Dr. David E. Lee recently took the helm as the director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. Lee, who has an MBA, doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and bachelor’s degree in animal sciences all from Cornell University, was selected this spring from a national pool of candidates.
The James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital is ranked second in the nation, under Cornell, for graduate programs. Dr. Lee also will focus on making the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital more cost-effective and building on current relationships with referring veterinarians.
"Colorado State has an excellent veterinary teaching program already in place," said Dr. Lee. "I look forward to improving our current processes and to continuing to build on the relationships and reputation that the school now enjoys with the community and its peers."
Dr. Lee also plans to further integrate teaching veterinary students practice management skills and customer service into the current school curriculum, including a focus on those topics while students are engaged in clinical exams. These courses are currently offered, but don’t receive as much emphasis as scientific and medical courses.
"I am excited by the challenge of teaching students additional skills that will help them be successful, such as business management skills. We’re privileged to be in part of a profession
that is not money driven; we do it out of love of the profession. But that also makes it difficult for students to succeed in the field. You haven’t helped many animals if you can’t afford to stay in the profession," said Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee said his own experiences as a private practice veterinarian led him to refocus on academics to better prepare veterinary students for business, employee and client management. "I could do a spay, treat a variety of diseases, but I knew nothing about client communication, promoting services, addressing complaints, and motivating employees," said Dr. Lee. "I was completely unprepared for it. Now, it’s one of the aspects of veterinary medicine that I enjoy the most. It is what drives me to do this."
Dr. Lee’s resume includes several positions as Cornell such as serving as executive director of external affairs and marketing for the College of Veterinary Medicine, executive director of strategic planning and business development, and assistant director of the endocrinology section and diagnostic laboratory. He has taught extensively in the areas of practice management, hospital administration, community practice service, ethics and professional development at Cornell, as well as courses in managing fluid and electrolyte disorders and foundation animal science and medical classes. Dr. Lee also was a private practitioner in Portland, Maine.
Dr. Lee is a past member of the New York State Bar Association’s committee on Animals and the Law; and currently a member of the Society of Quality Assurance. While at Cornell, he served on various faculty committees, including the Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Program; Provost’s Faculty Advisory Group for Distance Learning; College of Veterinary Medicine Quality Assurance Team; and the Veterinary Economics Group.