Like human doctors, veterinarians often have specialties or areas of expertise. If an animal has a serious injury or needs a tricky operation, a veterinarian surgeon is called upon. To qualify for this position, students need to engage in extra training after they graduate from veterinary school. They must complete at least a one-year internship and a three-year residency program. While participating in this training, there are stringent requirements that students must meet. They must take on certain types of cases and volumes of work, in addition to submitting research to be published in a scientific journal. There is also, of course, a thorough examination to test the students’ knowledge before completion of the residency. Upon finishing the residency and passing the exam, students then become board-certified surgeons.
As such, they will be called upon to handle the most difficult cases in a clinic. They work closely with the animals’ owners and the primary veterinarian to ensure that the surgery is a lasting success. Veterinarian surgeons are highly sought after and will often be called upon to offer consultations and advice when they are not actually operating. They are a valuable resource for primary veterinarians.
Since this field is so specialized, most veterinarian surgeons find themselves working at big hospitals, where they can do the most good. These facilities usually boast the latest equipment, most up-to-date procedures, and most highly trained staff.
Veterinary Surgeon Tasks
Perform surgery on small domestic animals or pets and/or farm animals.
May also perform research and / or teach courses at a veterinary school.
Specialize in advanced surgical procedures such as joint replacement, oncological surgery and complicated wound management.