Factors associated with successful passage of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine general examination

Bonnie Boudreaux, Tracy Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Board certification relies on passing the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) general examination. Pass rates might depend on properties of residency training programs (RTP).

HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesized that <4 weeks of dedicated study time, lack of board preparation lectures, status as a re-taker, and private practice RTP would result in lower pass rates of the ACVIM general examination.

SUBJECTS: Two hundred forty-eight ACVIM general examinees.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study. Examinees were surveyed using a Qualtrics survey over a 3-year period. Factors included: study weeks, on-call duty, board preparation lectures, academic or private practice program, and status as a re-taker.

RESULTS: First-attempt examinees were more likely to pass (P < .0001, OR 5.12, 95% CI [2.53, 10.52]). For first-attempt examinees, on-call duty during study weeks resulted in a lower pass rate (P = .002, OR 0.31, 95% CI [0.16, 0.67]). General didactic and specific board-preparation lectures resulted in higher pass rates (P = .003, OR 3.08, 95% CI [1.44, 6.61]; P = .02, OR 3.04, 95% CI [1.20, 7.68]). Diplomate-led board-preparation lectures resulted in higher pass rates than resident-led (P = .007, OR 10.67, 95% CI [1.75, 64.91]). Using a mixed effect logistic model, predicted pass rates were highest with both lack of on-call duty and presence of didactic lectures (predicted pass rate 95%, 95% CI [0.87, 0.98]).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: To optimize pass rates, RTP should provide study time without on-call duty. Provision of didactic lectures and specific board-preparation lectures by diplomates assist in candidate preparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1118
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No funding was received for this study. The authors thank Nicole Finn and Holly Carrico for their help in administering the survey and helping to input examination results. Statistical support was provided by Mengyun Yu and Xianyan Chen through the University of Georgia Statistical Consulting Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


  • board specialty
  • diplomate
  • general examination
  • specialist
  • Animals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Internship and Residency
  • United States
  • Humans
  • Educational Measurement
  • Physical Examination
  • Certification

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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