What is a veterinary specialist? A veterinary specialist has undergone additional training after veterinary school in order to become a specialist. This training consists of a minimum of a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency program that meets guidelines established by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS).During the residency there are specific training and caseload requirements that must be met. In addition to these requirements, applicants may be required to perform research that is published in a scientific journal and then pass a rigorous examination.
- Critical Care Department – A specialist in emergency and critical care is a specially trained veterinarian who is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions. In the event your pet develops a life threatening disease or becomes seriously injured he/she will not only need prompt emergency care, but may require time in an intensive care unit to be closely monitored. These specialists are trained not only in ongoing critical care management but complex emergency surgery. The goal of critical care is to work with both the owner and primary care veterinarian to ensure that your pet is receiving continual high quality care and life-saving measures to improve patient outcome and get them back to their usual life.
- Internal Medicine Department – A veterinary internal medicine specialist is a veterinarian who has completed advanced training in internal medicine. Internal medicine involves many various organ systems and disease processes, including gastroenterology (esophageal, stomach and intestinal disease), hepatology (liver and pancreatic disease), endocrinology (hormonal disease), infectious diseases, urology (urinary tract disease), nephrology (kidney disease), respiratory medicine (nose, airway and lung disease), and hematology & immunology (blood cell and immune-disease). In addition internal medicine specialists may also manage cases of patients with neurological, or cancerous diseases, especially when these patients also share diseases within the scope of internal medicine. Once your regular veterinarian has identified (or has suspicion of) a disease requiring specialist care, he or she will call a referral specialty practice to arrange for seamless transfer of care. In an effort to better understand the prior health history of your pet it is ideal to receive all medical history notes and diagnostics prior to your appointment for review.
- Surgery Department – Although all veterinarians may perform surgery, difficult cases may be best managed with a specialist. Veterinary surgeons are dedicated to providing the very best in surgical care and work closely with the owner and general practice veterinarian to ensure a positive outcome post surgery. They can also act as a resource for your primary veterinarian by providing consultations on difficult or unusual cases. Following surgery and any postoperative follow-up care, the primary veterinarian resumes ongoing care of the animal.