The standard residency-training programme is considered the optimal route to Diplomate status. This programme must consist of a consecutive period of at least three years (156 weeks) of supervised training, postgraduate education and clinical experience in the science and practice of equine internal medicine and its supporting disciplines under the supervision of at least one ECEIM Diplomate who participates actively in the programme. To fulfil the ECEIM curriculum requirements, some approved institutions will have to extend their programmes over four or more years.
The resident must participate in a veterinary medical emergency service as well as clinical duties during normal working hours. In addition to the training rotations in equine internal medicine (minimum 93 weeks) and related disciplines (minimum 13 weeks), residents may spend the remainder of their programme in any or all the following ways:
* Vacation periods (typically 4–5 weeks per year).
* Research (minimum 4 weeks per year).
* Preparation of scientific manuscripts for publication.
* Private study.
The standard residency-training programme will usually be conducted at one institution, although institutions are entitled to submit proposals for programmes conducted at more than one site provided that all the requirements (including Diplomate supervision) can be fulfilled. Institutions are encouraged to give residents opportunities to visit other institutions.