What is a Board-Certified Veterinary Specialist

Board-certified veterinary specialists are veterinarians who have advanced training in various medical and surgical disciplines. To become Board-certified, a veterinarian must have completed, at a minimum:

  • Four years of veterinary college
  • A three year residency program that meets the standards of a recognized specialty college or board
  • Met additional training and caseload requirements that must be met during the residency
  • Must pass a series of rigorous certifying examinations

Like most health care fields, the veterinary profession has become multi-tiered. Most conditions that develop in our animals are first evaluated by a primary care veterinarian. If an animal develops a problem or illness requiring advanced care and procedures, your primary care veterinarian or emergency room veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary specialist. Veterinary specialists work closely with animal owners, as well as the primary care veterinarian, to coordinate the best quality of care.

Along with seeing cases within their home hospital or institution, veterinary specialists are leading the way for the veterinary community in research and clinical trials to pioneer new diagnostic and treatment options for animals. At the forefront of research breakthroughs, specialists serve as conduits to improve the veterinary community’s quality of medicine by teaching veterinary students, speaking at continuing education events, publishing peer reviewed articles, research abstracts and review articles, as well as consulting with general practitioners one-on-one for individual case management.

Veterinary specialists are highly trained veterinarians that are an important member of your animal’s health care team. Veterinary specialists offer expertise that ensures the best possible outcome for the animal and animal owner.


Veterinary Specialties