Small Animal Medicine DL 2021

Small Animal Medicine DL

A two-year completely online, comprehensive Small Animal Medicine study program – with a structured route towards postgraduate certification & post nominals. 

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.

Small Animal Medicine DL is the only small animal medicine training program within Australia/New Zealand accredited by the International School of Veterinary Post Graduate Studies ISVPS for the General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Medicine.

Course Highlights

2021 Brochure Coming Soon

2021 Brochure Coming Soon

We are currently updating all our Improve brochures for 2021. Register now to be the first to receive the new course brochure hot off the press.

Register your interest now for
Small Animal Medicine DL 2021
- Enrolments opening soon!

Small Animal Medicine DL
An initial $1000 deposit will secure your place in this program. Registrations are limited.

Would you like to receive
more information?

Register your interest to receive SAM DL Program updates.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Small Animal Medicine DL Modules

Year 1 Modules

Clinical Pathology

Module Tutor:

Bruce Parry, Veterinary Clinical Pathologist and Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne

 

Module Developer:

Nick Bexfield, BVetMed, PhD, DSAM, DipECVIM-CA, FSBoil, MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the rationale behind selection of appropriate tests for your patients
  • Consider the different sampling techniques and sample processing and identify factors that may affect them
  • Become familiar with the clinical pathology of hepatobiliary and renal disease
  • Structure your approach to anaemia to differentiate between non-regenerative and regenerative types before determining possible underlying causes
  • Transform your understanding of haemostasis to enable you to determine when, why and how it goes wrong
  • Use your knowledge to interpret laboratory data from clinical patients to help you prioritise further investigations

Immunology

Module Tutor:

Lydia Hambrook, FANZCVS, Registered Specialist (Small Animal Medicine)

 

Module Developer:

Jame Swann, MA, VetMB, MVetMed, DipACVM, DipECVIM, MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Learn the basis of immune function and the immune response to better understand the pathophysiology of immune-mediated disease
  • Develop your diagnostic approach to common immune-mediated diseases in small animals
  • Transform your understanding of the basis of therapy for immune-mediated diseases
  • Discuss the use of common immunosuppressive therapies

Cytology

Module Tutor:

Bruce Parry, Veterinary Clinical Pathologist and Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne

 

 

Module Developer:

Marta Costa DVM MSc FRCPath DipECVCP MRCVS EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Clinical Pathology

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the principles and practical aspects of cytological sample collection, storage and preparation
  • Perfect your ability to describe the principles of routine cytological examination and how this informs a cytological diagnosis
  • Develop your haematological skills by becoming adept at interpreting both normal and abnormal haemograms, identifying
    reticulocytes and discovering platelet and white cell abnormalities
  • Transform your understanding of the different cytological characteristics of effusions, aspirates and lavage samples
  • Familiarise yourself with some of the conditions most commonly diagnosed by cytology

Diagnostic Imaging

Module Tutor:

TBC

 

Module developer: Andrew Holdsworth BSc, BVSc (Hons), DipECVDI, MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Review the principles of radiography, radiology and the significance of radiation protection
  • Appreciate the use of contrast radiography in a variety of situations and using a variety of techniques
  • Understand the principles of ultrasound imaging
  • Familiarise yourself with the basic principles of advanced imaging
  • Compare and contrast CT and MRI as diagnostic tools

Gastroenterology I

Module Tutor: 

Mellora Sharman, BVSc, MVM, PGradCert, PhD, FANZCVS, DECVIM-CA

European Specialist in Small Animal Medicine

 

Module Developer:

Scott Kilpatrick BSc (Hons) MSc BVM&S DipECVIM-CA MRCVS 

 

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Develop your understanding of deglutition and dysphagia
  • Familiarise yourself with the pathophysiology of:
    • Regurgitation
    • Acute and chronic vomiting
    • Diarrhoea
  • Enhance your diagnostic approach to gastrointestinal abnormalities
  • Describe the principles and basic use of endoscopy in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease and when it is indicated

Gastroenterology II

Module Tutor: 

Mellora Sharman, BVSc, MVM, PGradCert, PhD, FANZCVS, DECVIM-CA

European Specialist in Small Animal Medicine

 

Module Developer:

Scott Kilpatrick BSc (Hons) MSc BVM&S DipECVIM-CA MRCVS 

 

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Improve your understanding of the pathophysiology of hepatic and hepatobiliary disease
  • Devise a systematic diagnostic approach to the jaundiced patient
  • Perfect your investigative approach to suspected hepatobiliary disease
  • Understand the pathophysiology of exocrine pancreatic disease
  • Describe the investigative approach to acute and chronic exocrine pancreatic diseases
  • Discuss the therapeutic options in hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases

Respiratory Disease

Module Tutor:

Philip Brain, BVSc, FACVSC (Small Animal Medicine) FAVA

 

Module developer: 

Susana Silva CertSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Improve your understanding of the importance of a detailed and thorough physical examination
  • Integrate a dyspnoea algorithm into your investigations of respiratory disease
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of diagnostic aids in the investigation of respiratory disease: radiography, endoscopy, ultrasonography and cytology
  • Consolidate your knowledge of upper and lower airway disease, parenchymal and pleural space disease
  • Familiarise yourself with the principles of primary and ancillary respiratory therapeutic

Endocrinology I

Module Tutor:

Ann Thompson, BVSc, MANZCVS, MSc, GCHEd, DACVIM

 

Module developer: 

Nick Bexfield BVetMed PhD DSAM DipECVIM-CA FSBiol MRCVS 

 

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Get to grips with the underlying principles of endocrine anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
  • Become familiar with the clinical signs and diagnostic approaches in cats and dogs with endocrine disorders such as:
    • Hypo- and hyperadrenocorticism – common and uncommon presentations
    • Hypo- and hyperthyroidism
    • Primary and Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Understand the basis of medical and (where appropriate) surgical management for diseases affecting the adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands

Endocrinology II

Module Tutor:

Ann Thompson, BVSc, MANZCVS, MSc, GCHEd, DACVIM

 

Module developer:

Nick Bexfield BVetMed PhD DSAM DipECVIM-CA FSBiol MRCVS 

 

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical signs associated with endocrine pancreatic disease including insulinoma
  • Describe the investigation and management of diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis in the dog and cat
  • Get to grips with understanding the causes of failure to control diabetes and the approach to the unstable diabetic patient
  • Understand the pathophysiology of pituitary endocrine diseases
  • Become familiar with the clinical signs, investigation and management of pituitary endocrine disease in the dog and cat

Medical Oncology

Module Tutor:

Veronika Langovva, MVDR, MACVSC Medicine, FANZCVS (Oncology)

 

Module Developer:

Ana Lara, DVVM, MSc, PhD, PgCert, MedEd, FHEA, DipACVIM, ECVIM-CA (Oncology)

 

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Be able to understand the principles of tumour biology and staging
  • Formulate a general investigative approach to the cancer patient
  • Develop your understanding of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical oncology
  • Familiarise yourself with the therapeutic management of common canine and feline neoplasms
  • Enable yourself to recognise and manage common oncologic emergencies

Year 2 Modules

Medical Neurology

Module Tutor:

Patrick Kenny, BVSc (Hons), DACVIM (Neurology), DECVN, FHEA, MRCVS


Module Developer:

Raquel Trevail, DVM, DipECVM, MRCVS


Key learning objectives:

  • Revise your understanding of the principles of functional neuroanatomy
  • Become adept at a thorough and systematic neurologic examination to help you localise lesions
  • List and understand further diagnostic techniques available to investigate neurologic disease
  • Consider the investigation and management of common neurologic syndromes
  • Understand the steps involved in the investigation into the aetiology of seizures in dogs and cats
  • Improve your ability to manage seizures in an emergency and longer term

Cardiovascular I

Module Tutors:

Brad Gavaghan, BVSc, MANZCVS, FANZCVS, Specialist Cardiologist

Fiona Meyers, BVSc (Hons), PhD, MANZCVS, DACVIM

Module Developer:

Kieran Borgeat, BSc (Hons), BVSc, MVetMed, CertVC, DipACVIM, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Extend your understanding of the principles and importance of a physical examination in patients with suspected cardiac disease
  • Familiarise yourself with the principles of electrocardiography
  • Integrate your understanding of the approach to electrocardiographic interpretation to help you identify common arrhythmias
  • Improve your evaluation of thoracic radiographs in reference to cardiac patients
  • Understand the basic principles of echocardiography and its role in diagnosis of cardiac disease

Cardiovascular II

Module Tutors:

Brad Gavaghan, BVSc, MANZCVS, FANZCVS, Specialist Cardiologist

Fiona Meyers, BVSc (Hons), PhD, MANZCVS, DACVIM

 

Module Developer:

Kieran Borgeat, BSc (Hons), BVSc, MVetMed, CertVC, DipACVIM, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS

 

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise and understand the events involved in the pathophysiology of cardiac failure
  • Define systolic and diastolic failure
  • Appreciate the species differences in prevalence of congenital and acquired cardiac diseases
  • Describe the major congenital cardiac diseases in dogs and cats
  • Transform your understanding of the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of acquired valvular, myocardial and pericardial diseases
  • Familiarise yourself with the therapeutic options and their applications in patients with cardiac disease
  • Learn how to manage emergency cardiac patients for improved outcomes

Emergency Medicine & Critical Care

Module Tutor:

Claire Sharp, BSc, BVMS, MS, DACVECC


Module Developer:

Simon Tappin, MA, VetMB, GPCert (SAP), CertSAM, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS


Key learning objectives:

  • Familiarise yourself with a thorough and systematic approach to the assessment of the critically ill patient’s major body systems
  • Enhance your understanding of the minimum database and its interpretation
  • Implement your assessment of your patients when considering their fluid, electrolyte and transfusion requirements
  • Understand the principles and practical aspects of critical patient monitoring
  • Recognise imminent cardiopulmonary arrest more promptly
  • Learn how to select and apply both basic and advanced life support
  • Learn the best approach to the acute management of the dyspnoeic patient

Canine Infectous Diseases

Module Tutor:

Mellora Sharman, BVSc, MVM, PGradCert, PhD, FANZCVS, DECVIM-CA


Module Developer:

Simon Tappin, MA, VetMB, GPCert(SAP), CertSAM, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS


Key learning objectives:

  • Compile a list of the major infectious diseases in dogs
  • Describe the diagnosis and management of common canine infectious diseases
  • Familiarise yourself with the clinical signs of significant imported diseases occurring in dogs
  • Understand the principles of vaccination and vaccination regimes
  • Understand the steps involved in the Pet Travel Scheme
  • List notifiable diseases in dogs

Feline Infectious Diseases

Module Tutor:

To be confirmed

 

Module Developer:

Kerry Simpson, BVM&S, PhD, FACVSc, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS

Key learning objectives:

  • 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

 

Urology I

Module Tutor:

Thurid Johnstone, DVM, PhD, DECVIM-CA

 

Module Developer:

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

 

Urology II

Module Tutor:

Thurid Johnstone, DVM, PhD, DECVIM-CA

 

Module Developer:

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

Dermatology

Module Tutor:

John Hutt, BVSc (Hons), CertVD, MANZCVS, DACVD Specialist Dermatology


Module Developer

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 :
    • Alopecia
    • Pruritus
  • Become familiar with the common presentations of bacterial, parasitic and fungal skin disease
  • Identify common dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease and their pathogenesis

Ophthalmology

Module Tutor:

Edith Hampson, BVSc, PhD, FANZCVS


Module Developer:

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 Recent Small Animal Medicine DL Delegates

"The program is very well designed. I like the variety of the set-up and slides which helps break it up and the cases they discuss while going through the module. I'm very happy I chose you guys!"
"As a vet in practice for 30 years and busy locuming, this is a great chance to revise the forgotten, and latest ,information at your own pace and boy don't we all need it! "
"This program was truly excellent. Lots of detail in the slides and hand-outs. Excellent mix of providing information, using questions to check understanding and all with the proper clinical relevance. Feel much more confident in how I would approach and treat these conditions. Specialist response to questions was quick and detailed."

2019-2021 SAM DL Program Delegate Feedback

Course Tutors

Dr Ann Thompson
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Ann Thompson

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 Brad Gavaghan
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Brad Gavaghan

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) …

Dr Bruce William Parry
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Bruce William Parry

Prof Bruce William Parry BVSc, PhD

Dr Claire Sharp
Claire Sharp

Dr Claire Sharp

Claire is a senior lecturer in the College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. She did her veterinary training at Murdoch, graduating with a BSc, BVMS(Hons), in 2002.

Dr Edith Hampson
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Edith Hampson

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 Fiona Meyers
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Fiona Meyers

Dr Fiona Meyers graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Queensland in 1996. After graduation, she worked in small animal practice in the United Kingdom and Australia for 2 years before undertaking a PhD at the …

Dr John Hutt
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr John Hutt

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 Kerry Rolph

Dr Kerry Rolph

Dr Lydia Hambrook
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Lydia Hambrook

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
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Mellora Sharman

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 Philip Brain
Philip Brain

Dr Philip Brain

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.

Dr Thurid Johnstone

Dr Thurid Johnstone

Dr Veronika Langova
Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

Dr Veronika Langova

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 …

Payment Options

AU $1000 initial deposit to secure your place. The balance of fees must be paid a minimum of 30 days prior to program start 1st May 2021.

All prices are inclusive of compulsory 10% GST

Full Payment Upfront (Total payable AU $12,490 inc gst)

All prices are inclusive of compulsory 10% GST

Payment Plan through VetEdPay* (AU $12,490 + $195 administration fee

All prices are inclusive of compulsory 10% GST

*Please note: By selecting this option for payment you are connecting with VetEdPay, an external finance provider.

Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings.

Please find the terms and conditions here.

FAQ

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)

 

Small Animal Medicine DL Improve International Australia

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
  • Program Manager
  • Technical support

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 is over, you will continue to have access to the SAM DL interactive material however the specialist tutor for that month’s module will no longer be available for answering questions. You will still have access to the discussion forum and the ability to view archived questions/tutor responses and can discuss module content/questions with other delegates. 

What if I have questions on a makeup module in SAM DL?

It is advised to make use of the specialist tutors for each month’s module by asking questions on the discussion board for that month.  If you have questions on a makeup module that is complete the discussion board is also open to colleagues engaging and answering. The idea of the forum discussion boards are that colleagues in the program, from around the world, can help each other and add thoughts and ideas on makeup questions

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 DL program (more information below)
  • Submit a case report (2,500 words)
  • Examinations – the full 2 year program must be complete before sitting the examination.
  • Consists of:
    • 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.

For up-to-date exam dates please visit www.isvps.org or email australia@isvps.org for any specific queries

Is the GPCert all online?

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. australia@isvps.org 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 Distance 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 and will have continued access to the program. 

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, their requirements are based around online assessment. ISVPS are an independent accrediting and awarding body – please contact the ISVPS directly for further information (australia@isvps.org).

*Be aware if you are not from these geographic regions you will be referred to nearest Improve International Office who can help you enrol in the SAM DL program. 

Explore more courses