In veterinary medicine, as in human medicine, there are many areas of concentration such as ophthalmology, dermatology, internal medicine, surgery, and neurology. A veterinarian, who is board-certified in a category of veterinary medicine recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is called a SPECIALIST. To become board-certified in one these specialty areas, a veterinarian must complete three to four years of advanced training after the four years of veterinary school, publish new findings and successfully complete a series of written and practical examinations. Only board-certified specialists are given the title of "diplomate" in the field of their specialty. ^ top of page
WHAT IS A VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGIST?
A veterinary ophthalmologist is a veterinarian that is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). To become board-certified and receive Diplomate status in the ACVO, the candidate must pass a series of rigorous written and practical examinations. To be eligible to take the examination, the candidate first completes the four years of veterinary school required to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), followed by three or four additional years of training that are required to gain the medical and surgical expertise necessary to be an ophthalmology specialist. The additional training usually includes a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery followed by a three-year residency in ophthalmology supervised by board-certified ophthalmologists. In addition, several publications must be prepared, reviewed, and accepted by the ACVO credential committee. Presently there are about 200 board certified Diplomates in the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in the United States. To learn more about the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists you can visit the ACVO web site at http://www.acvo.org.