Every breeder wants to find the perfect veterinarian.
"Perfect" means different things to different people.
The article How To Choose Your Veterinarian explains how to go about finding for the right vet for your cats' health care.
One of the things you can put on your "wish list" to consider in your hunt is to ask if the veterinarian is Board Certified.
What is a Board Certified Veterinarian?
The Board Certified Veterinarian goes through a rigorous certification program in a specific specialty. The applicant must write and publish papers, pass written examinations and sometimes must complete internships and residency requirements at a teaching hospital or university.
Who Awards the Board Certification?
There are basically two veterinary organizations in North America who board-certify vets.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is the organization which certifies vets in the traditional medical specialties: surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, etc. Vets pursuing these types of certifications are most usually teaching at veterinary colleges or universities or involved in research.
Vets in private practice can work towards a specialty certification awarded by The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in specific species: canine, feline, companion animals, equine, dairy cattle, beef cattle, etc.
The Board Certified Title
If a veterinarian has earned his or her board certification, they will add the initials DABVP after their name and DVM title. DABVP stands for Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Usually the vet will then add the specialty they are certified in in parentheses, DABVP (Feline). Occasionally you may see the abbreviation Dipl ABVP used by vets certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
These certifications are recognized around the world.
The Board Certified Feline Practitioner
Of most interest to the cat breeder is the veterinarian who is board certified for feline practice. There are less than 60 vets worldwide who have earned this title.
Qualifications include being in a feline practice for a certain amount of time, demonstrating involvement in feline medical issues and community issues, and references from other board-certified veterinarians.
The applicant must write two papers suitable for publication. Once the papers are accepted the application must write an intensive and detailed exam specific to feline medicine.
The procedure is not for the faint of heart.
Is The Board Certified Feline Vet Better than a Regular Veterinarian?
A Board Certified veterinarian has indicated an interest in a particular specialty. The Board Certified veterinarian has proven he/she has acquired testable knowledge in the field of interest. These are both big positives to look at when you choose your vet.
Is The Board Certified Feline Vet better than a regular veterinarian? Yes . . . and no.
There are many factors that contribute to finding the right "fit" between you and your vet. Looking for a Board Certified vet is just one more thing to consider.