Veterinary medicine falls under The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), which is part of the Federal Department of Home Affairs. Within the Federal Office of Public Health, the Commission of University Medical Professions, based in Berne, is responsible for university education and continuing education. Veterinary medicine is regulated by a Federal Act on University Medical Professions (Medical Professions Act, 23rd June 2006).
Veterinary Specialist Recognition
There is a federal register for all medical professionals with post graduate qualifications. It lists individuals with Swiss or Switzerland-recognised diplomas and continuing professional development titles in medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and dentistry. However, no international (e.g. European Veterinary Specialists, AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties diplomats, Fellows of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists) or national specialist qualifications in veterinary medicine are recognised officially in Switzerland.
Professional membership organisations like the Swiss Veterinary Society (GST/SVS) can however register the titles that they award. There are nine national specialist titles (FVH) for horses, companion animals, ruminants, swine, pathology, laboratory medicine, food hygiene, veterinary microbiological analytics and veterinary public health at EQF level 7+, based in part on continuing education.
Advanced Veterinary Practitioners
There is no Advanced Veteirnary Practitioner Training. Some veterinarians in Sqitzerland have completed postgraduate studies leading to a Dr. med. vet. title. Dr. med. vet. is not equivalent to a PhD.
Continuing education of veterinary general practitioners
Continuing education has been mandatory, under the Federal Law on the Medical Profession, for all practicing veterinarians since 2002. This is recorded by the Swiss Veterinary Society (GST/SVS) using continuing education points. The awarded continuing education points are prerequisite to gaining the national specialist qualifications (FVH).
There is one Veterinary Faculty in Switzerland, called the Vetsuisse-Faculty. It has two locations: Vetsuisse-Faculty University Zurich and Vetsuisse-Faculty University Berne. Veterinarians graduate and are federally licensed (med. vet.) and can get the permission to work as a veterinarian in private practice.
The membership organisation is the Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte/Société des Vétérinaires Suisses (GST/SVS). One of the aims of the GST/SVS is to ensure the quality of veterinary practice in education in general and in continuing education in particular. The Swiss Veterinary Society (GST/SVS), the official representing body of veterinarians in Switzerland, has a number of subsections including one for specialized veterinarians - Fachsektionen.