Referral Service Frequently Asked Questions
Your pet's veterinarian and a veterinary specialist both have earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, requiring typically eight years of college and professional training.
Your regular veterinarian, also called a "primary care" or "family" veterinarian, is in general practice and has the primary responsibility to manage you pet's health, including preventive care and perform common surgeries as needed.
A veterinary specialist has typically completed four additional years of specialty training (for a total of 12 years college and professional training). The specialty training includes an internship and residency program in a particular practice area, such as Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Oncology, etc. To become board-certified, these candidates must also pass rigorous training and testing requirements as developed by the 'board" that governs the speciality for which the veterinarian is seeking admission. Graduates who pass and are accepted by the board of their speciality are called Diplomates.
OPVMC has 2 board-certified specialists, one in Surgery, and one in Internal Medicine.
Your regular veterinarian will refer your pet to one of our specialists if your pet requires specialized testing and diagnostics, treatments or procedures that your regular veterinarian does not offer, or if specialized care can improve your pet's quality of life. Your veterinarian's decision to refer to OPVMC means that the optimal care of your pet is your veterinarian's primary concern.
Our specialists at OPVMC work closely with your regular veterinarian to coordinate the overall care plan for your pet. We make sure that you and your veterinarian are informed and consulted about treatment.
No, the philosophy of our Referral practice is to provide only specialty services for the specifically referred condition to pet's sent here by their regular veterinarian. We can offer emergency & critical care services as well, if needed, but preventative care, like annual physical exams, routine vaccines and surgery should be provided by your pet's regular veterinarian. OPVMC works directly with your regular veterinarian once referred here to coordinate care of its condition. The specialist ends the referral relationship when the pet has finished diagnosis ands treatment for the reason it was sent here. Once your pet has completed the course of treatment for the condition they were referred, the patient should return to the referring veterinarian for their routine veterinary care.
If you have a health concern, please contact your primary care veterinarian. He/she will determine the best course of action. If your veterinarian decides that a referral to our hospital is appropriate, your veterinarian will then complete a referral form and either ask you to contact us to make an appointment, or they will contact us in advance to discuss the case, and then make an appointment for you themselves.