The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) believes in helping animals and humans live longer, healthier lives. Every day, the ACVIM and the ACVIM Foundation work together to help foster the important work being done by our members (called Diplomates), allowing them to prevent, treat, and cure disease in animals - - and humans - - including cancer, heart disease, seizures, and diabetes.
You can learn more about animal diseases by reading one of our educational fact sheets.
The ACVIM is the international certifying organization for veterinary specialists in large animal internal medicine, small animal internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, and neurology and has more than 2,200 active members, called ACVIM Diplomates, who are Board-certified Veterinary Specialists. ACVIM Diplomates treat many different species, ranging from dogs and cats to horses and cattle. In addition to completing undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, Board-certified Veterinary Specialists are similar to their human medical counterparts in that they have completed an internship and residency in their specialized field (an additional 3-5 years training). In addition to this extensive training, a Board-certified Veterinary Specialist must pass rigorous examinations to achieve Board certification from the ACVIM. Specialists bring a greater understanding in the area of internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, or neurology, and have a greater knowledge of the unusual, the uncommon, or rare in both large and small animals. In addition, a Specialist may have diagnostic equipment not generally used by your family veterinarian.
When should you request a referral to an ACVIM Board-certified Veterinary Specialist?
- Your animal's disease is uncommon, complicated, or undiagnosed after standard testing.
- You would like an informed, neutral second opinion of your animal's condition.
- The outcomes of the current treatments are not going well or as expected.
- Your animal requires a sophisticated procedure that is offered by a specialty hospital.
- Your animal can benefit from 24-hour monitoring provided by a referral hospital.
If you believe your animal would benefit from a visit to a Board-certified Veterinary Specialist, you are encouraged to work with your family veterinarian to complete a referral. You may also search our online database for a Specialist in your area.