A two-year completely online, comprehensive Small Animal Medicine program – with a structured route towards postgraduate certification
This global, two-year program consists of 20 modules* and is delivered fully online.
Work your way through the specialist-developed materials, at your own pace, with help and support available from registered specialists on the online forum.
Weekly lessons for each Module includes relevant clinical material – to update and build on prior knowledge; the latest diagnostic and therapeutic options; and case studies to work through to consolidate the module content. The innovative learning platform provides interactive short assessments and quizzes, video lectures, reference articles and demonstrations of clinical techniques all supported by the specialist discussion board.
SAM Online Learning is the only small animal medicine program within Australia/New Zealand having ISVPS accreditation, giving you a path to enrol with the ISVPS and achieve the GPCert(SAM) post nominal.
20 varied specialist developed modules – covering the key clinical medical subjects and delivered over 24 months*
Support and guidance each month from a recognised specialist as your Module Tutor
Online discussion board to ask your dedicated module specialist questions and discuss your cases with other global delegates
Four interactive sessions for each module – including consolidating case-based sessions in the final week
100% online – learn at your own time and pace, with engaging format
Fully accredited training program for the ISVPS Gen.Pract Cert SAM
Two catch-up months each year in December & January
Study for a post-graduate qualification while bringing new skills and knowledge back to your clinical practice each week
Approach the pathophysiology, diagnosis and, where appropriate, treatment and management of common viral diseases in cats including FeLV, FIV and FIP and respiratory infections
Diagnose and treat Haemoplasma infections
Explain the diseases of hunting cats including toxoplasmosis, pox virus, mycobacterial disease and salmonellosis
Approach enteric infections of the cat including protozoal disease (Trichomonas foetus, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Isospora) and bacterial/viral disease
Understand fungal mycoses
Control infectious and zoonotic disease in the home, clinic, shelters and cattery situations
Thurid Johnstone, DVM, PhD, DECVIM-CA
James Swann, MA, VetMB, MVetMed, DipACVIM, DipECVIM, MRCVS
Key learning objectives:
Understand the diagnostic techniques available to investigate urinary disease
Delve into the detail of the pathophysiology of acute and chronic renal failure, glomerular disease and proteinuria
Develop your investigative approach into renal disease
Improve your therapeutic management of such cases
Thurid Johnstone, DVM, PhD, DECVIM-CA
Joana Agguiar, MVM, MVetMed, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS
Key learning objectives:
Describe and understand the factors involved in the development of crystalluria and urolithiasis in cats and dogs
Understand the principles of management of lower urinary tract disease in cats and dogs
Explore the often complicated management of FLUTD and urethral obstruction
Examine the possible causes of urinary incontinence, their diagnosis and management
Classify canine prostatic diseases and understand their pathogenesis, diagnosis and medical management
John Hutt, BVSc (Hons), CertVD, MANZCVS, DACVD Specialist Dermatology
Rosario Cerundolo, DVM, CertVD, DipECVD, MRCVS
Key learning objectives:
Develop a problem-solving approach to skin diseases
Describe the steps involved in dermatologic examination in cats and dogs
List and understand the techniques used for the laboratory investigation of skin disease and when they should be used
Recommend a rational problem-solving approach to the investigation and treatment of :
Become familiar with the common presentations of bacterial, parasitic and fungal skin disease
Identify common dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease and their pathogenesis
Edith Hampson, BVSc, PhD, FANZCVS
Sally Turner, VetMB, DVOphthal, MRCVS
Key learning objectives:
Review common ophthalmic examination techniques:
Basic neuro-ophthalmological examination
Ophthalmoscopy: distant direct; close direct & indirect
Correct use of Fluorescein for corneal evaluation
Tonometry and gonioscopy
Get to grips with current ocular therapeutics: what do you need to have on your pharmacy shelf?
Familiarise yourself with the medical management of common ocular conditions
Identify the ocular manifestations of systemic diseases
Be able to recognise common ocular conditions that require surgery
Hear From a Recent Small Animal Medicine Graduate
The teaching at Improve is excellent and I have been able to take what I have learnt back to use in practice. It’s not just the lectures themselves but the practical work we did straight afterwards which drives home everything, which is why Improve’s modular programmes are so great. The difference it’s made in the practice has been huge, I’m more confident with clients and able to take on more complex cases.
Ann graduated from the University of Queensland in 1997. After graduation she worked in general practice in Melbourne and the UK before returning to the University of Queensland Veterinary Teaching Hospital. While at UQ …
Dr Gavaghan graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Queensland in 1985 and was accepted as Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Canine Medicine) …
Edith Hampson is a Queensland graduate with more than 20 years experience who has worked both in small animal veterinary practice and in research centres. Edith is passionate about eyes and loves teaching ophthalmology.
Dr John H C Hutt BVSc(Hons) CertVD MANZCVS DipACVD John graduated from the University of Queensland in 1988. He worked in general practice in Brisbane for 18 months before travelling to the UK in 1990, where he worked in …
Dr Lydia Hambrook BVSC (Hons) FANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine) Lydia graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2002. After gaining experience in mixed, equine and small animal practice she commenced a residency in Sma …
Dr Mellora Sharman BVSc MVM PGradCert PhD FANZCVS DECVIM-CA EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine Member of European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine – Companion Animals
Dr Patrick Kenny BVSC (HONS) DIPACVIM (NEUROLOGY) DIPECVN FHEA MRCVS Patrick graduated from the University of Sydney in 2002. He then completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Queensland Vet …
Philip H Brain graduated from the University of Sydney in 1985 and after 13 years in general practice, completed a residency program in small animal medicine at the Veterinary Specialist Centre, North Ryde, NSW.
Read more Dr Veronika Langova graduated in Brno, Czech Republic in 1992. She was admitted to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists as a Member in Small Animal Medicine in 2000. In 2005, she attained Fellowship in Small A …
When is the learning content available for each module?
At the beginning of the month, the content for weeks 1 and 2 will be released
At the beginning of the 3rd week of the month, the remaining content will be released
There are 20 modules over 24 months (no new modules released December or January each year)
What additional learning resources are available?
Interactive online lessons
Recognised Specialist as a module tutor to answer your questions on the discussion board
Comprehensive notes to support each lesson
Discussion board/forum to post questions, comments and engage with other delegates in the program
Reading list & a range of additional resources
How many hours per week will I have to spend on the program?
You will spend on average 5 hours per week on reading and working through the interactive materials on the platform. You may spend significantly more time if you are engaging with the specialist tutor and your colleagues on the discussion forum and posting cases and questions, preparing cases, forum interaction etc.
Do I have to complete the Module within the month or can I take longer?
After the module month has passed, you will continue to have access to the SAM Online Learning interactive material however, your specialist tutor for that module will no longer be able to answer questions. You will still have access to the discussion forum and the ability to view archived questions/tutor responses.
What if I have questions on a makeup module in SAM Online Learning?
In January each year, an internal medicine specialist will be available for general queries you may have from earlier modules. It is advised to make use of the specialist tutors for each module if possible.
What are the requirements of the General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Medicine?
Complete the full online structured program with Improve International
Register with ISVPS for the GPCert once you have started the 2 year SAM Online Learning program (more information below)
Submit a case report (2,500 words)
Examinations – the full 2 year program must be complete before sitting the examination.
Online spot test exam 2hrs
Multiple choice examination 4hrs
ISVPS are responsible for invigilation of the exam via TestReach an independent invigilation company
When do the online GPCert exams take place?
The first occasion to sit the GPCert SAM examination will be in the year after completion of the Improve International program.
Yes, all the requirements for the ISVPS are online
How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?
Full details of the ISVPS processes are made available after you have registered with the ISVPS. You will be given a login to the Candidates Area after registration. ISVPS also have individual contact points for each country. email@example.com is the Australian contact address and any questions can be sent to this address for follow-up.
How do I pay the registration fees for GPCert?
Registration is made directly to ISVPS – you will be provided with contact details allowing you to complete their registration form.
Fees are payable at the time of registration directly to ISVPS.
Ideally, the decision to aim for the GPCert should be made within the first 2 months of the program starting to enable delegates to benefit from access to the ISVPS candidates’ area.
The deadline for the ISVPS certificate registration is one year in advance of the first assessment deadline
e.g. If you are undertaking the 2020-2022 Small Animal Medicine Online Learning Program, you should register for the October 2022 examination. Your first assessment will be due on the 30th of June 2022 and hence your deadline for enrolment with ISVPS will be the 24th of June 2021. Should this deadline be missed, you will have the opportunity to enrol for the 2023 examination.
How long do I have to complete the whole program?
The program must be completed within 6 months of the final module. GPCert candidates then have up to four years to satisfy ISVPS assessment requirements and obtain the GPCert.
I’m not based in Australia. Can I still complete the program and obtain the GPCert?
Yes. Location of study does not affect/change this global program. We can accept delegates across Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific region. Additionally, all content is pre-recorded so can be viewed at any time of day (i.e. time zone differences will not impact your access to content). However, you may need to allow extra time for tutor responses (as tutors will be based in Australia). If you intend to sit the GPCert(SAM) qualification through ISVPS, this is online. Please contact the ISVPS directly for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org).