Board Certified SpecialistWritten on January 04, 2011 by Staff Veterinarian

In order to obtain the title of board certified specialist and receive board certification, individuals must complete all of the following steps in the chosen field of specialty study.

A veterinarian is an individual with DVM or VMD after their name, who has completed the following educational requirements:

  • Receive an undergraduate degree.
  • Complete four years of veterinary school.
  • Pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) in order to achieve licensing.
  • Pass the licensing exam for the state in which they wish to practice.

A board certified specialist is an individual with a DVM/VMD and the letters DACV… plus the initials of the area of their study, following their name. To receive board certification they must complete all of the following educational requirements:

  • Receive an undergraduate degree.
  • Complete four years of veterinary school.
  • Receive advanced training during a one-year internship program.
  • Participate in a three-year residency program completing specific training and caseload requirements under the supervision of other board-certified individuals.
  • Conduct research and publish in scientific journals.
  • Following this training, candidates must submit a credentials application then pass a rigorous examination evaluating knowledge and training in the specific area of specialization.
  • Once all credentials have been met, and the individual passes the exam, the status of board-certified specialist is granted.

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