Dr. Brian Beale is an extraordinary man with many talents. His supernatural ability in the veterinary world is so impressive that he’s not only a surgeon, a mentor, an educator and a radio talk show host, but also a TV celebrity!
Here are the best bits from our exclusive interview with Dr Beale…
Brian knew from a young age that veterinary medicine was the path for him. He was exposed to responsible animal ownership by his grandparents. They inspired him with their practice of driving a fair distance to take their slobbery Mastiffs and St. Bernards to the specialists at the University of Pennsylvania to receive the best care possible. Brian recognised then that specialists were rare and getting proper care was important.
When it came time for university he knew he was a very hands-on type of person and liked to fix stuff. Brian originally went into engineering then made the switch to the vet program at the University of Florida graduating as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. “I had a strong academic background in problem solving, solution and diagnostics and decided I wanted to be the best orthopaedic surgeon I could be”. Since then he has never looked back!
After completing his internship and residency and working for the University, Dr Beale joined the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists and has been there for over 20 years! When asked what makes a good workplace, Brian says “For me, it’s being able to have the equipment and team available to do the best job you possibly can”. Additionally, Dr Beale stated that he wanted to influence the direction of the practice, and not have it totally clinical. He has certainly achieved this. Along with clinical practice, he is now incredibly active in education, research and training and he believes that finding a good mentor after graduating is very important.
Lucky for VetPrac, Dr Beale LOVES teaching! He teaches all levels, pre-vets to residents, but much of his knowledge is shared with vets just wanting to learn more. He made remarkable contributions to the growth of veterinary medicine in 1999 when he worked closely with human orthopods to develop arthroscopy in small animals. One of the human surgeons in the team scrubbed in on his own dog to help Brian repair a torn cruciate ligament. Needless to say, the surgeon had to let Dr Beale take over and was amazed by the procedure. Another case Dr Beale shared with us was a 300-pound Malayan tiger from the Houston Zoo. “I diagnosed elbow dysplasia and fragmented medial coronoid process. The arthroscopic findings were amazingly similar to what I see in dogs…except the FCP was as big as my thumb. It presented quite a challenge to remove it arthroscopically”. What an incredible opportunity! He is also co-author of “Small Animal Arthroscopy”.
National Geographic WILD teamed up with the vets at the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialist and created a show called “Animal ER”. Brian reveals some of the highlights of the show were “getting the opportunity to work with a highly experienced Hollywood crew with a high level of expertise and working with many incredible species of animals including tigers, chimpanzees, penguins, endangered bird species and monkeys to name a few”.