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Board Certification

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Board certifications are areas of veterinary medical specialization that are recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The requirements for board certification are established by various certifying organizations (colleges) working under the auspices of the AVMA through its subsidiary organization, the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS).[1] The requirements are rigorous and include 2-4 years of specialized residency training and passing a multi-day examination. Veterinarians who have achieved board certification in a particular field will identify themselves as a Diplomate in that field, or state that they are Board Certified in that field.[2]

Often, veterinarians list areas of special interest or "specialty." This may indicate a varying degree of experience, ranging from a general interest to years of study. However, it does not equate to Board Certification, which guarantees that the veterinarian has passed a prescribed course of study and training.

The number of board specialties continues to grow as veterinary medicine becomes more sophisticated and knowledge-intensive. The first board certifications were established in 1951.[3]

As of December 2009, there were 38 board specialties recognized by the ABVS and AVMA; 19 of which pertain to the care of companion animals). 9,826 veterinarians have achieved board certification across all AVMA-recognized specialties.[4]. This is a complete list of veterinary board specialties.[5]

List of Board Certifications

No Board certification exists for areas of holistic care, such as acupuncture. Acupuncture is certified by other organizations (see Acupuncture.)


  4. For current numbers of board certified veterinarians in each specialty, see:
  5. Source:

This page was last modified on 31 August 2010, at 21:36.   This page has been accessed 49,569 times.  

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