With a network of over 100 Specialty + ER hospitals located from coast-to-coast, 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.
Over 40 participating emergency and specialty hospitals across the U.S.
Off-site training available
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.
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, Conn., 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, N.J., 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 Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, and in 2019, Dr. Burdick accepted the clinical advisor role with Compassion-First. Following the integration with NVA, she received the full-time position 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital
ER Flex Track
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.
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