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How we picked our winners
Nominations for Petplan’s “Veterinarian of the Year,” “Practice Manager of the Year” and “Veterinary Technician of the Year” awards were open from August to January 23, 2013, and more than 2,200 pet parents from across the country felt compelled to tell us about their pets’ favorite veterinary professionals. 

From 2,200, the field was narrowed to just five finalists in each category. Each of those finalists was asked to fill out and submit a questionnaire, asking them about their education and background, professional associations, post-graduate training and certification, areas of interest, publications, awards and commendations, as well as asking about their practice or hospital and vision for the future of veterinary medicine. So we could get to know the finalists a bit better, we asked about some fun stuff as well, like their favorite breed of four-legged best friend, the funniest pet name they’ve ever heard and their favorite human treat!

Our Judging Panel used the completed questionnaires, the original nomination and supporting evidence gathered from the clinics’ websites and social media pages to make their final decision.

Also playing into the decision were votes that the finalists’ clients (two- and four-legged!), colleagues, family and friends submitted on their behalf. More than 3,000 votes were cast for the finalists, and the tallies served to show community support of the individual candidates.

While all of our finalists were outstanding, our three winners garnered the highest praise from our Judging Panelists and the public vote for their contributions to veterinary medicine, outstanding passion, professionalism and strong devotion to their clients, patients, communities and the veterinary profession.

Meet our judging panelists
Petplan would like to thank the veterinary professionals who contributed their time and effort to helping us select our 2013 Veterinary Excellence Award winner. Put your paws together for them!

Sue Berryhill
President, Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
Technology Specialist, Patterson University

Dr. Ian Driben
Partner, Burl-Moor-Driben Veterinary Hospital
President, New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. David Haworth
President and CEO, Morris Animal Foundation

Dr. Richard LeCouteur
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Guy Pidgeon
Chief Executive Officer, Western Veterinary Conference

Dr. Alan Stewart
Petplan’s 2012 “Veterinarian of the Year” award winner
Founder, San Francisco Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Mark Verdino
VP of Medical Services & Chief of Staff, North Shore Animal League America

Dr. Ernie Ward
Founding Member, VetPartners
Founder, Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
Member, Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board

Dr. Jules Benson
Chief Medical Officer, Petplan