You love your pet and you want to be able to make sure that the veterinarian you choose for them has the right qualifications to provide the care that they need. But what qualifications should you be looking for?
Choosing the Right Vet
The process of finding a new vet for your beloved companion can be a stressful experience. There are so many things to consider when making this decision. Are their hours in line with yours? Are they convenient to travel; to from your home? Do you even like them? But aside from these important considerations, there are a number of certifications an individual vet is able to hold. But what do they mean? Here are a few of the most common.
Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications
When searching for a vet, check to ensure that the prospective vet you are considering is in fact licensed to practice both in the United States and in your own state. It may be worth your while to find out if other people working at the same hospital are licensed too, such as registered veterinary technicians. Visit your prospective vet's office and take a look around. If you don't see their certifications, ask them about their qualifications 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 in many states, there is a required state-specific examination. These tests generally assess a vet's knowledge of the local laws and regulations about veterinary medicine. In order to maintain their license to operate in a state, a vet needs to obtain continuing education and regularly renew their license.