Founder / Director of Medicine

Justine Lee


Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT is the Founder and Director of Medicine at VETgirl. Back in 2011, Dr. Justine Lee came up with the idea of VETgirl. Years ago, while frantically studying for her board examination(s), she decided to take some time out to relieve some stress (aka “panic) by running. While pounding the pavement, she thought, “Why can’t I listen to this stuff on my Walkman while I exercise?” (She is old, and this was pre-Ipod days). Since sleeping on top of her textbooks didn’t appear to osmotically work, she decided that this “listen and learn” modality would truly be the best way to “take it all” in while frantically multi-tasking. And that’s when she teamed up with techno-saavy Dr. Pachtinger to create VETgirl…

When not reading journal articles, lecturing internationally, exercising, and working at the clinic,  she’s hiking or fulfilling her inner-foodie. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Veterinary Services at an animal poison control center in Minneapolis (2009-2013) and on faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (2003-2008).

Dr. Lee graduated from Cornell University, and then completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, which is affiliated with the MSPCA. In addition, she has also completed an emergency fellowship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Lee is one of approximately 450 board certified veterinary specialists world wide in emergency and critical care, and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (DACVECC). She also is board-certified in toxicology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).

Dr. Lee has been published in numerous veterinary journals, including JAVMA, JVECC, JVIM, and JAAHA. She has also published several veterinary book chapters, and has been aired on radio and television to promote preventative medicine, animal health, and the overall well-being of pets. She is the author of two humorous pet reference books (Random House 2008) entitled It’s a Dog’s Life… but It’s Your Carpet and It’s a Cat’s World… You Just Live In It. Dr. Lee also co-edited and co-authored Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Small Animal Toxicology (Wiley-Blackwell 2011). She is also one of the editors for the Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal: Emergency Medicinetextbook (Elsevier 2013).

Dr. Lee lectures throughout the world on emergency, critical care, and toxicology, and was honored to receive the Speaker of the Year Award at the North American Veterinary Conference (2016, 2015, 2011) and Association des Médecines Vétérinaires du Québec (2012). Dr. Lee was the co-host veterinary analyst on Nat Geo Wild‘s Animal ER LIVE, and was the former contributor/blogger to Prevention magazine, PetMD: The Daily Vet, Pet Health Network and Voyce. She has been featured on NBC Weekend Today, Rachael Ray, WCCO, MPR, and various other TV and radio engagements. Dr. Lee is a part-time criticalist at Animal Emergency & Referral Center, a specialty referral hospital in the Twin Cities, MN.

To tell you the truth (if you’re still reading), Dr. Lee was a C student while she was at Cornell (well, technically a 3.0/B- after a year of A’s in clinics). How can this be, you say? KISS. Keep it simple. Save lives by learning what’s truly important… hence, the idea of VETgirl.

Let the fun learning begin!