A survey was conducted by the EBVS communications committee to identify and evaluate different issues of importance, such as the use of the specialist title, EU recognition of training as a specialist, and perceptions of the EBVS. Different styles of questions, including “yes/no”, degrees of agreement (“strongly agree, …, strongly disagree”), or multiple, non-exclusive choices and open ended / free text, were included. The 20-question survey was sent to all EBVS diplomates (via their college) and was open until January 16, 2017.
The survey was completed by 24% of EBVS Diplomates, in total 1044 diplomates responded. These responses are summarized below:
- Most of the respondents (69%) indicated that EBVS specialist title was recognized; 22% said it was not recognized and 9% did not know.
- Almost all (strongly agree 74% and agree 23%) of the diplomates felt that European-wide recognition of the veterinary specialist title was important (disagree 2%, strongly disagree 1%).
- Most respondents (67%) did not know who their National representative was. This can be found on each Country page.
EBVS activities and awareness
- Most respondents (80%) know that information about activities can be found on the EBVS website. However most respondents did not know that the AGM minutes were available on the members section (after login) of the website. Only around 50% of respondents reported that they received information about EBVS activities routinely.
- Most respondents (80%) felt that the public was not aware of what an EBVS-recognised veterinary specialist or what a Diplomate title is. However, most (69%) felt that members of the veterinary profession were aware of this.
- The majority of the respondents (68%) believed that the EBVS was actively promoting veterinary specialization in Europe.
- Most of the respondents (74%) were not aware that the EBVS had recently submitted an application for a European Common Training Framework (CTF) for recognition of the veterinary specialist training by all EU member states, which would enable the EBVS recognized specialists to move freely within the EU.
- Most of the respondents (89%) rarely (62%) or never (27%) visit the EBVS website.
- Almost none of the respondents (95%) followed the EBVS on social media.
- More than half of the respondents indicated that they have never updated their personal page, but would like to.
- Diplomates indicated that they currently had various social media accounts and would like to include this link on their EBVS personal page.
Sixty-eight participants shared their suggestions on how to improve the EBVS website and their personal page:
- Resolve difficulties in accessing personal page/retrieving log in details, etc.
- Increase flexibility in what can be presented on each profile (e.g. more than one address/email address)
- Increase the amount of information for the general public
- Include a newsletter containing recent events, news, useful contact information, etc.
Improving promotion of veterinary specialization and increasing visibility of European Veterinary Specialists
Title and recognition
- Obtain official recognition by EU state members
- Encourage the replacement of national specialization with EBVS-recognized specialization
- Protect the specialist title and sanction the misuse of the title or the use of other unofficial titles (European College residency trained, Dipl ECXX eligible, Dip ECXX candidate, etc)
- Defending European Veterinary Specialists as the highest tier of the profession in light of the newly-recognized title of “Advanced practitioner”, including greater public awareness of the differences between the two
- For insurance coverage, define those activities that require specialist training and that can only be performed legally by an EBVS Specialists
Awareness and promotion
- Use EBVS National Representatives more productively to: promote veterinary specialization at the local, country level through the media (journals, meetings, television, etc); provide promotional material for use in the work setting.
- Get EBVS Colleges involved in promoting the EBVS
- Illustrate the benefits of interacting with veterinary specialists more convincingly to the members of the veterinary profession. This should be mutually beneficial.
- Inform veterinary undergraduates of the EBVS