We are committed to creating state-of-the-art veterinary care in the field of veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.

The History of ACVSMR

The ACVSMR reached a significant milestone at the annual American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) meeting held March 2-3, 2018, in Schaumburg, Illinois. The ABVS is the committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that sets standards for, advises and recognizes veterinary specialties. After review of our request for full recognition and the annual and five-year reports submitted in November 2017, the ABVS voted to recommend that the AVMA recognize ACVSMR as a fully recognized veterinary specialty. That final step was made by the AVMA Executive Board in April 2018.

When the ACVSMR reached provisional recognition in 2010, our specialty had the full rights and responsibilities of a veterinary specialty and we proceeded to develop and grow our College. During those eight years, the College provided annual reports to the ABVS listing the demographics, new developments, challenges and other details of our College, and responded to requests for modifications made by the ABVS, ultimately resulting in full recognition.

Now that ACVSMR is fully recognized as a veterinary specialty, our most important work continues – providing specialist care in sports medicine and rehabilitation to our clients as well as integrating treatment with other specialists and primary care veterinarians. We continue to advance our residency training programs, research efforts and continuing education opportunities. With our outstanding Diplomates, and with ACVSMR achieving full recognition, our future is securely established.

Our thanks to Dr. Andris J. Kaneps, who has worked closely with the ABVS to help us achieve this milestone.

The Purpose

The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation® (ACVSMR) includes a strong network of diplomates world-wide. The ACVSMR was developed to meet the unique needs of athletic and working animals as well as all animals in need of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation (the term used for people is “physical therapy”) not only focuses on recovery after surgical procedures, but also on improving the quality of life in animals suffering from debilitating diseases such as arthritis or neurologic impairments.

The objectives of the college are to facilitate:

  • State-of-the-art veterinary care in the field of veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Collaboration with educational institutions including the development and credentialing of residency programs.
  • Research advancing scientific knowledge in the field of veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Continuing education for veterinarians, students, and owners/handlers of pets, animal athletes, and working animals.
  • Public awareness of the benefits of working with certified specialists in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.


How can I locate a veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist for my dog or horse?

You can use our Find a Diplomate page to locate a Diplomate near you, and to contact them directly to schedule a consultation.

Is this College open to anyone other than veterinarians?

Because this is a veterinary specialty college, only veterinarians may apply for residencies and to sit for the board certification examination.

Can veterinary technicians become involved with the College?

We hope to offer educational opportunities for veterinary technicians in the future.

Can veterinarians from outside the U.S. apply for residencies and the examination?

Please refer to the How to Become Board Certified page to review our two options for residency programs, Traditional or Alternative. In order to sit for the examination, one of the two residency programs must be completed.

Where can I apply for a residency?

As notices about residencies are received, they will be posted on the Employment page.