What is a Specialist in Emergency & Critical Care?

A specialist in emergency and critical care is a specially trained veterinarian who is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions. Yes, they do have additional training! They must first be a graduate of a recognized veterinary school, then receive a minimum (or equivalent) of 3 additional years of intense training in emergency and critical care through completion of a European College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ECVECC)-approved training program. This intense program is referred to as a “residency” in emergency and critical care and focuses on the most up-to-date techniques for diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening disease processes in an emergency, and for the critical time while the animal is recovering. The emergency and critical care residency is supervised by mentors who have been through similar training programs and are themselves board-certified Diplomates of the European or American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Once the veterinarian has completed these years of specialty residency training, they must then pass a tough board -certification examination given by the ECVECC. Upon successful completion of the training and passing of the examination, the veterinarian is a Diplomate of the ECVECC, is termed a “specialist”, and is board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care.

How do I know if a vet is a specialist in ECC?

The veterinarian will be a Diplomate of the European or American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. You can find out if the veterinarian is a Diplomate of the ECVECC by asking the veterinarian or looking for the ECVECC credential (Dip. of ECVECC). The credential may be listed on stationery, or be on a displayed Diploma Certificate issued by the ECVECC. You may also check with the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation, EBVS, the official European body that maintains the official register of European Veterinary Specialists on its website. Also this ECVECC website contains a list of all its Diplomates.

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