What is a “Board-Certified” Specialist?
A board-certified veterinary specialist is a veterinarian with advanced education and training in a specific discipline of veterinary medicine. His or her knowledge and skill in this area is evaluated and recognized by a specialty organization, or “college” sanctioned by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
In recent years, medical advancements and available treatments in the veterinary field have grown at a tremendous rate, making it virtually impossible for any one veterinarian to maintain expertise in every discipline of medicine. As in human medicine, this quickly-changing landscape has led to the development of advanced training programs in specialized areas.
To become a board-certified specialist, a student begins with four years of veterinary school, then completes a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery. The next step is a three-year accredited residency training program in their elected discipline. Successful completion of a written and practical examination by a Board of Examiners, approval of case reports and the publication of a research article in veterinary literature complete the rigorous journey. The veterinary specialist is then referred to as a “diplomate” in their specialty of choice.
Until recently, only human medical facilities and university veterinary hospitals provided many of the specialty services offered at AESC by our highly trained staff.