their habitats by promulgating the concept of wise use of animal resources and the breeding of endangered species in captivity.
  11. Encouraging responsible management, husbandry and breeding of zoological species.
  12. Preventing the occurrence of zoonotic and allergic diseases in man originating from zoological species.

To this end we are requesting contact from interested parties, who are sufficiently experienced and qualified to be considered for de facto Diplomates.

Diplomates recognized de facto

Diplomates recognized de facto in a new subspecialty are not required to undertake a residency programme or submit to examination in order to become a diplomate. De facto recognition is possible for up to 5 years after the approval of the relevant specialty by EBVS. This period has already passed for Avian, Herpetology, Small Mammal and Wildlife Population Health. However, the de facto application period for Zoo Health Management is open until 11.59pm (CEST – Central European Summer Time) on April 21st, 2017.

No exceptions will be made for applications received after this deadline.

To be eligible for application one must:

  1. have at least 7 years of experience in their sub-specialty. This should be as a qualified, practising veterinarian, working at a similar level to a Specialist, and should have been doing so for at least the 7 years leading up to application. Candidates for the Zoo Health Management (ZHM) specialty, must normally be employed by, or contracted to one or more zoological collections for at least 24 hours per week.
  2. spend at least 60 per cent of their time in their specialty (>24 hrs/week). Diplomates are re-credentialed every 5 years and are required to remain active to maintain their Diplomate status. One of these activities includes presence at an ECZM AGM at least once every three years.
  3. have published at least 3 peer reviewed original scientific articles, relevant to zoo health management, in well established international refereed journals (i.e., listed in the Science Citation Index from the Institute for Scientific Information [], or in one of the refereed journals mentioned in the reading list of the ZHM specialty published on the ECZM website) as first author, and at least 3 additional articles as co-author, excluding reviews and abstracts of proceedings. The listed papers should demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge and contribution to the scientific field of the chosen specialty. Quality of research and publications are of paramount importance, with original research, retrospective or prospective clinical studies being most valued, and single animal case reports less so. Definition of case reports/series to be used for both de facto and re-certification purposes is: A case report is a publication that describes a unique veterinary aspect in ONE animal during a single temporal event, and that a case series describes TWO or MORE animals during either a single or over multiple temporal events.
    A minimum of three of these six publications must be first-author publications in the following categories;
    Paper 1. original research
    Paper 2. original research OR case series
    Paper 3. original research OR case series OR case report.
    Up to three of the six publications may be co-authored papers that detail original research, case series or case reports.
  4. present scientific work where the subject matter involves those aspects of veterinary medicine that pertain to animals kept in zoological collections. The publications must cover at least two taxonomic classes, but all 3 first author publications can relate to the same class. Presentations must cover at least two taxonomic classes, but publications and presentations have to demonstrate that an applicant has worked with species of at least three different taxonomic classes.
  5. have presented original work, relevant to ZHM, at national or international scientific meetings. The information should show activity and connection to Europe.
  6. be eligible to practice in Europe and have professional connection to Europe (Those from outside of Europe, who do not have a fully accepted degree in Europe, e.g., US graduates, must provide the RCVS required paperwork and documents to the credential committee chairman, who will confirm their eligibility before posting the applicant to the credential committee to consider.) The required documents for US applicants are i) copy of the applicant’s DVM degree from an AVMA approved college in the US or Canada; ii) a letter of good standing from their respective US state board; iii) a copy of the applicant’s NAVLE exam results which has to exceed a certain pass mark (set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons),
  7. have paid the application fee of € 150. Application fees are not refundable if the application is unsuccessful, although minor revision prior to the application deadline will be accepted without payment of an addition fee. Provision of false documentation could result in removal of diplomate/Specialist status and a complaint of unprofessional conduct.

Selection will be made on basis of a submitted CV (mail to the secretariat) indicating how the candidates have achieved their expertise, in addition to the aforementioned items. Please note, scientific papers listed for consideration must either be published or accepted for publication. If the latter, then the de facto application MUST be accompanied by full acceptance letters for any unpublished papers. Papers that are still under review will not be accepted. All documentation MUST be received by the deadline and the application must be fully completed. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

We would be delighted to hear from anyone, whose expertise and qualifications meets the above mentioned requirements for Zoo Health Management”, and who would be willing and able to be involved in the creation of this new specialty of the European College of Zoological Medicine. We do want to make sure that everyone realizes that active participation within the college is a requirement to remain a diplomate after re-certification which will take place every 5 years after admission to the college. Active participation in committees will also be required.
The ZHM specialty reading list is available here.