Pet Owners Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an ACVR Diplomate?

A: An American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) Diplomate is a veterinarian with advanced training, board certified in either Radiology (Diagnostic Imaging) or Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy). Here are the steps involved in training. Some ACVR Diplomates are dual boarded in both specialties. The ACVR Diplomate has been certified as a specialist in veterinary radiology or veterinary radiation oncology (or both specialties) by the ACVR and has earned the right to be called a Recognized Specialist in Diagnostic Imaging or Recognized Specialist in Radiation Oncology by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Important Note: Individuals from other groups who call themselves 'Diplomates' or who claim 'Certification' may not be from organizations recognized by the AVMA.

Q: What does “board certified” mean?

A: An American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board certified veterinary radiologist or radiation oncologist is an individual who has undergone advanced training, completed the requirements, and passed the ACVR certification examination (written and oral) to become certified as a specialist in veterinary radiology or radiation oncology (an ACVR Diplomate). A number of certifying organizations for veterinary medicine are recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It is possible that a doctor is board certified, but in specialty other than veterinary radiology (diagnostic imaging) or radiation oncology (radiation therapy). These specialties might include internal medicine or surgery, for example. Although these individuals are board certified by organizations recognized by the AVMA, they do not have the advanced training and expertise required for veterinary imaging and interpretation (radiology, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine) or radiation therapy. Individuals from other groups who call themselves 'Diplomates' or who claim 'Certification' may not be from organizations recognized by the AVMA.

Q: Do I need a radiologist or radiation oncologist who is board certified?

A: Advances in animal health care have led to a wider variety of highly specialiized imaging procedures using radiology, ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine (NM), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, highly sophisticated radiation oncology procedures are utilized to treat cancer. American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board certified radiologists spend at least 3 additional years after achieving their veterinary medical degree (DVM or VMD) focusing strictly on the application of these imaging modalities to diagnosis. ACVR radiation oncologists spend at least 2 additional years after their veterinary medical degree (DVM or VMD) in radiation oncology training to become board certified. Some ACVR Diplomates are dual boarded in both Radiology (Diagnostic Imaging) and Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy). The concentrated training in radiology and/or radiation oncology allows the ACVR Veterinary Radiologist or Radiation Oncologist to keep current with frequent advances in noninvasive diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. Ask your veterinarian if the imaging or radiotherapy procedures require a specialist.

Q: How do I find a board certified radiologist or radiation oncologist near me?

A: Our online Directory of Diplomates will assist you in finding a board certified radiologist or radiation oncologist near you. However, listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question.

Q: How can I find out if a particular doctor is an ACVR Diplomate?

A: Our online Directory of Diplomates will assist you in verifying whether or not a doctor is an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board certified veterinary radiologist or radiation oncologist and is an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Recognized Specialist. However, listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question.

Q: My veterinarian has a specialist that visits the practice to perform ultrasonography. How can I be sure that he/she is an ACVR board certified radiologist?

A. Our online Directory of Diplomates will assist you in verifying whether or not a doctor is an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board certified veterinary radiologist. Only board certified radiologists will be listed. However, listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question. See the ACVR Ultrasound Position Statement for the required qualifications and training of ACVR Board Certified Radiologists in ultrasound.

Q: My veterinarian consulted a specialist in radiation oncology. How can I be sure that he/she is an ACVR board certified radiation oncologist?

A. Our online Directory of Diplomates will assist you in verifying whether or not a doctor is an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board certified veterinary radiation oncologist. Only board certified radiation oncologists will be listed. However, listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question.

Q: My veterinarian says that he/she is board certified, but his/her name is not found when I search the online Directory of Diplomates. Why?

A: There are several possible reasons:

  • A number of certifying organizations for veterinary medicine are recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It is possible that a doctor is board certified, but in a specialty other than veterinary radiology (diagnostic imaging) or radiation oncology (radiation therapy).
  • Others who call themselves 'Diplomates' or who claim 'Certification' may not be from organizations recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
  • Some board certified radiologists or radiation oncologists may choose not to be included in our Directory of Diplomates. Listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question.
  • Doctors who are training in American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) Residency Programs (Residents), but have not yet completed the training requirements and/or have not yet passed the ACVR Board Certification Examination (Post-Trainees) are not considered ACVR Diplomates.

Q: When I search for an ACVR Diplomate using the Directory of Diplomates in my area, none are found. Are there no radiologists or radiation oncologists in my area?

A: There may be no ACVR Diplomates in your area. However, some board certified radiologists or radiation oncologists may choose not to be listed in our Directory of Diplomates. Listing in the Directory is optional. Therefore Contact Us if you have a question.

Q: Would a university be able to perform the needed imaging studies or radiation therapy procedures on my pet for free or at a discount as part of a research study?

A: Research related studies require funding just like any other imaging or radiotherapy procedures. Universities often work in specific research areas funded by grants as opposed to broader, more general imaging or radiotherapy procedures. However, it doesn't hurt to ask whether your pet might qualify for an ongoing research study.

Q: What questions should I ask my veterinarian before my pet undergoes a specialized imaging procedure?

A: We have a list of suggested questions. Go to Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian.

Do you have questions that weren't answered here? Contact Us if you have a question.