What is a Veterinary Specialist?

Veterinary specialists are veterinarians who have advanced training in various veterinary medical, surgical and imaging disciplines and are board certified. To become board certified, a veterinarian must have completed, at a minimum, four years of veterinary college, a one year internship or equivalent, and two to three years in a residency program that meets the standards of a recognized specialty college or board. There are additional training and caseload requirements that must be met during the residency and finally, the veterinarian must pass a series of rigorous 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.

Check out this information video which outlines what to expect when your pet is referred to a Veterinary Specialist

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