What is a Veterinary Specialist?

A veterinary specialist is a highly trained veterinarian who is board certified and has completed advanced training in various veterinary medical or surgical disciplines.

To be qualified as a veterinary specialist, they must have completed at least four years at a veterinary school, a one-year internship or equivalent time in practice, two to three years in a residency program that meets the standards of a recognised specialty college or board, publish at least one paper and pass a series of rigorous examinations. Not all vets with a ‘special interest’ have completed this training.

Most veterinary specialists work at large hospitals or referral centres with access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, advanced training, support staff and other veterinary specialists.

Veterinary specialists are often leading in veterinary research, clinical trials, diagnostic imaging and treatment options while also provide education to veterinary students and the veterinary community.

At U-Vet we have specialists in small animal medicine, small animal surgery, neurology, oncology, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesia, emergency and critical care, clinical pathology, equine surgery, equine medicine and equine sports medicine. We also have visiting ophthalmologists, cardiologists and dermatologists.

Do you need to see a veterinary specialist?

Similar to the human health care industry, where you may be referred to a medical specialist by general practitioner, in the veterinary industry, animal conditions would usually be evaluated by a general practice (primary care) veterinarian. Your general practice veterinarian may then refer the animal to a veterinary specialist, if the advanced care and procedures are required. The veterinary specialist will work closely with you and the general practice veterinarian to ensure best quality of care.

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