Understanding What A Board Specialist Is:

Veterinary medicine has evolved quickly to give rise to specialties, much like the human medical field. There is often confusion when it comes to what qualifies a veterinarian to be able to perform specific procedures. The simple answer is, there is little regulation determining who may attempt surgeries or procedures but that does not mean any and every veterinarian is qualified to do so. It is so important for veterinarians to work together to provide the best outcome for the horse and client. The American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org) oversees the specialties in veterinary medicine. Examples of specialties are: surgery, internal medicine, theriogenology (reproduction), pathology, emergency and critical care, dentistry and behavior.

Dr. Chesen is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (see www.acvs.org). A veterinarian wishing to become an ACVS Board Certified Surgeon must first complete a one-year internship (or have spent time in practice) and a three-year residency program. Once the residency training has been successfully completed, the candidate’s credentials must be accepted by the ACVS showing the candidate has met specific training and caseload requirements, as well as be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Candidates may then sit the certifying examinations. Only candidates who have successfully completed these requirements may become Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgery (DACVS) and have earned the right to be called "Specialists in Veterinary Surgery." ACVS certified equine surgeons have advanced training in the newest techniques in equine surgery, critical care and lameness.