Policy Guideline


From:       Board of Registration of Veterinary Medicine

Re:            Board Policy Guidelines on the Identification of Board Certified Veterinarians

Date:         December 8, 20111

The Board of Registration of Veterinary Medicine ("the Board") voted today to adopt the following Policy Guideline. The guideline set forth below does not have the full force and effect of law, as would a Massachusetts General Law or a Board rule or regulation. However, the Board uses policy guidelines as an internal management tool in formulating decisions that relate to issues in the practice of veterinary medicine.

Policy No. 11-02


The Board Statutes and Regulations set forth the standards of practice for all licensed veterinarians in the Commonwealth.  Specifically, 256 CMR §2.01 defines a Veterinary Specialist (Veterinary Diplomat) as a veterinarian currently certified by a specialty board recognized by the AVMA or the Board.  The regulation governing advertising, 256 CMR §5.03, provides a licensee may, by using print or electronic media, provide information to the public by advertising which is not false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive. However, a licensee shall not use any advertising that contains any statement or claim that a licensee is a veterinary specialist unless the licensee meets the definition of that term contained in 256 CMR §2.01.


Any advertisement or notice regarding a board certified specialist, that also lists other services in the advertisement or notice, should use care in wording the communication so that it does not imply board certified specialty status regarding the other services. One is either board certified, having met all of the criteria of the specialty college or board, or one has no board credentials. In the opinion of the Board, the mixing of board certified specialists and non-specialists, or their services, under common headings which do not clearly identify the board certified specialists and their specialty services, is misleading and should not be used by any licensee.