Meet the NorthStar VETS team Benjamin Donati VMD


Benjamin Donati, VMD is a doctor in the Emergency and Critical Care service at NorthStar VETS. In this video, he talks about his path into veterinary medicine, the types of cases he likes to treat, and why growing up in this area is an asset to the way he practices.

Dr. Donati’s Path to Veterinary Medicine
We caught up with Dr. Donati, who was checking on a patient. Dr. Donati works with Emergency cases and he originally planned to go to law school before talking to a friend about veterinary school. “The older brother of one of my classmates was in veterinary school at the time and when he came to visit my friend in college, he was talking about his school experience. It sounded interesting, so I did some shadowing at local general practices, and then I went to a couple of veterinary schools to talk to their admissions counselors, sat in on classes and labs, and then decided that this is what I wanted to go for after graduation.”

“I went to the University of Maryland for undergrad, and then prior to veterinary school, I had to take a lot of prerequisite classes, so I did those at various universities in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and then went to the University of Pennsylvania for my four years of veterinary school. After I graduated from UPenn, I did a rotating internship in Internal Medicine and Surgery at a referral hospital in Brooklyn called Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group (VERG). At the end of my year there, I was looking for a great place hospital-wise and teamwork-wise and I loved NorthStar VETS. I had only heard good things about the hospital itself, and the clinicians and staff here.”

The Types of Cases Dr. Donati Likes to Treat
The Emergency and Critical Care team at NorthStar VETS must deal with a wide variety of cases. “Some of the more interesting cases I see are the ones that I don’t actually manage. There are poly-trauma cases that end up seeing Surgery for multiple fracture repairs, and then there are these longer protracted Internal Medicine cases which take some time to figure out exactly what’s been causing issues for months or years in a certain patient. On an emergent basis, I like doing laceration repairs. When something happens like a dog fight and there are bite wounds, something that seems traumatic at first, but can be easily remedied in-hospital, and we can send a dog or a cat back home to be with their family where they ideally spend most of their time, that is pretty rewarding. And cases where I’m able to distill a lot of confusing information into a compact discussion or delivery to the client is pretty rewarding to me as well. It’s hard enough to know what’s going on with our own bodies and health, but when we live with a creature that we love and all of a sudden they look way different than they did before, it can be really traumatic to see at home. These are things like first-time seizure cases, respiratory distress, and things where it’s hard to know what’s going on immediately, but within a couple hours of diagnostics, we’re able to give the owners an answer, come up with a treatment plan, come up with a prognosis, and set them up for what to expect going forward.”

Why Growing up Locally is an Asset
Dr. Donati grew up in Princeton and he recently treated a runaway cat from his hometown. “The cat was a diabetic and basically went into a diabetic crisis and had to be hospitalized for it. Having that discussion and for me, realizing what street the client was from, and that it was right around the corner from where we both went to school, really allowed us to make a connection. That helps build rapport between the two of us and it’s easier to come from a joint level of understanding and that we’re on the same team.”

What Dr. Donati Loves about NorthStar VETS
Dr. Donati is looking forward to helping clients and their pets. “I really like the way the clinicians all work together as a team. Client communication is at the forefront of what NorthStar VETS cares about and making sure that pet families are in the loop with what’s going on with their pets, and that the family veterinarian is involved and that we’re all part of the team effort toward great healthcare for our companion animals.”

Learn more about the Emegency and Critical Care service at NorthStar VETS.

Benjamin Donati, VMD
Dr. Donati came to NorthStar VETS after completing a rotating internship in medicine and surgery in Brooklyn, NY. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!) and his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he discovered his passion for emergency medicine. Ben is a Princeton native and is glad to be back near family in his hometown. He spends his free time riding his bike, walking his goofy Newfoundland, Wellington, and trying to play as much golf as he can.

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