You adore your pet and want to make sure that the veterinarian to choose to take care of them has the right qualifications for the job. But what kind of qualifications should you be looking for?
Choosing the Right Vet
Choosing a new veterinarian for your pet can be a stressful experience. There are so many things for you to consider. Will you like the person? are their hospital hours in line with their availability? How conveniently are they located in relation to your home? Beyond these day-to-day practicalities, however, there are a number of certifications and qualifications an individual vet can hold too though.
But what do these certifications mean? Here are some of the most common.
Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications
When you're searching for a vet, make sure that the professional you are considering is licensed to practice both in the U.S and in your state. You may also want to take some time to find out if other people working in the hospital are licensed, like registered veterinary technicians. Visit a prospective vet's office and take a peek around. If you don't see the certifications hanging in your reception area, just ask to see their licenses or contact your state's board of veterinary medicine for more information.
Here are the two certifications you are looking for:
DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first thing that you need to check is that your vet is qualified to practice in the U.S. When a person graduates from an American veterinary school they receive a DVM—Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (sometimes called a VMD degree). All vets practicing in the U.S. must have a DVM degree. A DVM degree means that the person you are considering is, in fact, a qualified veterinarian and is fully qualified to perform the duties of the profession.
State Veterinary Licensing - In order to practice veterinary medicine, some states also require a veterinarian to pass a state-specific examination. These exams typically test the vet's knowledge of the state's laws and regulations governing veterinary medicine. In order to maintain a state veterinary license, vets must obtain continuing education and may need to renew their license on a regular basis (often every 3 years).