New veterinary medicine specialty proposed

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The process has begun to develop a petition for a fish medicine specialty within the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners

The American Veterinary Medical Association announced that the American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV) with support from the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA) began the process of developing a petition to have fish practice recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a veterinary specialty.

“The specialty is going to allow clients to identify veterinarians who have the knowledge and expertise that prepares them to provide high-quality veterinary care,” Johnny Shelley, immediate past president of the AAFV, said in the AVMA announcement.1

With this new specialty can come better care for fish and the veterinarians who take care of them. Board certification will help aquaculture producers find a veterinarian that can provide the level of care fish need, plus government agencies can confidently hire veterinarians who have a better understanding of fish health-related issues.1

Shelley also disclosed that several veterinary schools are beginning to realize the importance of fish care, and more continuing education opportunities are rising within this realm. There also recently has been an increase in externship opportunities and academic positions within fish medicine.

According to the AVMA, the organization will be accepting comments on the proposal through September 2, 2022. Anyone interested can email their comments to


Fish medicine specialty proposed. release. American Veterinary Medical Association. June 24, 2022. Accessed June 27, 2022.