European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

Becoming an ECVO Diplomate

In order to be granted the Diploma of the ECVO the candidate must complete a pre-approved three-year residency-training program in veterinary ophthalmology. One of the purposes of a structured residency program is to expose the resident to the same overall learning experience no matter what country the resident has trained in. These training programs focus on providing a deep understanding of ocular disease processes and treatments while familiarising the resident with advanced ophthalmic surgical techniques in which they are expected to gain a certain level of proficiency. This high quality educational experience takes place in pre-approved training centers under the supervision and mentorship of specialists in the field, protecting the interests of residents, animal patients and pet owners.

Depending on the program available two training routes exist: a normal route and an alternative route. For more detailed information about the differences between the two routes please visit our website at

Approved residency training programs are currently located in the Universities of Zurich (CH), Liege (Be), Vienna (A), Barcelona (E), Paris (Fr), Utrecht (NL), and Oslo (N) as well as in countries outside Europe (including Israel and the USA). Non-university approved training programs are offered by veterinary practices in the UK.

Prerequisites to be eligible for a residency position include that applicants hold a veterinary degree that is recognised within the EU and that they have either successfully completed a one year rotating internship or have acquired equivalent experience in general practice.

What else is a resident expected to achieve during a residency?

Besides reaching the goals stated above, residents must also review the veterinary ophthalmic literature of the previous 7 years; receive training in core disciplines that relate to Ophthalmology such as Imaging, Anesthesia and Pathology; attend international conferences, where they are expected to present scientific papers that they have written and aim to publish. Detailed logs of surgical and medical cases, presentations, and special training received, as well as publication of two peer reviewed papers, of which the resident must be a first author in at least one, form part of the credentials application process, and are required of all candidates before sitting the exam.

Where can I do a residency?

A list of the residency training programs (RTPs) currently accepted by the ECVO, and any potential openings, can be viewed here.

How does the ECVO certification process work?

Once the approved training program has been completed and the all the requirements of the credentials application process have been fulfilled the candidate may be granted permission to sit the ECVO certifying examination, which consists of a series of arduous written and practical tests that are overseen and run by experienced diploma holders.

Are there other requirements once ECVO certification is achieved?

In recognition of the importance of life-long learning, the ECVO implements a rigorous process of re-evaluation of its Diplomates, conducted every 5 years. This process ensures that the highest standards of practice are maintained.

Residency Experience.

You can read about a resident's perspective on being a resident here.