Diploma of the College in veterinary medicine

Questions and answers for understanding its meaning

What does it mean to be Diplomate of the College for a veterinarian?
A veterinarian with a Diploma of the College (Board-Certified Specialist) has successfully completed a specialist training recognized by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) or EBVS (European Board of Veterinary Specialisation). To achieve the Diploma, a veterinarian must have completed a 3-year training period (residency) in a particular specialty and must have passed the College exams. Most specialties require a propaedeutic year of training (internship) prior to beginning a residency. Moreover, each College requires that residents write one or more scientific publications to advance knowledge in veterinary medicine, before sitting the exam for the Diploma of the College.

A veterinarian that has performed this long and tough path has reached the highest level of specialization that is recognized by AVMA or EBVS. A Diplomate of the College has the role of guaranteeing a high standard quality of medicine by offering his expert help. Therefore, the opinion of a Diplomate of the College can be useful to diagnose a difficult case or for its treatment. Referring a dog or cat with a disease to a veterinarian with a Diploma of the College follows the similar rules used in human medicine: when a general practitioner has identified a case that requires particular cares, he refers the patient to a specialist in that field. Once the patient has been examined by the specialist and the work-up has been completed, the general practitioner continues with his advices.

What are the specialty areas with a Diploma of the College?
Currently there are many specialties recognized by AVMA and EBVS, including the following: Anaesthesia, Animal behaviour, Animal reproduction, Cardiology, Clinical pathology, Dentistry, Dermatology, Diagnostic imaging, Emergency and critical care, Internal medicine, Neurology and neurosurgery, Nutrition, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Surgery and Zoological medicine.

Istituto Veterinario di Novara and its diplomates: what makes us special?
The Istituto Veterinario di Novara has the largest number of veterinarians with a Diploma of the College in Italy and includes Board-Certified Specialists in the following fields:

  • Cardiology;
  • Dentistry;
  • Dermatology;
  • Diagnostic Imaging;
  • Internal medicine;
  • Ophthalmology;
  • Oncology.

The collaboration between several Board-Certified Specialists makes the Istituto Veterinario di Novara unique for the excellent level of multidisciplinary care offered to pets. In addition, residencies are available for veterinarians that wish to improve their skill and achieve a higher professional education.

Why shall I refer diseased dog or cat to a board-certified specialist?
Being a veterinarian and providing best care to pets requires high capabilities and compassion: every vet has those skills and makes his job with great commitment. However, due to the continuous evolution of veterinary medicine, sometimes it is difficult to be informed about any innovation and discovery, or to have the most modern medical tools. In these cases, the opinion of a veterinarian with Diploma of the College that works in a referral centre may be requested.

The tight collaboration between specialists and general practitioners allows to resolve all difficult cases in the best way and by saving time. The Istituto Veterinario di Novara promotes collaboration among colleagues, ensuring transparency and communication with all referring veterinarians. The cases examined by our specialists, after diagnostic tests and therapeutic plans have been established, are managed in synergy with the referring veterinarian, in the interest of the pet and owner.