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Our History

The founding of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) was approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates on July 20, 1982. Below is a brief history of our College with milestones highlighted.

In 1974 the Dermatology Specialty Group was granted permission under the umbrella of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) to certify successful candidates who satisfactorily completed both the qualifying examination of the ACVIM and the certifying examination in dermatology. The 13 Charter Diplomates were Doctors V.H. Austin, B.B. Baker, J.C. Blakemore, P.T. Breen, J.D. Conroy, G.C. Doering, R.E.W. Halliwell, R.W. Kirk, G.H. Muller, L.M. Reedy, R.M. Schwartzman, E. Small and A.A. Stannard. Of these 13 Charter Diplomates, nine were affiliated with academic institutions and four were in pioneering private specialty dermatology practice, having limited their practice to the specialty of dermatology for a number of years.

The approval of The American Board of Veterinary Specialists (ABVS) was granted on April 5, 1974. This was endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council of Education and was approved by the House of Delegates on July 20, 1974 in Denver, Colorado. The first meeting of the ACVIM Dermatology Specialty Group was held on April 2, 1974 in San Francisco, California.

The first certifying examination was given by an Examination Committee consisting of Drs. Blakemore, Conroy and Halliwell at Purdue University in 1976. In the six years up to and including 1981, an additional 10 Diplomates were certified.

Dawn Logas, the ACVD President at the time and Bill McDougal, the AAVD president at the time signing the documents formalizing the partnership for the North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum, our annual conference. The LLC documents were signed in Galveston, TX on April 15, 2011. The NAVDF LLC agreement was approved and adopted on August 17, 2011

In 1981, there was a consensus among the membership that the organization had reached sufficient maturity to warrant a separate, free-standing College. It was recognized that although internal medicine was an important aspect of dermatology, the two disciplines were separate and distinct. It was also felt that the goals and objectives of the College could be better satisfied by such an arrangement, and members preferred to be more in charge of their own destiny than was possible under the umbrella of the ACVIM. With that in mind, an organizing committee consisting of Drs. Blakemore, Conroy, Halliwell, Muller and Small developed a submission to the ABVS in support of a petition to become a free-standing college. This move was approved by the ABVS on March 9, 1982, and endorsed by the Council of Education of the AVMA on April 23, 1982. The probationary status of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) was approved by the House of Delegates on July 20, 1982. Diplomates of the ACVIM, subgroup Dermatology were granted the same status (Charter or by examination) in the new ACVD. In 1985, College Diplomate membership was 35 and in 1990, membership was 49. In 1995, membership was 93. In 2000, membership was 138. The membership in 2014 was 272. As of 2024 there are 362 active Diplomates of the ACVD and 40 Emeritus members. 

Text adapted from history written by Peter Ihrke.

Pictures courtesy of Gail Kunkle, Candace Sousa, and others…

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