You love your pet and want to be sure the vet you choose has the right qualifications to provide the care your pet needs. So, what qualifications should you look for?
Choosing the Right Vet
Selecting a new vet for your pet can be stressful because there are so many things to consider. Will you like the person? Are the hospital hours in line with your availability? But beyond the day-to-day practicalities of choosing a vet, there are several certifications a vet can hold. Here are a few of the most common.
Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications
When looking for a vet, check to make sure they are licensed in the U.S. and your state. You may also want to take time to ascertain 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 certifications hanging in the reception area, simply 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 certification 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. A DVM means that the vet you are considering is fully qualified to perform the duties of the profession.
State Veterinary Licensing - 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. To maintain a state veterinary license, vets must obtain continuing education and may need to renew their license regularly (often every 3 years).