When Dave Meyer was nine years old, he asked his parents for a dog. “My parents said ‘okay’,” he remembers, “but you need to write a paper about the pros and cons, and pick the type of dog you want, then present it to us.” That was a little introduction to the policy side of veterinary medicine, and to his future career at OSU as a Patient Services Coordinator.
Meyer got an undergraduate degree in Art from the University of Minnesota, while working summers at an animal shelter. After graduation, he moved to Boulder, Colorado and got an associate degree from the Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology. “I got a job in a general practice,” he says, “but I really wanted to work in surgery.” Then a connection in Minnesota helped him get a position at the U of M Veterinary Teaching Hospital where he paid his dues working “25% phones, 25% surgery tech and 50% anesthesia tech,” he says. It was a foot in the door and soon he was invited to join the anesthesia team full time.
Meyer’s wife was a DVM in the military, and in 2004, she was transferred to Baltimore, Maryland so he went to work in the Neurobioscience Department at Johns Hopkins University. “I worked in research with baboons,” he says. “It was a really fun job. The animals were taken care of very well. They had enrichment rooms where they could climb trees and find hidden food.” The baboons participated in research that helped developed new drugs. “Once a year, the doctors from Johns Hopkins hospital would talk to us about how our research was helping them and their patients; it was really rewarding,” he says.
In 2012, Meyer was working at a specialty practice in Chico, California when he got an email from the Associate Director of the the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ron Mandsager. “I had previously worked with Dr. Mandsager in Minnesota and he sent me the posting of this position.”
Meyer applied, and when offered an interview, drove to Corvallis for the first time. He says he found the city “eerily like Chico. The downtown is very similar with the small boutiques. Like Chico, Corvallis has the farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday. They even have the area with fountains that shoot up where the kids play; it’s almost an exact replica. I took that as a good sign.”
Meyers wife is now a veterinary senior epidemiologist for the Center for Infectious Disease Research Policy. She is on a biowatch team monitoring bioterrorism. They have a 2.5 year old daughter named Piper. “She is the apple of my eye,” he says. They also have a nineteen year-old cat and a thirteen year-old dog.
As the Patient Services Coordinator, Meyer supervises the anesthesia techs, the surgery techs, and the surgery rehab techs, as well as doing a variety of administrative duties. He also fills in where needed in surgery and rehab. He describes himself as a goal-driven person. “I like to check things off my list,” he says. “I am fueled by that; taking something from a beginning point to a point where a situation is solved.” Although, he has only been on the job for a few months, Meyer has already checked quite a few things off his list. “Since I’ve started, the evaluation protocol has changed to an online form. I’ve been able to get in there and get everyone set up and get appraisals done. I’ve also been able to update and write Standard Operating Procedures to get ready for accreditation. Being involved from beginning to end is very rewarding. It’s been great.”