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A board-certified veterinary neurologist is an individual that has graduated from veterinary school with a doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM), but has gone on to complete additional specialized training in the field of veterinary neurology.
The process of becoming a board-certified veterinary neurologist involves graduation from veterinary school, completion of a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency. During a neurology residency, the doctor works under the direct mentorship of one or more board-certified neurologists (and other specialists) to achieve expert training and education in the field. In some cases, the doctor may also obtain an additional advanced degree such as a Master’s degree or PhD to complement their education.
Upon completion of a residency, an extensive examination process must be passed in order to demonstrate the knowledge necessary to become a board-certified veterinary neurologist.
Board-certified neurologists work in partnership with a patient’s primary care veterinarian to diagnose and treat dogs and cats with neurological disease. Primary care veterinarians will consult with and refer their neurological patients to board-certified veterinary neurologists. The board-certified veterinary neurologist does not replace the primary care veterinarian, but rather works as a partner with the primary care veterinarian in order to achieve the best treatment outcome for their patients.
Unlike human neurologists, most board-certified veterinary neurologists have extensive training performing neurosurgeries. In fact, most veterinary neurologists have more extensive neurosurgical training than their general surgeon counterparts. Recently, a Neurosurgical Certificate of Training has been offered as a credential for Board-Certified Neurologists to obtain to demonstrate their neurosurgical acumen.