Children Perform ‘Surgery’ at Animal Hospital
NEW YORK – At BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Manhattan, David Bessler, VMD, can be found Wednesday evenings surrounded by two dozen little lab coats as he teaches the concepts of veterinary medicine to children.
Little Vets, a company “Dr. Dave” Bessler founded in 2010, is an after-school program for 2nd and 3rd grade students. Bessler teaches the classes at BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Manhattan, where Bessler is a senior clinician in the emergency service.
By teaching the classes at BluePearl, the children are able to be around real dogs and cats while seeing actual medical equipment like a CT scanner, X-ray equipment, MRI and an ultrasound. While the children do not ever touch a real patient of the hospital, they do get to see pets from a safe learning distance and learn about what they are being treated for.
The children even get to perform “surgery” on a living organism. No, they don’t get to cut into an animal, but they do learn how to place stitches on a banana.
“I think you can’t learn about the world without falling in love with it,” Bessler said during a recent television interview. “And I think the more these kids learn about animals the more they’ll come to love them.”
In addition to the Little Vets course, Bessler offers Advanced Little Vets, a course for children to learn the fundamentals of orthopedic surgery, become familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of common and not-so-common animal toxins, learn about diabetes, parasites, explore the brain and go on field trips.
Bessler has been practicing emergency medicine exclusively since 2004.
About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.