You love your four-legged friend and want to make sure the vet you choose has the right qualifications to provide the veterinary care your pet needs. So, what qualifications should you be looking for?
Choosing the Right Vet
Whether you're choosing a vet for your puppy, have just moved to a new neighborhood with your dog or want to switch vets, there are many factors to consider. Will you like your new vet? Do the clinic's hours line up with your availability? Beyond the day-to-day practicalities of choosing your new vet, there are numerous certifications a vet can hold. But what do all these certifications mean? Here are a couple of the most common.
Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications
When you are looking for a vet, check to make sure that the veterinarian you are considering is licensed in the U.S. and in your state. You may also what to take the time to find out if other people working in the hospital are licensed, such as registered veterinary technicians. Pop into the vet's office and take a look around, if you don't see the certifications hanging in the reception area, simply ask to see their licenses or contact your state 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).