Dec. 10, 2021

David Bessler: Revolutionizing Emergency Vet Medicine | The Long Leash #39

David Bessler: Revolutionizing Emergency Vet Medicine | The Long Leash #39

David Bessler thinks we all have a role to play in helping animals during emergencies. His chain of [truly] revolutionary Veterinary Emergency Group clinics may prove he’s on to something.

David Bessler thinks the traditional veterinary medical practice, with its separate treatment rooms, closed surgeries and recovery areas, and hard-to-reach veterinarians is not just outdated, but broken.

With nearly two decades of emergency veterinary medicine under his belt, and public education work at the Museum of Natural History and appearances on Sesame Street, he asserts a modern practice is oriented to people, service-based, open, and transparent. Decisions are shared, and authoritarian attitudes are abandoned.

His first Veterinary Emergency Group practice tested his ideas … and they worked. There are now 27 Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) locations, with more in the works.

Focusing exclusively on veterinary emergency medicine, each practice is completely transparent to the customers. For example: When you arrive, there is no paperwork … because your dog needs help NOW, not after you fill out a form; When you call with a medical question, you get an answer from a veterinarian … not a nurse or a receptionist; When you are waiting for attention for your dog’s torn toenail, and it takes a while to get it, you are relaxed and understanding … because you see the heroic efforts the veterinarians and staff are making on behalf of other animals.

Why do you see it? Because you’re all in one big treatment area. There is no “back room” in VEG hospitals. It’s all one open triage floor.

And because animal lovers all share an essential love and goodness, you may even feel called to help another person’s dog or cat that may be in more serious jeopardy than yours is … and you’ll feel great about it.

That’s all part of the point. Bessler and his partner, David Glattstein, have created a very different breed of veterinary medical practice, one that caters directly to human nature and appeals to our greatest ideals.

In this wide-ranging conversation with the charismatic and whipsmart David Bessler, we find out why he thinks that people are good, and why he tries so hard to create openness, togetherness, heroic efforts, and meaningful moments.

Also: why puns are an important part of his business’ culture.

About David Bessler

Dr. David Bessler has been a career emergency veterinarian since 2003. He spent time caring for reptiles at the Bronx Zoo, teaches “Veterinary Science” to elementary school children at the American Museum of Natural History and was even featured as Dr. Dave, teaching kids on Sesame Street.

Dr. Bessler has a vision to revolutionize emergency veterinary medicine through a holistic, radically open experience for the caregiver, customer and patient. In 2014, he purchased his first emergency vet hospital, which allowed him to bring his vision to life.

Today VEG (Veterinary Emergency Group) has 27 ERs for pets in 10 states, treats over three hundred thousand pet emergencies each year, and boasts the highest NPS in the veterinary industry.

Veterinary Emergency Group

See Dr. Dave on Sesame Street:

Find a location near you: Veterinary Emergency Group Locations

Veterinary Emergency Group on Facebook

@veterinary_emergency_group on Instagram

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