What is the difference between a veterinarian with an interest in, say, Internal Medicine, versus a Veterinary Internist?
It’s essentially the difference between your Primary Care Physician and the Internist who manages your diabetes.
Like most health care fields, the veterinary profession has become multi-tiered. Most conditions that develop in our animals are first evaluated by a primary care veterinarian. If an animal develops a problem or illness requiring advanced care and procedures, your primary care veterinarian or emergency room veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary specialist. Veterinary specialists work closely with animal owners, as well as the primary care veterinarian, to coordinate the best quality of care.
Most specialists work at large hospitals or referral centers; therefore, in addition to having advanced training, they also have access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and support staff that may not be available to your primary care veterinarian. At the same time, they may be able to coordinate treatment with other veterinary specialists to ensure that the highest quality of care is available for each of the animal’s medical or surgical ailments.
Along with seeing cases within their home hospital or institution, veterinary specialists are leading the way for the veterinary community in research and clinical trials to pioneer new diagnostic and treatment options for animals. At the forefront of research breakthroughs, specialists serve as conduits to improve the veterinary community’s quality of medicine by teaching veterinary students, speaking at continuing education events, publishing peer reviewed articles, research abstracts and review articles, as well as consulting with general practitioners one-on-one for individual case management. Veterinary specialists are highly trained veterinarians that are an important member of your pet’s health care team. Veterinary specialists offer expertise that ensures the best possible outcome for the pet and their family.
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