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Veterinary Specialty Boards Reading Lists

Copies of veterinary specialty board exam reading lists with links to online materials and books and journals held by local libraries.

American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Reading List

This is only a convenience copy of the ACVS reading list to help find copies of reading materials in local libraries.  It does not replace the official ACVS reading list. Candidates are responsible for ensuring they use the latest ACVS reading list.

Selected References for Small Animal Surgery

"The following references and books are suggested reading in preparation for the 2021 ACVS Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination. Other textbooks and current references may be pertinent."

Selected References for Large Animal Surgery

"The following references and books are suggested reading in preparation for the 2021 ACVS Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination. Other textbooks and current references may be pertinent."

"The following references and books are suggested reading in addition to the current Phase I reading list, for preparation for the 2019 ACVS Phase II Surgical Competency Examination. Other textbooks and current references may be pertinent. Knowledge of basic and applied anatomy is assumed."

Selected References for Small Animal Surgery

Selected References for Large Animal Surgery


The links below take you to the resources at the publishers' websites, which might prompt you for payment.  Your library might be able to provide these resources at comparatively lower or no cost to you. Tools like Unpaywall may also allow you to freely and legally access some of the articles you’re interested in.  Open access journals in which all articles are freely available are marked with .

Journals for Small Animal Surgery Candidates

Many journals contain articles pertaining to surgery (both human and veterinary) and should be perused for current literature. A partial list of veterinary journals includes:

Journals for Large Animal Surgery Candidates

The majority of questions come from literature published in the last five years. For example, if you are taking the 2021 examination, questions will primarily come from literature published in the range of June 1, 2015–June 30, 2020. Questions may also come from older articles considered significant and essential to the knowledge of the veterinary surgeon.

This guide contains the list of books and journals recommended as study materials for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) examination.

Source:  ACVS Certification Examination Reading List

This resource updated: 2/24/2021

Textbooks updated to most recent edition: 9/27/2021

Source reading list reviewed: 2/24/2021

Source reading list updated by specialty board: 10/2020

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