To be considered a specialist, one must pursue significant additional training from an accredited program after graduating veterinary school. This typically includes a one-year internship, followed by a two to three-year residency in a particular medical discipline. Gaining acceptance into a residency-training program can be quite competitive, therefore only those with the highest academic and professional achievement gain entry. In addition to the clinical training, a veterinarian may also publish original research and pass a series of rigorous examinations to earn this designation.
Once all qualifications are met, they have earned the title of Diplomate. This “D” will appear before the acronym of the organization from which they completed their studies. For instance, our surgeons, are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons – look for the DACVS after their name. Our internists, are Diplomates of the American College of Internal Medicine – look for DACVIM after their name, etc.