What is a Specialist?

A specialist is an extension of your family veterinarian. Over the past few decades, new knowledge, treatments, instrumentation and techniques have made advance training in various fields of veterinary medicine possible. Board certification in a specialty requires a doctorate in veterinary medicine, a one year internship, a two to three year residency and successful completion of written examinations. As in human medicine when your primary care physician refers you to a specialist for a specific problem, your family veterinarian refers your pet to a specialist for more advanced diagnostic procedures and treatments for a specific problem.

What are the differences between a family veterinarian and a veterinary specialist?

Both a veterinarian and a veterinary specialist have received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Your family veterinarian, also called your regular or primary care doctor, is in general practice and responsible for your pet’s overall health care. This is similar to the primary care doctor you personally may have with your health plan.

A veterinary specialist has completed the additional training and testing requirements discussed above. Specialists focus on one particular field of veterinary medicine; thus allowing them to provide more advanced care of your pet in their area of expertise.

How do I choose a specialist?

Your pet should come to AADS when he or she requires specialized testing, treatments or procedures that your regular veterinarian does not offer or if specialized care can improve your pet’s quality of life.