smilin1590

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Ok, I'm sorry if this sounds like a dumb question. If I wanted to specialize say for instance in small animal surgery after I graduate, would I have to do a residency or would I be able to work with/for a Vet who is a surgeon and gain experience that way? What I'm asking is do you have to actually get certified in this specialty, or others for that matter or are residencies optional?
 

VeganSoprano

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If you want to become board certified, you have to do a residency. If you want to be a general practitioner who happens to have a special interest in surgery, you don't have to do a residency for that. There would be limits on the procedures you could perform, though. Basically, it depends on your specific personal goals.
 

david594

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If you wanted to be a "specialist" in small animal surgery you would need to do a residency.

You could probably be a decent surgeon without doing a residency, but I doubt you would have much luck finding a surgeon who would have a case load comparable to a residency program, or willing to provide you with similar training to a residency program. And get you to the level of proficiency a boarded surgeon is at after completing a formal residency.

The bigger question is why would you want to avoid doing a residency?
 

smilin1590

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If you wanted to be a "specialist" in small animal surgery you would need to do a residency.

You could probably be a decent surgeon without doing a residency, but I doubt you would have much luck finding a surgeon who would have a case load comparable to a residency program, or willing to provide you with similar training to a residency program. And get you to the level of proficiency a boarded surgeon is at after completing a formal residency.

The bigger question is why would you want to avoid doing a residency?
I definitely would not avoid a residency, I just don't have much knowledge about them and figured all of my fellow SDN'ers would be great people to ask :)
Next question being...I'm assuming most residencies for this are about 3 years? I looked on the actual site and it looked like they were all about 3 years. Am I correct in assuming this? On a side note the actual site is very confusing...at least to me.

I know I'm not in vet school yet but I'm just kind of curious about certain specialty areas

Thanks everyone :)
 

alliecat44

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There would be limits on the procedures you could perform, though.
This is not true from a legal standpoint. Legally, you could perform any procedures you wanted to (any veterinarian can). Ethically is another matter...

The only LEGAL limitation about not doing a surgical residency (or completing a residency and not passing your board-certification exam) is that you cannot market yourself as a "specialist" unless you have completed the certification requirements for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (which includes a residency).

For more information on specialiation, including lengths of certain residencies, try using the "search" function on this forum. :) There have been many threads about this in the past and a bunch of great information!
 

racccjlm

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Next question being...I'm assuming most residencies for this are about 3 years? I looked on the actual site and it looked like they were all about 3 years. Am I correct in assuming this? On a side note the actual site is very confusing...at least to me.
Yes surgery residencies are generally 3 years. However, most require you to do a year long internship first. And, doing an internship doesn't necessarily mean that you get right into a residency. You have to be matched to one...so it may take 3 or 4 years before getting into one. Surgery is a really competitive area! Don't let that dissuade you though! I'm going the surgery route (at least I think I am ;)). This is just one of many threads on residencies...

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=9284248
 

sumstorm

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This is not true from a legal standpoint. Legally, you could perform any procedures you wanted to (any veterinarian can). Ethically is another matter...
According to one of our surgeons, there are some techniques that are copywrited/trademarked that one must pay to learn or be certified in or some such thing. I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been; had an exam that day. Just from the legal stand point...
 

david594

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According to one of our surgeons, there are some techniques that are copywrited/trademarked that one must pay to learn or be certified in or some such thing. I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been; had an exam that day. Just from the legal stand point...
TPLO you need to be certified to do. The impression I was under was that it wasn't something legally enforceable, but they won't sell you the hardware to do it unless you are certified.
 

alliecat44

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TPLO you need to be certified to do. The impression I was under was that it wasn't something legally enforceable, but they won't sell you the hardware to do it unless you are certified.
There are now copycat plates and TPLO saws which do not require a Slocum-certified course. I believe Dr. Slocum passed away in the last year or two and I'm not sure how that affects the patent--I want to say it's expired, but I could be wrong.

However, taking the training course to perform a TPLO does NOT require board-certification in surgery. PLENTY of GPs have attended the course and do TPLOs on a regular basis.

I can't even think of another patented procedure off the top of my head. FYI, I worked as a technician for a surgical specialty practice for three years and in a closely-related department to theirs for another three before veterinary school. There could have been something else that's been developed in the past 3 years since I started school--but total, 1-2 patented procedures is a very very small number.

Again, the TPLO course does not require board-certification, and I would doubt any other patented procedures would, either. (They want to make money just like anyone else and board-certified surgeons are a finite resource!)
 

sumstorm

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I didn't think they required board cert...but that does mean there is a possibility of legal restrictions. Zoo med is an odd enough field....so I don't worry terribly much about other specialties...just pulling foggy thoughts about surgery & legalities out of my discombobulated brain (anatomy exam yesterday, physio today, behavior tomorrow.)
 

alliecat44

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Sorry if I came across as too direct--just wanted to clarify for the OP. This profession is confusing enough as it is! Just don't want him/her under the impression that there are a whole boatload of patented procedures for which you have to be board-certified or somesuch.

I see what you guys mean about legality...but I think the OP was more concerned with board-certification versus non-board certification, career planning, etc. I just thought it was worth pointing out that even with a patented procedure, the legal stuff wouldn't be about whether or not the OP did a surgery residency.

Not doing a residency does not limit what surgeries you can perform--your level of training, comfort level, equipment, staff, and personal ethics do. :)
 

sunshinevet

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The TPLO patent has run out :) This is of special relevance to Australian vets, because it was very expensive and not worth the trip to American just to be TPLO certified - hence why they developed the TTO. But now the patent is off, residencies are teaching it and its becoming more mainstream.
 

smilin1590

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You guys are the best! This is why I come here when I have a question. Alliecat you know soooo much, and you are very informative. So what your saying is if a vet who does surgeries does not do a residency he/she can still get training to do other specific surgeries even though they may not be board certified? Figured I'd ask
 

alliecat44

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You guys are the best! This is why I come here when I have a question. Alliecat you know soooo much, and you are very informative. So what your saying is if a vet who does surgeries does not do a residency he/she can still get training to do other specific surgeries even though they may not be board certified? Figured I'd ask
Haha...I know a lot about some things, but absolutely nothing about many others... ;)

Yes, you can get training in other surgeries, but you have to seek it out. There are weekend courses in certain types of surgery (costs $$$ to attend), you can ask to scrub in with a local board-certified surgeon, etc etc...but it's not nearly as structured as a residency program and as david pointed out, almost impossible to get an equivalent caseload in the same timeframe as a surgery resident. (Remember, you have to pay the bills by working in a practice and then use your free time to seek out experiences, read, etc).

Then somehow when you get good (whatever that means) you have to build up your reputation in the community. If you want to see other veterinarians's surgical cases, you have to build trust with them that you are not going to "steal" their clients for anything else--routine vaccination visits, sick visits, etc--but ONLY see them for the surgery and any complications related to the surgery. If you are seen as "poaching" clients, you won't last long and you won't get many cases beyond those that walk in your own doors...so you have to be a good communicator/marketer as well. Overcoming the hurdle of, "I'm not a board-certified surgeon but I'm a better surgeon than you" can also be a difficult one.

But--you have PLENTY of time. :) You might even find that you don't really like surgery!