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Postgraduate Veterinary Studies in Europe
Veterinary medical Continuing education
Once qualified, most veterinarians regularly update their knowledge in their chosen field by going to meetings and congresses, reading scientific publications and attending training courses. This is called continuing professional development (CPD), Life Long Learning (LLL) or "further education". 
In some countries, certificates or degrees may be obtained after having proven a certain level of advanced skills and knowledge in a particular domain. The required levels of these degrees concerned may vary greatly from country to country (sometimes even from region to region) and may depend on the chosen discipline. 
Continuing professional development is strongly recommended in all countries and it is not unlikely that, in the near future, veterinarians need to prove that they spend a minimum number of hours each year on CPD.
Veterinary surgeon in Europe
A veterinary surgeon can only become authorization to practice in the country concerned and when he/she is working in the field concerned.  The authorization of a veterinarian should be: 
  • Based on a species (or a group of species) orientation such as for cattle, companion animals, equines, pigs, poultry; 
  • Preceded by a period of - species related - theoretical and practical training together  with a suitable level of professional experience; 
  • Issued by a national competent veterinary authority (such as Chamber, Statutory Body,  Veterinary Organization, Ministry, Veterinary Faculty, Scientific Organization …); 
  • Supervised by a competent European veterinary authority in order for the  acknowledgement to be recognized as a European one; 
  • Revalidated. 
Several European countries have already some sort of higher level of post-graduate qualification with variety of names such as an acknowledgement or certification or accreditation. An acknowledged veterinarian as seen by Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) is a veterinary practitioner working mainly with the species concerned and having obtained additional experience and qualifications.
Practical experience for becoming an acknowledged veterinarian shall only be possible after working for three years within the last 5 years spending at least 50% of the time with the species concerned, based on a working week of 40 hours. In addition, during this period the applicant should have obtained in average 35 courses for Continuing Professional Development (CPD ) scientific attendance hours a year relevant to the species concerned. 
Each country would have to evaluate the level of abilities and skills of the candidate before acknowledgment either by a certificate issued by the supervising acknowledged/competent veterinary surgeons with whom he/she worked for a certain time and/or after being examined by a professional body.
Specialization in veterinary medicine in Europe
To become a veterinary specialist, one must undergo additional extensive training after vet school graduation, clinical experience in the area of the chosen specialty, publish a clinical case or research findings in journal articles and pass a credential review and specialty board examinations. 
Specialists mainly in one discipline such as radiology can be defined as achieving a very advanced level of knowledge and skills in a particular discipline. This level can only be obtained after several years of intensive training and experience. Specialist veterinarians usually practice exclusively in their chosen discipline and may work in referral clinics or teaching establishments.
The organization of specialization by the European Board of Veterinary Specialization (EBVS) is a key component of European veterinary education. EBVS has organized organ-, discipline-, and species-based colleges. Currently there are more than 20 specialties. To obtain a title of Diploma requires a 4-year education program and specialty examinations. 


  • General Medicine: 4-(graduate) & 6-year program
  • Veterinary Medicine: 6-year program
  • Dentistry: 5 to 6-year program
  • Pharmacy: 5 to 6-year program
  • Nursing: 3 to 4-year program
  • Physiotherapy: 3 to 4-year program
  • Medical specialisation: 3 to 6-year program
  • Etc.

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