2019 ACZM Wildlife Candidate Survey

The American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) is a specialty college for veterinarians with expertise in zoological medicine, broadly defined as veterinary medicine for free-living and captive wildlife, zoo animals, companion exotic species (including reptiles and amphibians), aquatic animals, and birds.  ACZM is responsible for establishing training program standards, evaluating and approving zoological medicine training programs, and examining and certifying veterinarians in zoological medicine.  
There are very few training programs for wildlife veterinarians. Most candidates for the ACZM wildlife specialty examination have qualified via the experiential route, which requires a minimum of five years of experience with zoological species.  To date ACZM diplomates who have taken the examination in the wildlife specialty make up only about 5% of the ACZM.  ACZM would like to better understand why potential wildlife candidates may or may not choose to sit the examination.  We welcome your answers to the following questions and any explanatory comments.

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* 1. When and where did you graduate from veterinary school/college?

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* 2. Do you have an advanced degree (MS or PhD) and if so, in what field?

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* 3. Would a specialty credential for wildlife veterinarians be helpful in your current position and/or future career aspirations?

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* 4. Would a specialty credential be helpful in establishing a baseline definition of the expected knowledge base and experience for wildlife veterinarians?

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* 5. Does ACZM board certification provide a credential that would be useful to you for career development or career advancement (e.g. raises or promotions)?

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* 6. At present, there are only two ACZM diplomates who currently work within state or federal wildlife management agencies in the US/Canada. Increasing the number of veterinarians working for State/Federal/Provincial agencies with ACZM board certification is an important goal for zoological medicine. Mark from 1 to 5, with 5 = very important; 4= important; 3 = no opinion; 2 = relatively unimportant; 1 = unimportant.

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* 7. ACZM certification is not a well-recognized credential by most state or federal wildlife management agencies. In attempting to improve recognition ACZM should educate wildlife management agencies as to its relevance and value. Mark from 1 to 5, with 5 = Definitely should; 4 = should; 3 = no opinion; 2= not sure of value; 1 = should not.

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* 8. The credentialing requirements for the ACZM specialty examination require either a 3-year residency or a 5-year experiential pathway and primary authorship on three peer-reviewed publications. These credentialing requirements pose a serious impediment to you when considering sitting the ACZM wildlife specialty examination. Mark 1 to 5, with 5= Huge impediment; 4 = an impediment, but not insurmountable; 3 = no opinion; 2 = not much of an impediment; 1 = No impediment at all.

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* 9. What information would help you decide whether taking the ACZM examination is feasible and beneficial for you, given your training and employment background?

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* 10. If you are considering taking ACZM boards, what are the biggest barriers you face?

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* 11. Would a short course to introduce the ACZM and an overview of the examination be helpful in your consideration of whether to sit the ACZM examination?

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* 12. If you answered Yes to the previous question, would it be best if the course was with, or independent of, a major professional meeting like WDA, AAZV, or TWS?

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* 13. Is there a better credentialing college or organization for certification of wildlife veterinarians than the ACZM?

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* 14. If you answered Yes to the previous question, what entity would be better suited to credentialing wildlife veterinarians?

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