Board-certified veterinary specialists possess an expert level of knowledge and skills in a focused area of veterinary medicine, writes veterinarian Joanne Cockshutt. The AVMA recognizes numerous specialties including surgery, critical care, internal medicine and cardiology. Veterinarians wishing to become specialists pursue at least three years of focused training after veterinary school. The expertise of a specialist may be needed when advanced procedures or treatments are indicated or when an animal isn't responding as expected.
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