Since 1991, the European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS) has been providing training courses for veterinarians wishing to upgrade their knowledge in many areas of clinical veterinary medicine.
This very successful program has now run a total of 174 courses in more than 20 disciplines, with over 4.000 postgraduate students from 48 countries, and is recognised worldwide for the high quality of its education. Although these courses have not involved formal examinations, many of the students completing them have gone on to acquire specialist qualifications at the highest level.
The ESAVS has recognized the need for a broader training that would allow veterinary graduates in practice to study over a number of years and acquire a recognized university postgraduate degree.
Two years ago, the ESAVS formalised a long-term association with the University of Luxembourg and became integrated into its Faculty of Science and Communication. This union has enabled the establishment of a degree, the European Master of Small Animal Veterinary Medicine (EMSAVM), which can meet this need.
The EMSAVM involves coursework and written modules, including studies both within the existing framework of ESAVS courses and work carried out in the veterinary practices of the participating students.
Credit points, conforming to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), are acquired over a period of two to four years for successful participation in the modules, validated by examinations.
The EMSAVM is a university degree which testifies that a veterinarian has acquired an advanced level of competence in small animal medicine.
It is not a specialist diploma, nor is it a licence for a particular type of professional activity. It is intended that this masterís degree will support the growing demand for national and possible future international systems for species specific practice certification.
It will also provide a benchmark for veterinarians who wish to increase their knowledge and develop a habit of lifelong learning.