What is a veterinary specialist?

Website & BrochureQ1. What is a Specialist?

“Veterinary Specialist” is a professional recognition awarded to a veterinary diplomat who has achieved a high standard of academic and professional expertise in their chosen subject and published a sufficient number of articles in peer-reviewed journals. The Specialist status is reviewed every five years on the basis of clinical and academic activity as well as participation and performance in continuing education. American and European Specialists are recognised in most European countries and United States.

Eureopean Specialists are also members of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS). American Specialists are also members of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS).

Q2. What is a Diploma Holder?

A Diploma Holder is a veterinary surgeon who has successfully completed a 3-year residency under the supervision of a recognised diplomat in one discipline and passed the college credentials and diploma examinations.

Q3 What is a Certificate Holder?

The Certificate is the first level of postgraduate qualification awarded by the RCVS, and indicates that the holder is a competent clinician who has proved their experience and expertise by examination in their chosen subject.

Q4 What is a Referral?

Just like your personal doctor, general practice veterinary surgeons cannot be an expert in every field. At certain times, pets may need to be referred to a specialist in a specific area, who has more specialised equipment to diagnose and treat the problem. Your pet must be referred to us by your own veterinary surgeon.
If your pet needs to be seen urgently your vet will telephone for an emergency appointment.
Your vet may wish to discuss your pet’s case with us by telephone, prior to making a decision regarding the referral. In some cases they may send us X-rays or laboratory results beforehand.

Second Opinion
You can also talk to your vet and ask for a second opinion (not to be confused with ‘secondary referrals’, above). Your vet may decide to discuss the case with a colleague or to seek the advice of someone outside the practice. According to the RCVS guidelines, there are no restrictions on seeking a second opinion without the consent of your vet, but the second vet will need to contact your normal vet to obtain treatment information. This is so that conflicting treatments are avoided, so it is in the interest of your animal. It is also a professional obligation that is expected of vets.

If you think that your pet may need specialist attention or a second opinion, do not hesitate to discuss it with your veterinary surgeon. He/She will assist you in this process.

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