The Master diploma represents a University degree. It testifies that a veterinarian has acquired an advanced level of competence in a specific discipline. This is neither a specialist diploma, nor a license for a certain type of professional activity.
Courses: Candidates take a series of one- or two-week ESAVS residential courses in the chosen discipline and related subjects. The time schedule, learning objectives and contents of the courses are described on the ESAVS website.
Practical work: The program allows candidates to study from their practice. It is expected that they gradually apply the skills they acquire in the residential courses to their daily work at home.
Written work: To support the above objective, candidates are assigned specific tasks to be completed at home. This includes a case log, a series of case reports and a Master thesis.
Examinations: in order to obtain credit for the course work, candidates have to take and pass an examination for each course. In addition, a passing grade has to be collected for all written work, which is evaluated and graded by the examination commit- tee board. The passing grade has been established at 50% of the maximum possible points. Successful completion of course work, clinical work and written tasks leads to the acquisition of credits called “ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits”.
According to the general organization of all teaching at the University of Luxembourg, the Master program is divided in 6 Modules:
MODULES I AND II: COURSES (40 ECTS credits):
* MODULE I: Major subjects (minimum 30 ECTS credits):
A minimum of 30 ECTS credits have to be obtained in Small Animal Surgery, corresponding to 6 weeks of ESAVS residential courses in Soft Tissue Surgery and Orthopaedics:
- a minimum of 15 ECTS credits have to be obtained with Soft Tissue Surgery courses (3 weeks of residential courses: Soft Tissue Surgery I and two other Soft Tissue Surgery courses from II-IV)
- 15 ECTS points have to be obtained with Orthopaedics courses (3 weeks of residential courses: Orthopaedics I-III)
* MODULE II: Minor subjects (maximum 10 ECTS credits):
The following minor subjects are covered by the following ESAVS courses and can be validated as minors (list subject to changes):
- Anaesthesia and Pain Management I
- Feline Orthopedics
- Feline Soft Tissue Surgery
- Neurology IV (Neurosurgery)
- Soft Tissue Surgery (Laparoscopy)
- Soft Tissue Surgery V (Thoracic Surgery)
- Other course work accumulated from instruction taken outside of the University of Luxembourg after approval by the Post Graduate Committee (maximum 5 ECTS credits)
MODULE III: CASE LOG (10 ECTS credits)
During enrolment in the Master Program, candidates are expected to apply the new knowledge and skills acquired in the courses to the activity in daily practice. Candidates are required to accumulate 200 well-documented cases in the form of a case log. The case log shall be compiled mostly in the second half of the program. The candidate must be the primary responsible clinician for the diagnosis and work-up / the primary surgeon in the surgical disciplines, for all logged cases. Each case inserted in the case log must be supported by detailed documentation. The evaluator may randomly request the documentation for some cases which the candidate must then immediately deliver by email. Further instructions regarding the case spread are available on the ESAVS website and a template will be provided after enrolment.
The case log shall be submitted in two batches (100 cases each). Each batch is evaluated and graded by the examination board. A passing grade has to be obtained.
MODULE IV: CASE REPORTS (20 ECTS credits)
Detailed case reports shall comprise an equal number of Soft Tissue (5) and Orthopaedic (5) cases and shall address state of the art treatments of surgical diseases. The following topics are recommended:
• Difficult intra-abdominal disease (peritonitis, gallbladder and liver diseases, adrenal or pancreas
• Oncologic disease with adjuvant therapies
• Reconstructive surgery cases
• Advanced lameness diagnosis
• Advanced intra-articular treatments
• Advanced fracture treatments
Each case report is evaluated and graded by the examination board. A passing grade has to be obtained. Detailed instructions and examples are provided for download below.
MODULE V: PRACTICAL WORK AND EXPERIENCE (20 ECTS credits)
It is expected that candidates will continuously and progressively apply the skills they have acquired in the Master program in their daily practice or university clinic, in this way supporting and reinforcing the learning process. For this effort candidates will be awarded a total of 20 ECTS credits for the years they are enrolled in the program. This part of the program is not examined.
MODULE VI: MASTER THESIS (30 ECTS credits)
The Master thesis may consist of a prospective ethically-approved study, of an analytical retrospective study or of an experimental study relating to Surgery. An in depth literature review on a chosen subject, based on current literature standards, is also acceptable.
The Master thesis shall be written on a topic approved by the Master thesis tutor or the EMSAVM program director. A peer-reviewed publication of original research work in Surgery with the candidate as a first author and produced during the enrolment in the Master program may also be accepted as a Master thesis, upon approval of the program director. The thesis is evaluated and graded by the examination board. A passing grade has to be obtained.
The minimum time requirement for the Master program is 3 years for candidates who are employed full-time. For candidates who are employed part-time (minimum 20h / week) the minimum time requirement is 4 years.
Generally, the program is spread out over 4 years. Though a prolongation is possible under certain conditions, the maximum time should not exceed 5 years.
An applicant can enter the program immediately after graduating from veterinary school but the Master degree can only be obtained when the applicant has been practicing small animal veterinary medicine for at least 4 years since obtaining her/his veterinary degree.
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