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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology?

The American Board of Veterinary Toxicology (ABVT) is an internationally recognized certifying body for veterinarians demonstrating broad knowledge and expertise in many aspects of toxicology. The Board is a specialty organization of the American Veterinary Medical Association and was established in 1967. The combination of veterinary training and expertise in toxicology has made Diplomates of ABVT unique and highly effective in a variety of careers. ABVT Diplomates play important roles in ensuring animal, human, and environmental health around the world.

What does it take to become board-certified?

Certification requires toxicology training and successful completion of a comprehensive examination. Knowledge to pass the examination can be gained through training programs offered by several veterinary colleges or through diverse qualifying work experiences.View the full list of prerequisites. Board-certified veterinary toxicologist are also called Diplomates (with an 'e') of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. 

Who employs veterinary toxicologists?

Veterinary toxicologists are employed by numerous public and private organizations including universities, non-profit research organizations, local, state and federal government agencies and private corporations. Veterinary toxicologists work in a range of settings. Some individuals work very independently and enjoy ad hoc collaboration with other professionals. Other individuals are members of inter-disciplinary teams of professionals. The opportunity is available to progress to senior management positions. The compensation of veterinary toxicologists is competitive.

What fields do veterinary toxicologists work in?

There are many fields inside and outside veterinary medicine that rely upon the expertise of board-certified veterinary toxicologists. 

Safety Testing and Regulatory Toxicology 

Veterinary toxicologists work in industry assessing products for commercial use and at regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration or Environmental Protection Agency to confirm and validate initial safety and efficacy data for proposed new drugs or chemicals.


Veterinary toxicologists have unique perspectives, knowledge, skills, and expertise required to recognize chemically-induced damage to ecosystems and implement efficient approaches to ecosystem repair that enable the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

Toxicology Research

Toxicologists in academia, industry, and research institutes study basic mechanisms that contribute to understanding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of chemically induced diseases of animals and humans. The research activities span from studies at the molecular and cellular level, to the intact organism, to populations or herds of animals.

Clinical and Forensic Toxicology

This specialty focuses on determining causes and characteristics of accidental and malicious poisoning, and providing case management information. In addition, clinical veterinary toxicologists play an important role in protecting both animal and human food supplies from chemical contamination. They work in colleges of veterinary medicine, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, animal poison control centers, and public health departments.

International Veterinary Medicine

Many toxicologic issues related to our environment and food are global in nature. Veterinary toxicologists contribute their unique expertise in assessing chemical impacts on a variety of globally-threatened animal species. They help to train veterinarians from less developed regions of the world in toxicology. In addition, veterinary toxicologists are involved with a variety of international companies in areas of safety and risk assessment.

Public Health and Food Security

Human and veterinary medicine are intimately linked. Veterinary toxicologists interact with their human counterparts to solve cases related to public health and safety. Often, toxicologic problems of concern to human health are first recognized by veterinary toxicologists. Veterinary toxicologists are in a unique position to protect human food - sources from either accidental or intentional chemi cal contamination.


Toxicology Consulting

Board certified veterinary toxicologists regularly act as consultants, providing expertise in the courtroom and outside to help establish the extent and consequences of chemical exposures.

What contributions do Diplomates make to society?

Veterinary toxicology is a versatile field with a number of exciting career possibilities. Veterinarians specially trained in toxicology have the opportunity to direct their careers along multiple paths in academia, clinical medicine, government, and industry. The comparative medical training and in-depth knowledge of toxicology provide veterinary toxicologists with unique skills that contribute solutions to real-world problems. In addition, veterinary toxicologists can play important roles in cutting-edge basic, applied and translational science.