What is a veterinary specialist?
WestVet specialists collaborate with your family veterinarian to provide advanced medicine for pets. Occasionally — just as with human medicine — your family vet may suggest a referral to a specialist. This is to ensure your pet receives the highest level of care available.
Your family veterinarian and WestVet specialists will work as a team in treating your beloved pet, with the goal being to provide you the essential information on an accurate diagnosis and the best treatment options.
Education and Certification Requirements for Veterinary Specialists
The commitment to become a veterinary specialist mirrors the route that human doctors must follow. First, specialists complete both an undergraduate degree and veterinary school. After meeting licensure requirements to practice veterinary medicine, a specialist continues his/her education with 3 to 5 years of additional training in their chosen specialty.
First, candidates complete both an undergraduate degree and veterinary school. After meeting licensure requirements to practice veterinary medicine, a specialist continues his/her education with 3 to 5 years of additional training in their chosen specialty or area of study.
Additionally, the doctor conducts clinical research, publishes research in a peer-reviewed journal, and passes rigorous board examinations in the area of specialty. After a credential review, the veterinarian may be deemed a board certified specialist.
The letters that follow the specialists’ name indicate the specialty college. For example, “DACVS” stands for Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons. The DACVS acronym is listed after the name and previous educational achievements of the board certified veterinary surgeon in this manner: “First Name, Last Name, DVM, MS, DACVS”.
The letters indicate to a pet’s family that the specialist has met all of the certification requirements and remains in good standing.
Our Specialty Services
- Critical Care
- Dentistry & Oral Surgery
- Emergency Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Medical Oncology
- Neurology & Neurosurgery
- Urgent Care
Not all specialty services are available in every hospital.
Please speak with your family veterinarian about a referral to a veterinary specialist for your pet.