To become a board certified specialist, veterinarians have to complete a series of steps including additional years of residency and rigorous training in their chosen field of specialty study. After completing these steps, a veterinarian receives board certification. A veterinarian (individual with DVM or VMD after their name) has completed the first two of the following steps. A board certified specialist must complete all of the following steps:
- Receive an undergraduate degree.
- Complete four years of veterinary school.
- Receive advanced training during a one-year internship program.
- Participate in a three-year residency program completing specific training and caseload requirements under the supervision of other board-certified individuals.
- Conduct research and publish in scientific journals.
- Following this training, candidates must submit a credentials application then pass a rigorous examination evaluating competence in the specific area of specialization.
- Once all credentials have been met, and the individual passes the exam, the status of board-certified specialist is granted.