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A Diplomate is a specialist in a specific area of veterinary practice, who has been recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The standards for recognition are currently set by twenty colleges or boards designated by the AVMA to award Diplomate status to veterinarians who have met the standards that indicate expertise in that area of specialty. Requirements for recognition typically include a residency, a minimum clinical practice requirement, passing an oral, written, and/or practical examination, and may include publication in a refereed veterinary journal. As of December 2009, there were 38 specialties recognized by the AVMA. See "Board Certification" for a full list. Eighteen of the specialties apply to the care of companion animals.

A veterinarian who has achieved Diplomate status may refer to oneself as a "Diplomate of the [name of college or name of specialty]." Or, one may say "Board certified in [name of specialty]." For example, the specialty of Cardiology is certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The specialist may refer to oneself as:

  1. Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Medicine;
  2. Diplomate in Veterinary Cardiology; or
  3. Board Certified in Veterinary Cardiology.[1]


  1. For more detailed usage guidelines, see "AVMA Guidelines on the Identification of Board Certified Veterinarians" at

This page was last modified on 11 August 2010, at 14:55.   This page has been accessed 7,920 times.  

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