What is a Specialist?
Successfully attaining specialist veterinary registration in Queensland is a demanding and time-consuming process. It involves a multi-step pathway progressing from becoming a registered veterinarian through periods of general training, residency training and passing examination standards set by a group of established specialist veterinarians in the field of specialisation.
The certifying bodies that set standards acceptable for specialist registration are:
- The Australian College of Veterinary Scientists
- The American Board of Veterinary Specialties
- The European Board of Veterinary Specialisation
- The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
It takes a minimum of 4-5 years following graduation from veterinary school before someone can meet the requirements for specialist registration. Although there are a range of specialist colleges across the world that regulate the requirements of a residency training program, the features common across all colleges are:
- A minimum number of clinically treated cases with emphasis on both breadth of exposure to a variety of clinical problems
- Supervision by several certified specialists through the residency
- Meeting a minimum publication requirement in peer reviewed literature, as well as contribution to continuing education of other veterinarians
Maintaining a record of case exposure
Once all the requirements of a residency program have been met, the final hurdle is completion of a certifying examination which can range from 2-5 days of intensive questioning. Finally, registration as a specialist veterinarian in Australia requires approval by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC).