Equine Clinical Services Personnel Qualifications
What is a veterinary "specialist?" Does a veterinarian have to complete special qualifications to be called a "specialist"? What does the title of "Diplomate" mean? What does "Board Certification" mean? These are terms you might hear and questions you might ask if your horse develops a problem that is unusual or difficult to manage.
The University of Minnesota is pleased to be able to offer service by faculty and staff that have obtained the highest possible levels of qualification for veterinary practice. Our equine faculty members are board certified or in the process of certifying in their disciplines, our residents and interns are selected from the very best graduate veterinarians, and our technicians are all certified animal health technicians. Equine services are also supported by faculty and staff in a large number of related disciplines including anesthesiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, dentistry, neurology and radiology. To learn more about what these qualifications mean to you and your horse, read on.
The equine faculty members at the University of Minnesota are specialists in their chosen disciplines of surgery, medicine and theriogenology (reproduction). In order to specialize, graduate veterinarians must complete a minimum of 3 additional years of intensive training over that required for practice and they must pass an extensive examination that tests their basic and clinical knowledge as well as their ability to apply knowledge to solve clinical problems and recommend appropriate treatments. Fewer than 20% of graduating veterinarians in the country seek this level of training, fewer than 10% of those that apply are accepted, and even fewer of those that complete their advanced training program successfully pass the examination for board certification and earn the status of Diplomates in their area of specialty. Each of the major disciplines is organized nationally as a College and is governed by a Board that is in turn responsible for setting the requirements for training and certification. Hence the term "Board Certified" Individuals who have completed the necessary training program and are waiting to take the certification examination are considered "Board Eligible." All of the Equine Clinical Services faculty are either board certified or board eligible.
Residents and Interns are graduate and licensed veterinarians who have entered the training process to qualify for a board certification examination. Residency and internship positions are highly competitive and only the best and brightest graduate veterinarians are able to obtain a position. A one year internship is the first step in the training process. Interns rotate through all services in the Equine Clinical Services program. Residents have completed at least one internship or similar experience in a high quality practice. Residencies are discipline specific (surgery, medicine, reproduction, ophthalmology, etc.) and either 2 or 3 years in length, depending on the discipline. Successful completion of an approved residency is necessary before a veterinarian can apply to test for board certification.
Veterinary Technician Qualifications
The Equine Clinical Services are fully staffed by certified Veterinary Technicians with horse backgrounds. Certified veterinary technicians have completed a formal 2- or 4-year training program and passed a certification examination. Certified Veterinary Technicians perform a similar role to that of nurses in human medicine. As opposed to veterinary assistants and animal care attendants, who have not been formally trained or certified, veterinary technicians are licensed to perform a wide range of basic veterinary procedures under veterinary direction such as administration of medications, surgical assistance, and basic patient monitoring procedures.
At the University of Minnesota your horse is in the best of hands and will receive the best of care.