In veterinary medicine, as in human medicine, some doctors specialize in an area of interest. To earn the designation of "board-certified specialist" veterinarians must, after graduating from veterinary school:
Complete an internship (1-2 years)
Complete a residency (2-4 years)
These residency programs require veterinarians to meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research in their specialty field, and have that research published. They must also pass a set of rigorous examinations administered by the board of the specialty college. Only then does a veterinarian earn the title of "Veterinary Diplomate" and become a board-certified veterinary specialist.