What is a specialist?
For animals, primary care veterinarians handle most medical and preventative care. Like with human medicine, specialists come into play when a pet needs more advanced treatment. Veterinarians wishing to become a board-certified specialist must complete a 3 year residency program, meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research and have their research published.
The entire process is supervised by current Diplomates in each specialty to ensure consistency in training and adherence to high standards. Once the residency has been completed, the resident must sit for and pass a rigorous examination. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of Diplomat in that specialty.