Thursday, September 8, 2016

Alphabet Soup at the Veterinary Hospital: What do all those letters mean?

Some people have asked about all the letters after the names of some of our doctors, so we thought we would clear up some of the confusion about what they mean.

DVM/VMD - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Medical Doctor - Veterinarians who have completed 4 years of veterinary coursework at an AVMA accredited university and have passed a licensing examination called the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) are awarded this title. Only one college in the US awards a VMD - the University of Pennsylvania - because the Veterinary Medical School there is one of the oldest in the US and arose out of the medical school at that institution. This is also why dentists that graduate from that school are designated as DMD, not the more common DDS.
Dr. Bailey is a Diplomate of the AMareican Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Feline Specialty


DABVP (Feline) - Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Feline Specialty) - Veterinarians who have made a choice to undergo a rigorous process of additional studies, residency,  and a challenging examination are then awarded the designation of board certified specialist recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This process takes a minimum of three years to complete, and there are 41 distinct specialties recognized through the American Board of Veterinary Specialists.

Dr. Demos has a BVMS from Murdoch University in Australia

BVMS HonsBSc - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, Honors level courses. The BVMS designation (and other variations) is considered to be equivalent to DVM/VMD degrees, and is awarded in the UK and Australia. It is a degree that is 100% transferable to the US in terms of licensure if the college that awards the BVMS is AVMA accredited.The Honors designation refers to the fact that the student was held to higher standards than the average student, often requiring the production and presentation of a high-quality research thesis, which may or may not be published in a scholarly journal.

For our technical staff, there are some other designations you may see:

LVT, CVT, RVT - Licensed Veterinary Technician, Certified Veterinary Technician, Registered Veterinary Technician, respectively. These designations indicate that a professional has received a 2-4 year degree from an AVMA accredited program and passed both state and national licensing examinations. Those who attend a 2 year program are referred to as veterinary technicians, and those who attend a 4 year program are referred to as veterinary technologists.

VTS - Veterinary Technician Specialty - similar in nature to the DABVP specialties available for veterinarians. Technicians must complete additional studies, provide references, write scholarly articles or case studies, and pass a rigorous examination to achieve this designation. There are 13 specialties that technicians can pursue. There is not currently a feline specialty.