St Francis Veterinary Group
Lee Fike, D.V.M.

About The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners

There's Something You Ought To Know About Your Veterinarian...

Chances are, your animal's doctor might never tell you, but you'd want to know: Your veterinarian is one of a very small group of doctors who have earned the title "Diplomate" from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

What does that mean? It means that your veterinarian made a choice to undergo a very long, very difficult process of additional studies and examination -- a process that can take up to three years to complete -- to become a Board Certified Specialist.

When the work was accepted and the exam was passed, your veterinarian was awarded the title of DIPLOMATE. It doesn't end there, though. Diplomates must prepare and recertify in their specialty every 10 years.

ABVP Diplomates have proven knowledge and expertise above and beyond what is required to practice veterinary medicine. What's more, they have earned the privilege to specialize in the treatment of one or more categories of animals.

What does all this mean to you? It means that you can rest easy. By having your animals seen by an ABVP Diplomate, you are making sure they they receive expert treatment. Your veterinarian feels a very strong commitment to providing the best possible care. In fact, the only motivation for becoming an ABVP Diplomate is simply that.....Excellence.

The colorful part of my veterinary library

That is an explanation of the ABVP written by the organization a few years ago. The ABVP also has their own website which might be of interest to the extremely motivated reader.

Becoming board certified was a big deal for me. I include it here not to brag, but rather to let you know that I do have a serious streak. I like to laugh and have fun -- I'm a light-hearted guy. That's a big part of the reason I got into this field in the first place, animals are funny! I laughed my way through college at the University of Arizona, and beyond, working at vet clinics.

But I'm very serious about animal health and the human-animal bond. I read all the books on this shelf after I graduated from vet school in order to become a board certified specialist, and the reason I did it is that animals, and animal health, and the people that love their animals are all very important to me. I want to be the best at this that I can possibly be. So if I make you crack a smile once in a while, great! But while you're laughing, you can also know that I'm giving you the straight scoop.

Sometimes I wonder, "How did I ever achieve anything as huge as getting board certified?" I am indebted to a great many teachers and mentors who sacrificed themselves in many ways to help me along. I'm talking about Drs. Betsy Connolly, Eric Egger, Brett Hinsch, Sherry McConnell, Judy Parker, Bill Taylor (pictured at right, with another colleague, Dr. Sue Mauler), and Joe Trueba. These doctors are chief among the many to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. Thanks, everybody!

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© 2005 Lee Fike
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