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The requirements for ACVR certification include a veterinary degree, a year of internship or private practice experience, and a rigorous three to four year residency program.  During and after the residency program, candidates must pass a two-part examination to be recognized as a board-certified ACVR radiologist.

An ACVR Board-Certified Radiologist (ACVR Diplomate) is veterinarian who has received advanced training in diagnostic imaging and has passed the American College of Veterinary Radiology Board Certification Examination. The radiologist is then able to diagnose disease by obtaining and interpreting medical images.

The imaging modalities used by ACVR Radiologists include radiology, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine. A radiologist correlates medical image findings with other examinations and tests, recommends further examinations or treatments, and consults with the referring veterinarian – the primary care veterinarian who sends patients to the radiologist for imaging and diagnosis or sends medical images for interpretation.

An ACVR Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist (ACVR Diplomate) is a veterinarinan who has received advanced training in radiation oncology and has passed the American College of Veterinary Radiology Board Certification Examination. The radiation oncologist specializes in the treatment of cancer patients using radiotherapy as the main modality of treatment as opposed to a medical oncologist who uses chemotherapy as the preferred modality of treatment.

A radiation oncologist correlates radiotherapy with other examinations and tests, recommends further examinations or treatments, and consults with the referring veterinarian – the primary care veterinarian who sends patients to the radiation oncologist for cancer treatment.

Radiation oncologists work closely with other specialists such as surgical oncologists, other surgeons, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical oncologists. They may also rely on the expertise of medical physicists and dosimetrists.

1. Graduate from high school with good grades.

2. Volunteer at a local veterinary clinic or animal shelter to gain experience working with animals.

3. Attend college majoring in animal science, biological science, or a related discipline and obtain good grades.

4. Apply and be accepted to a veterinary school. Contact the school directly for specific admission requirements.

5. Graduate from veterinary school obtaining your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree.

6. Pass one or more state licensing examinations to practice veterinary medicine.

7. Work in an internship or large private practice with a high caseload for one or two years.

8. Apply and be accepted to an ACVR Radiology or Radiation Oncology Residency Program. Radiology Residency Programs are a minimum of 3 years while Radiation Oncology Residency Programs are a minimum of 2 years. See the Radiology Residency Program Essentials and the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program Guidelines for more information.

9. Pass the ACVR Radiology (Preliminary & Certifying) or Radiation Oncology Board Certification Examination.

10. Congratulations! You are now an ACVR Board-Certified Veterinary Radiologist or Radiation Oncologist (ACVR Diplomate).

  • Licensing for veterinary technologists is under the jurisdiction of each state. The requirements may vary from state to state and ideally you should consult with the radiology and ultrasound techs at a veterinary school in your state or at a large veterinary practice near you. See Approved Veterinary Radiology Residency Training Programs where you will find veterinary imaging techs. The techs should be able to help you with the requirements. Your state may also have a Registered Veterinary Technicians Association. For example, here is the RVTA for California. Also see Job Profile: Veterinary Technician and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) for additional information.
  • Most veterinary imaging technologists first become registered veterinary technologists (RVTs). Contact your state’s Veterinary Medical Board for the requirements. In general, you must be a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association Accredited Veterinary Technology Program, have passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam, and have passed a state exam. General knowledge of animal medical care is needed to perform and assist in more complex procedures associated with veterinary imaging. See Veterinary Radiology Technicain – Vet Xray Tech for more information.
  • To become a veterinary imaging technologist, you need to work at a School of Veterinary Medicine or large veterinary practice to learn how to use radiographic, ultrasound, CT and MRI equipment from the veterinarian and other technologists. Ideally the practice should employ or consult with an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board-certified radiologist. Also you should attend radiology, ultrasound, CT and MRI continuing education seminars and classes. Once trained, you may be asked to help perform radiographic, ultrasound, CT, and MRI examinations on animals under the supervision of a veterinarian and/or an ACVR board-certified radiologist.
  • The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) announced the 16th specialty academy for veterinary technicians, the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Diagnostic Imaging. The AVTDI comprises veterinary technicians dedicated to performing a higher level of modalities in veterinary diagnostic imaging such as digital radiography, fluoroscopic special procedures, CT, MRI, ultrasonography, and nuclear imaging.
  • Most veterinary radiation oncology technologists first become registered veterinary technologists as described above.
  • To obtain further training as a veterinary radiation oncology technologist, you must work at a facility that specializes in veterinary radiation oncology (radiation therapy) under the direct supervision of an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) board-certified radiation oncologist. You should consult with the radiation oncology techs at a School of Veterinary Medicine in your state to help you with the requirements and to locate a facility.
  • Facilities that employ veterinary radiation oncology technologists include those that have Veterinary Radiation Oncology Residency Training Programs since this is where veterinarians are trained to become ACVR board-certified radiation oncologists. There are also a number of private veterinary radiation oncology practices that train radiation oncologists and employ radiation oncology technologists as well.
  • Radiation Oncology Technician Specialty – A number of licensed/certified veterinary technicians are looking into starting a technician specialty group for radiation oncology. This process is just in the initial phases, but the group is interested in moving forward. If any of your radiation oncology technicians are interested in potentially taking part in this process please e-mail Dr. John Farrelly at [email protected] for more details.