Veterinary specialists have many years of focused education and training for their specific area of expertise so they can determine the best course of action for your specific pet, using a comprehensive knowledge of all options available. ExpertVet.com is designed to give you access to information to let you see if your pet needs the care of a veterinary specialist.
Becoming a Veterinary Specialist
Become a Veterinarian
(8 years of higher education)
The education of a veterinarian usually consists of 4 years (or a bachelors degree) university education before applying to veterinary school. Accredited US Veterinary School lasts for 4 years. At the end of that time (8 years of higher education) the students that pass receive a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD for U Penn). They then qualify to sit for national and then applicable state board exams. If they pass they are able to practice as a veterinarian.
Some veterinarians decide to take their education even further and apply for a rotating internship with a specialty institution. For a year, these new doctors work extensive hours under the direct tutelage of some of the most highly trained veterinarians that exist, rotating from one area of specialty to the next. After that grueling year, veterinarians can go into practice, but some decide to apply for very competitive focused internships. These yearlong focused internships put the veterinarian in the hands of a specific specialist in a field where he or she wants to specialize. Focused interns get to be involved in advanced casework and often participate in research studies as well.
After a focused internship, the veterinarian can apply for one of the few resident positions available. Residencies last for 3-4 years. These positions provide academic, clinical and research education teaching the resident the most advanced information about all pathologies and treatments within their area of specialty. Residents learn practical realities, and physical skills of treatments alongside the academic details. Residents also have to conduct an original research project that is peer reviewed and accepted.
Board Certification Exam
(only some pass)
If the veterinarian completes a residency and submits research that is peer reviewed and accepted, he or she is qualified to take a multi-day examination testing knowledge, skills and the ability to apply them by the specialty college. Not all veterinarians who take the exam are able to pass. If the candidate passes the exam, they are a Board Certified Veterinary Specialist.
Specialty Colleges Include but are not limited to:
- American College of Veterinary Surgeons
- Small Animal Surgery (Dogs, cats and other pets)
- Large Animal Surgery (Horses and farm animals)
- American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Cardiology (Heart), Internal Medicine (All illnesses), Neurology (Nervous System), Oncology (Cancer)
- American College of Veterinary Dermatology - Dermatology (Skin)
- American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology - Ophthalmology (Eyes)
- American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Only Board-Certified Veterinary Specialists are trained and certified to provide the best options and plan specifically for your sick or injured pet.
What is an ExpertVet Certified Practice?
ExpertVet Certified Practices are multi-specialty centers that have a staff of board-certified veterinary specialists who have demonstrated a capacity to practice at the highest level, and with the highest ethics while showing an ongoing effort to continuously improve on best business practices.
When you utilize an ExpertVet Certified Practice you can feel confident you are in the hands of one of the most advanced veterinary teams in the world who will do their best to provide you with the best service and care possible. ExpertVet Certified Practices DO NOT pay for referrals from this site. Using an ExpertVet Certified Practice is the one way to know your pet will get the best, customized care possible when it is needed.
Find the Right Vet…
Find the ExpertVet Certified Practice nearest you to find a specialist who can provide the most complete and specialized advice about your pet.
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