What is a board-certified veterinary specialist?
Board-certified veterinarians complete highly competitive advanced training beyond veterinary school to become specialists in their field of study. To become board-certified, a veterinarian must complete veterinary school among the top of their class, be accepted into a competitive internship, and a 3 or more year residency program that meets the standards of their respective specialty college or board. The veterinarian also must pass several rigorous exams.
Why it’s important to see a board-certified veterinary specialist?
Specialty veterinarians work closely with your regular veterinarian to create the best treatment plan for your pet. While a trip to a specialist is often more expensive than seeing your regular vet, it may save you money and time in the long run. Board-certified specialists have specific education and extensive experience with complicated diseases and treatments that most general practice veterinarians do not. At Boston Veterinary Specialists, our specialists also have access to high-tech diagnostic equipment that is generally not used by your primary care veterinarian. All of that combined generally leads to a faster diagnosis, fewer visits to the vet, and a streamlined plan to get your pet on the road to recovery much sooner.
How do I know if the veterinarian I’m seeing is an actual specialist?
There are some instances where veterinarians will refer to themselves as “specialists,” but only those doctors who have been board-certified by their respective specialty colleges can actually be considered specialists in their field. The easiest way to tell if a veterinarian has been board certified is to look at their credentials. A board certified specialist will list their diplomate status after their doctor of veterinary medicine credentials.
For example, if a veterinarian lists their title as “John Doe DVM, DACVS” or “John Doe DVM, Diplomate ACVS” they are a board-certified surgical specialist.
If a veterinarian lists their title as “John Doe DVM” they are not a specialist.