With a network of over 100 Specialty + ER hospitals located from coast-to-coast in the US and in Canada, NVA Compassion-First hospitals offer unmatched advanced mentoring opportunities designed to prepare you for a rewarding career in Emergency Practice.

From early entry all the way to AVMA recognized board-certification, the ER Immerse training tracks provide the ultimate career paths for veterinarians with a passion for emergency medicine – at any stage of their career. Rolling admission dates and 40+ participating hospitals means flexibility to choose where and when you want to start this fulfilling journey.

Three Training Tracks To Meet Your Individual Needs:


  • Flexible and customizable curriculum
  • Great fit for new graduates and DVMs looking for more ER experience
  • Mentored by ER DVM
  • Can also include surgical experience 
  • Remain in the home hospital
  • 2 to 12 months


  • Structured educational curriculum
  • Great fit for new graduates and DVMs looking for more ER experience
  • Mentored by a board-certified critical care specialist
  • Remain in the home hospital or train at a different location for program duration
  • 6 months


  • Non-residency path to diplomate status (ABVP Canine and Feline Board Certification); no internship needed
  • Great fit for all emergency practitioners interested in becoming careerists in emergency practice 
  • Autonomous with resources, mentorship and support provided as needed to facilitate board certification
  • Remain in the home hospital
  • 2 to 3 years while working full or part-time at full wage with benefits

Overall Program Highlights

Salary and Benefits

  • Immediate associate status with full salary and benefits 
  • Personal development and wellbeing resources and training 
  • Access to over 30 leading medical journals and recorded CE lectures

Mentorship and Training Support

  • Online learning platform 
  • Full immersion into an ER setting with mentorship from emergency doctors and nursing staff and specialists
  • Opportunities for hands-on surgical and endoscopy training, cadaver labs, radiology rounds, and more 
  • Didactic training in basic and advanced emergency topics
  • Advanced training in communication skills, leadership, efficiency, and other non-technical skills

Practice Coast-to-Coast

Over 40 participating emergency and specialty hospitals across the U.S.

ER Flex



Off-site training available

2112 Memorial Parkway SW
Huntsville, AL 35801 US
(256) 533-7600
1237 Bloomfield Avenue
Fairfield, NJ 07004 US
(973) 788-0500
320 NW Lindvig Way
Poulsbo, WA 98370 US
(360) 697-2081
#302-6325 204th Street
Langley, BC V2Y 3B3 CA
#302-6325 204th Street
Langley, BC V2Y 3B3 CA
722 Baltimore Pike
Bel Air, MD 21014 US
(410) 420-7297
3260 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525 US
(616) 361-9911
3260 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525 US
(616) 361-9911
2700 West State Highway 114
Grapevine, TX 76051 US
(817) 410-2273
8237 Cooper Creek Blvd.
Bradenton, FL 34201 US
(941) 355-2884
9 Odell Plaza
Yonkers, NY 10701 US
(914) 457-4000
12520 W 64th Avenue
Arvada, CO 80004 US
(303) 420-7387
808 Bestgate Rd
Annapolis, MD 21401 US
2281 W Eau Gallie Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32935 US
(321) 725-5365
7300 Ranch Road 2222
Austin, TX 78730 US
(512) 343-2837
2674 Monroeville Blvd
Monroeville, PA 15146 US
(412) 373-4200
6995 East Kemper Road
Cincinnati, OH 45249 US
(513) 530-0911
6421 Clyo Road
Centerville, OH 45459 US
(937) 428-0911
6421 Clyo Rd
Centerville, OH 45459 US
(937) 428-0911
1051 Eglinton Ave W
York, ON M6C 2C9 CA
+1 416-784-4444
1051 Eglinton Avenue West
Toronto, ON M6C 2C9 CA
3484 Shelby Ray Court
Charleston, SC 29414 US
2972 Iris Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301 US
(303) 545-2273
2972 Iris Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301 US
(303) 545-2273
6700 Laurel Bowie Road, Bowie, MD 20715
Bowie, MD 20715 US
(301) 809-8800
6700 Laurel Bowie Road, Bowie, MD 20715
Bowie, MD 20715 US
(301) 809-8800
67 Commerce Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901 US
(631) 369-4513
(631) 369-4564
67 Commerce Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901 US
(631) 369-4513
(631) 369-4564
10225 Custer Road
Plano, TX 75025 US
(214) 547-9900
18020 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287 US
(214) 915-0573
1-1987 Kirschner Road
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4N7 CA
(250) 860-6550
301 Jacksonville Dr.
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 US
(904) 853-6310
9220 Estero Park Commons Boulevard, Suite 7
Estero, FL 33928 US
(239) 992-8878
6606 N Blackstone Avenue
Fresno, CA 93710 US
(559) 451-0800
8042 Katy Freeway
Houston , TX 77024 US
(713) 693-1111
5425 Victory Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46203 US
(317) 782-4484
163 South Service Road
Plainview, NY 11803 US
1053 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road
Akron, OH 44321 US
(330) 666-2976
8913 Sandifur Pkwy,
Pasco, WA 99301 US
(509) 547-3577
5914 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202 US
(913) 722-5566
8202 N. Loop 1604 W.
San Antonio, TX 78249 US
(210) 737-7373
2580 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC V7R 4H2 CA
(604) 973-1247
2580 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC V7R 4H2 CA
(604) 973-1247
2971 Sidco Drive
Nashville, TN 37204 US
(615) 386-0107
2971 Sidco Drive
Nashville, TN 37204 US
(615) 386-0107
595 W Center Street
West Bridgewater, MA 02379 US
(508) 584-1600
5818 Maplecrest Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46835 US
(260) 426-1062
5818 Maplecrest Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46835 US
(260) 426-1062
3579 Northlake Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33403 US
(561) 691-9999
10002 Old Columbia Road
Columbia, MD 21046 US
(410) 441-3304
10002 Old Columbia Road
Columbia, MD 21046 US
(410) 441-3304
5886 Tutt Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80923 US
649 Route 206
Hillsborough, NJ 08844 US
(908) 359–3161
2051 Briggs Road
Mount Laurel , NJ 08054 US
(856) 429–4394
197 Hance Avenue
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724 US
(732) 747–3636
3601 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108 US
(505) 266-7866
934 Charter St
Redwood City, CA 94063 US
(650) 417-7243
4901 Biddle Road
Central Point, OR 97502 US
(541) 282-7711
2505 S 80th Street
Tacoma, WA 98409 US
(253) 983-1114
1635 W Uintah St., Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO 80904 US
393 Woods Lake Road
Greenville, SC 29607 US
(864) 233-7650
210 Costello Drive
Winchester, VA 22602 US
(540) 662-7811
727 S Washington Ave
Wichita, KS 67211 US
(316) 262-5321
5618 W 21st St
Wichita, KS 67205 US
(316) 262-5321
141 Greenfield Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373 US
(413) 665-4911
4800 North Davis Highway
Pensacola, FL 32503 US
(850) 477-3914
340 Lancaster Avenue
Malvern, PA 19355 US
(610) 647-2950
146 Resource Center Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35242 US
(205) 967-9107
146 Resource Center Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35242 US
(205) 967-9107
20610 N. Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85024 US
20610 N. Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85024 US
3312 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221 US
(804) 353-9000

Get to Know the ER Immerse Program Team

Matt Booth, DVM, DABVP (canine and feline)

ER Practice Development Lead

Dr. Matt Booth earned both his bachelor’s degree and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia. While in school, he worked as a veterinary technician at a general practice and the university’s critical care unit. The experience helped him recognize his passion for small animal emergency and critical care. Upon graduation, Dr. Booth began working in Augusta, where there was a shortage of this type of veterinarian, and through mentorship, he became a primary emergency clinician. In 1999, he moved to Boulder, Colo., where he continued to practice critical care, emergency medicine and surgery. In 2011, he became a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline practices. He worked at Colorado Animal Specialty & Emergency until May 2022, when he was named ER Practice Development Lead for NVA Compassion-First.

Stacy Burdick, DVM, MBA, DACVIM (SAIM)

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Stacy Burdick earned her bachelor’s degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. She completed a rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, her residency in Internal Medicine at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York, and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy at AMC. Upon completing her fellowship, Dr. Burdick joined Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, to start their Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy program. At that time, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital had just become the flagship hospital for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals. She served several years as Chief of Staff for Red Bank Veterinary Hospital Tinton Falls, and in 2019, Dr. Burdick accepted the clinical advisor role with Compassion-First. Following the integration with NVA, she accepted the full-time role of clinical advisor for NVA Compassion-First in June 2021. In this role, Dr. Burdick is thrilled to be supporting our medical teams in the advancement of medicine.  In June of 2022, Dr. Burdick completed her MBA at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Betsy Rozakos

Emergency Medicine Recruitment Leader

After working in human medicine, Betsy made the jump to veterinary medicine in 2018 when she joined NVA, allowing her to combine her passions for animals and recruiting. As one of the ER Immerse Programs creators, she has enjoyed watching our network of emergency doctors and criticalists come together to create a robust training opportunity for veterinarians of all experience levels. She believes that providing continuing education to our doctors will allow our pets to receive the gold standard of care, which is the most rewarding part of this experience. Betsy lives in Atlanta with her husband and two angel dachshunds, Mona and Lola.

Rachel Halpin, DVM, DACVECC

Medical Director and Staff Criticalist at Care Centers in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio

Dr. Rachel Halpin earned her bachelor’s degree from Delaware Valley University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and a residency in emergency and critical care at the University of Missouri. In addition to practicing as a criticalist, Dr. Halpin currently serves as medical director for Care Center in Cincinnati/Dayton. Her clinical interests include managing respiratory distress and mechanical ventilation, sepsis and the impact of culture and communication of patient outcomes.

Carrie B. Waters, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Medical Director at Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology in Annapolis, Columbia, and Towson, Md.

Dr. Carrie Waters earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her internship and small animal internal medicine residency at Purdue University, obtained board certification in small animal internal medicine, and received her doctorate in physiology from the University of Missouri. She serves as the Medical Director of Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology (a multisite specialty practice in Maryland), the chair of the Specialty Advisory Board’s (SAB) Training and Education Committee and the SAB’s Internal Medicine representative.

Marilyn Brink, DVM

Medical Director at Animal Emergency Hospital of Grand Rapids and Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospital of Byron Center, MI.

Dr. Marilyn Brink earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University in 2008. Upon graduating, Dr. Brink joined Animal Emergency Hospitals (AEH) of Grand Rapids, Mich., as an ER veterinarian. She began serving as the hospital’s medical director in 2018. In 2021, she assisted with the design and opening of AEH’s second location in Byron Center, where she also serves as medical director. Dr. Brink is passionate about veterinary student and new graduate veterinarian mentorship. She oversees a mentorship program for aspiring ER veterinarians and an externship program for veterinary students.

After Program Completion, You’ll Be Ready for Anything. But Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

“As a new grad, a big part of taking a leap of faith at a new clinic in a new town is sometimes based off of a promise of good mentorship and support. After talking with classmates, there have been plenty of false promises that have been made with regards to what the new grad was expecting vs what they actually got. I can say with 100% confidence this was NOT the case with VVERC. All of the clinicians have been VERY willing and able to not only answer questions or provide assistance, but also go above and beyond when it comes to providing that little extra help needed as a new grad, especially on cases that are critical or particularly difficult.”

Dr. Kelly Guardia

Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center in Winchester, VA

ER Flex Track

“I have loved both teaching and learning from new grads and some former mentees have become some of my best colleagues over the years.”  

Dr. Kirstin Lappetito (Mentor)

Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital

ER Flex Track

 Click Here to Download Our ER Immerse Information Flyer

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Frequently Asked Questions
ER Immerse is a three-track mentorship program that provides a career path for emergency medicine.
  • ER Flex track: Two to 12 months
  • ER FIT track: Six months
  • ER ABVP track: Two to Three years
If you are a new vet school grad or interested in entering emergency practice for the first time, then the ER Flex or ER FIT tracks may be right for you. The ER ABVP track is more suited for seasoned emergency practitioners looking to take the next career step.
The locations vary by hospital and track. Please use our location map above to view our participating hospitals.
Each track has rolling admission dates. To learn more, please fill out our contact form, and a team member will be in touch with you shortly.
Yes. Depending on the program you choose, a post-mentorship position – whether continued or new – will be offered. The details will be included in the original offer and decided during your interview process.

For the ER Flex and ER FIT tracks each hospital determines the commitment length. The longest requirement would be 18 months post-mentorship. 

For the ER ABVP track, there is no time commitment. This track is a 2-3 year process for a seasoned veterinarian with little additional outlay from the home hospital so the time spent growing is the commitment.

For the ER Flex and ER FIT tracks, you will be fully immersed in a busy ER setting with support from the local hospital team. You will be paired with another mentee throughout the entirety of the program.

The ER ABVP track while you will not be paired with another mentee, there will be resources and support by a community platform when needed. Much of this track is self-directed with guidance as you need.

Additionally, all mentees will have access to tools and resources such as VetBloom, medical journals, Community Team wellbeing resources, peer-to-peer collaboration via Microsoft Teams, grand rounds, and more.

  • ER Flex & ER FIT tracks: Full-time based on specific hospital program
  • ER ABVP track: Self-directed and flexible while working normal ER position
  • ER Flex track: You can rotate with specialists, which will depend on what is available at each location. Most Flex track locations also train on surgery and ultrasound.
  • ER FIT track: While you may not rotate through other specialties, you will have the opportunity to engage and collaborate with other specialty departments 
  • ER ABVP track: In house and remote specialist access is available (hospital dependent)
Yes. You’ll receive immediate associate status with a full salary and benefits.
No experience is needed for the ER Flex and ER FIT tracks. The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) does require 3 years of working experience, post-graduation, to start the program (ER ABVP track).
We are ready to chat any time! Our application process is open-ended and flexible to accommodate your preferred interview timing. Complete the form below to get started!
Each location can host one to four mentees at a time. We currently offer the program at more than 40 hospitals throughout our network. View our location map above for a complete list of participating hospitals and available tracks.

Ready to Get Started?

Or Just Want to Learn More? Fill out the Form Below or Email Us at: nvacferteam@nvacompassionfirst.com