Dr Mary Burkart and Dr Mark Grossman
Dr Grossman grew up in Baltimore Maryland and has felt a special connection with animals ever since he can recall. His father was a biology teacher and greatly influenced his love for science and all living things. After obtaining his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, he was denied entrance into vet school citing he did not have enough animal experience. It was then that he became a Zoo keeper at the Baltimore Zoo. Then 2 years later, he was accepted to vet school.
Dr Burkart grew up in New Jersey and first became a licensed veterinary technician before wanting to become a veterinarian. She was denied access her first attempt because she needed more class work. She finished her pre-requisite classes and got accepted to vet school her second attempt.
Little did they know in spite of their very separate paths fate would bring them together.
Dr Burkart and Dr Grossman met in 1984 during their first year of the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. They have either worked together or attended school together ever since. After graduating vet school, they both attended the University of Georgia and attained their Master's degrees - Dr Burkart in Medical Microbiology and Dr Grossman in Toxicology. Upon graduating UGA, and with their family now growing with the expected birth of boy and girl twins, they began their first small animal veterinary position at the Sunset Animal Hospital in Columbia South Carolina. After 2 years there, while on vacation to the Outer Banks, they found a small hole-in-the-wall clinic that was for sale on Roanoke Island. Taking a risk to live in a region they loved, they purchased the clinic and moved their now family of 6 here to the Outer Banks in 1992. At that time, the then Airdraie Animal Hospital became the Roanoke Island Animal Clinic..
The rest is like a fairy tale come true. With pure dedication, long hours, and a deep love for their profession and this community, this small 700 square foot clinic became the 4,500 square foot full service facility they enjoy today.
During this time, Dr Burkart also became the local veterinarian for the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and Dr Grossman became the vet for the Return to the Wild Red Wolf project on the Alligator River Refuge. With their 4 children growing up here, they devoloped a true love for this community of wonderful folk along with the amazing array of wildlife on the Outer Banks. Ever since their first Thanksgiving here when they had to rescue and and treat a 125 pound Loggerhead Sea Turtle, they realized that along with the pets in this area, there is also a need to be able to provide veterinary care for the local wildlife. Since then they have opened their doors to literally hundreds of Sea Turtles and thousands more of the wildlife that call these fragile barrier islands home.
Dr Grossman is also a consultant and editor in the toxicology and dermatology boards of VIN - the Veterinary Information Network. VIN has become the single greatest source of knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine. It is now over 40,000 vets strong around the world communicating on line to keep up with current medicine and to help each other with difficult cases.
It is with great compassion and deep commitment that both Dr Burkart and Dr Grossman feel that no sick or injured animal on the Outer Banks, ever be denied access to quality veterinary care.
Dr Sara Beth Belton
Dr Sara Beth Belton grew up in Washington, North Carolina where she enjoyed playing soccer and spending time on the river. She attended Peace College, in Raleigh NC, for two years, then transferred to North Carolina State University where she received a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. Between undergrad and vet school she took a year off and moved to Steamboat Springs, CO to work on a dude ranch. She then traveled to Ross University, on the island of St Kitts in the West Indies, to attend veterinary school. After spending 3 years on St Kitts, she returned to Raleigh to finish her final year and clinical rotations at North Carolina State University. Her husband, Joey, works as the first mate on the charter fishing boat, The Trophy Hunter, at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. They have three dogs, Fisher, Rivers, and Beans, and are expecting their first child at the end of January.
Dr Sara Beth is our "Senior" associate - our "rock" with a heart of gold. She has proven to be a fantastic veterinarian, team player and friend. Don't let the warm smile and rosy cheeks fool you. Dr Sara Beth is totally focused and is tenacious when it comes to her cases making sure that nothing gets missed, always practicing the best medicine possible on every case.
At left, Dr Sarah Beth catches a quick nap on Diane's shoulder after being on call the past weekend. What a trooper! Sara Beth and her hubby Joey have a beautiful son named Smitty who was born on January 30th, 2010 and weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces! Below: As so many of our family babies do, Smitty got "christened" at the clinic by spending a little time taking a nap in where he is safe .
Hailing from Georgia, Dr. Layng (Left) is our newest member of the veterinary team. She has been nothing short of a pleasure to have at our practice. With a light heart and warm smile, Blythe has already proven to be quite a veterinary surgeon and diagnostician. It has been our pleasure and good fortune to find her and welcome this Georgia peach to our team.
Blythe received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Georgia. After college, she worked as a wildlife biologist researching avian diseases. Next she worked for several years as a veterinary technician in Atlanta and decided to pursue her dream of becoming a vet. Blythe graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical rotations at Auburn University. She is thrilled to now be living on the Outer Banks and takes advantage of all the outdoor activities available here. Blythe shares her house with two kitties, Ting Ting and Roadie, and her adopted lab, Buddy.