What is a specialist? What is a board-certified surgeon?

What is a specialist?

A specialist is a veterinarian who has undergone intense training in a specific field following graduation from veterinary school.  Usually this involves completing one or two one-year internships and a three-year residency. After which they can also offer curbside vet care for your clinic

The overseeing specialty college closely supervises the activities of the resident and ensures that the candidate has met the credentialing requirements in order to sit the qualifying examination.

These credentials include providing specific logs of types of cases seen and procedures performed to ensure the proper level of training in the specialty field.  In addition, there are usually research and publication requirements that must be met.

Once all the credentials have been met, the candidate may sit for the certifying examination.  This is a 2-3 day examination that often includes written, practical, and oral components.  Passing this examination is the final requirement to achieve board-certification.

But of course, practicing medicine- whether one is a specialist or not- requires life-long continuing education and commitment to keeping up to date with new knowledge.

If you are interested in viewing all specialties recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, you can use the following link:


What is a board-certified surgeon?

Board-certified veterinary surgeons are specialists who have met the requirements set forth by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  This board-certification is indicated by the title: Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, or DACVS. Only those veterinarians who have achieved this certification may display the ACVS logo- the blue and white centaur displayed on this page.

American College of Veterinary Surgeons website link: www.acvs.org

What type of animals do I treat?

Veterinarians are trained and tested in all species.  However, the purpose of specialists is to be as focused as possible.  I have chosen to practice only on dogs and cats.