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Veterinary Specialties

Veterinary Specialty Organizations

A veterinary specialist is a graduate veterinarian who has successfully completed the process of board certification in an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization (ie, board or college). To become board certified, a veterinarian must have extensive post-graduate training, sufficient experience, and pass a credential review and examinations set by the given specialty organization. One representative from each of the 20 recognized veterinary specialty organizations serves on the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS). The ABVS, which was established in 1959, annually reviews each of the specialty boards or colleges according to established criteria in order to ensure uniform standards and performance by all recognized veterinary specialty organizations.

In March 2002, the 20 AVMA-recognized specialty boards and colleges reported a total of 7,357 active, board-certified diplomates on record. This total includes 464 new board-certified specialists since 2001. The current listing of recognized veterinary specialty organizations and their active membership follows.


American Veterinary Medical Association
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