Nephrology and Urology Recognized as a Veterinary Specialty Organization

A veterinary specialty in nephrology and urology, imagined more than 30 years ago, has finally become a reality.

The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties recently granted provisional recognition to the American College of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.

“The clinical scope of urinary disease, embodied in the disciplines of nephrology and urology, has advanced in vision, complexity and delivery of care,” according to the 2021 CAVNU petition for recognition by the ABVS.

Dr. Larry D. Cowgill teaches intern Dr. Lucy Kopecny to deliver advanced extracorporeal therapies. (Courtesy of CAVNU)

“These advances, based on scientific research and a better understanding of the pathophysiology of urinary tract diseases, have resulted in innovative new directions in the diagnosis and management of many urinary tract diseases. These include, but are not limited to, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, glomerular disease, urolithiasis, urinary tract infections, incontinence, and urological neoplasms,” the petition states. “The evolution of sophisticated techniques, including extracorporeal therapies and endourology, has become the advanced standard of care for many urinary diseases.”

Dr. Larry D. Cowgill, president of the CAVNU and professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said the training program for the new specialty has unique aspects.

On the one hand, residents must be an internship specialist in another discipline. The organizing committee is of the opinion that an internship alone would not be enough to prepare training in the complexities of the field. Alternatively, individuals who are not board certified in another specialty may be accepted into a CAVNU training program with four years of full-time equivalent experience in Nephrology and Urology.

The next unique aspect of the training program is that CAVNU provides a virtual foundation program of over 250 contact hours over two years as a training aid to help provide a consistent foundation across all residency programs. .

The third distinction is that CAVNU will provide an indirectly supervised virtual training alternative with an off-site mentor for candidates who cannot relocate to a traditional training facility.

Dr Cowgill said another feature of the training program is that candidates will take topical exams on a rolling basis, culminating in the final exam.

The UNCAV will confer two certifications: Diplomat and Affiliate. Applicants who have a background in patient care will become college diplomats. Candidates who have training in another discipline, such as pathology, will become affiliate members.

Dr Cowgill said: “The advances we make in nephrology and urology as specialties will translate into other specialty groups and general practice and will set new foundations for the diagnosis and management of disease, so that they will have a wide reach and effects across the whole profession and for the public, like any other specialty.

After a minimum of four years but not more than 10 years under provisional recognition, the CAVNU can apply for full recognition with the ABVS.

Virginia S. Braud