meet our doctors


How do you become a Veterinary Ophthalmologist


After a person graduates from college (4 years) and then veterinary school (4 years), he/she usually completes a 1 year internship in small animal medicine and surgery. The person then serves a 3 year residency in ophthalmology at either a veterinary teaching hospital or at a boarded ophthalmologist's clinic under the supervision of ophthalmologists. Once the residency is completed the board certification process begins, first with a credentials package. If the credentials are accepted by the ABVO Exam Committee, the applicant is allowed to take the examination. The exam is a four day process consisting of written, practical, and surgical parts. Finally, after passing all of the above criteria, the veterinarian is recognized as a "Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists®" or in short, board certified in veterinary ophthalmology. Legally one cannot use this title unless they are fully boarded.


Andrew Berdoulay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Newport News, VA

Dr. Berdoulay was born and raised in Long Island, New York. He received his Bachelors degree in biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in 1998. He practiced general medicine for two years prior to entering a residency program in Comparative Ophthalmology at Animal Eye Care Associates and the University of Illinois. He has been a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist since 2004. His professional interests lie in cataract surgery and novel therapies for dry eye. Dr. Berdoulay says he can never grow tired of improving the quality of a pet’s life, by restoring their ability to see.

Dr. Berdoulay has made his home in Virginia since graduating from veterinary school. He sought to be near the shore as an adult, since he spent his childhood on the beach in Long Island, and is still a Northeasterner at heart. The best part of Long Island has moved with him however, as he enjoys spending his free time with his family. In addition to his children, he is also a father to a French bull dog, pug, chihuahua, and a cat. His list of desired breeds and pets grows larger, the longer he is in practice.


Robert English, DVM, PhD

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Cary, NC Durham, NC

Dr. English started Animal Eye Care in 1989. He received undergraduate and DVM degrees from the University of Illinois and did his ophthalmology residency training and received a PhD in Immunology from NCSU.


Karen Fisher, DVM

Ophthalmology Resident
Clinic(s): Cary, NC

Dr. Fisher has worked with Animal Eye Care for 8 years. She graduated from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and did a rotating small animal Internship with the Veterinary Specialty Hospital group in Cary and Raleigh.


Jennifer Fontenelle, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Cary, NC

Dr. Fontenelle received her DVM from Louisiana State University and completed a Ophthalmology Residency at Colorado State University. She joined the AEC team in 2008. Her graduate work included investigation into the efficacy of topical antiviral therapy for feline herpes virus infections.


Barrett Gift, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Wilmington, NC

Dr. Gift started working with Animal Eye Care in 1998 while pursuing his undergraduate bachelor of science degree in Zoology at North Carolina State University (2000). He then continued at North Carolina State University for his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (2004). After graduation, he completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Texas A&M University. Dr. Gift returned to the mid atlantic region to complete a combined three year academic and private practice residency with North Carolina State University and the Animal Eye Care group, after which he became a board certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. His clinical interests include corneal transplantation and cataract surgery. Dr. Gift spends his free time playing racquetball, beach volleyball, surfing, outrigger canoeing, and snowboarding.


Andrea Leber, DVM

Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Chesapeake, VA

Dr. Andrea C. Leber was born in 1964 in Switzerland. She studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zuerich, Switzerland and graduated in 1988. After a 3 year ophthalmology residency with Prof Bernhard Spiess and a thesis about ‘Electroretinography in Beagles’ she worked as staff ophthalmologist in a small animal clinic in Switzerland. She started her own ophthalmology clinic in 1993. She worked closely with two Zoos in Basel and the school for guiding dogs for the blind in Allschwil. In 1996 she became a diplomate of the European College of Ophthalmology. In 2000 she moved to Mobile, Alabama, USA, started the ECFVG program and the Eye Clinic for Animals. 2003 the Lebers transferred to Groningen in the Netherlands where Dr. Leber restarted her own referral clinic. In August 2005 they moved to Virginia, USA. Dr. Leber has finished the program for foreign graduates in April 2006 and works since then as a staff ophthalmologist in the Animal Eye Care Clinic, Chesapeake for Dr. Brad Nadelstein.


Brad Nadelstein, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Chesapeake, VA Virginia Beach, VA

Dr. Brad Nadelstein studied at the North Carolina State University of Veterinary Medicine, where he also served his residency in Veterinary and Comparative Ophthalmology. Dr. Nadelstein is a Diplomate for the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, He has the experience our pet owners trust, as the ACVO Resident Mentor for Animal Eye Care Associates, Inc. and one of approximately four veterinary ophthalmologists in the USA routinely performing pars plana vitrectomy and retinal reattachment surgery. Dr. Nadelstein’s professional society memberships include the ACVO and ACVO Vitreous Society, as well as the Vision for Animals Foundation, for which he has served as the foundation’s president since 2007. He loves making animals see again and relieving their eye pain. In his time away from work, Dr. Nadelstein enjoys sailing, tennis, fishing, camping and running.


Ronald Spatola, DVM, MS

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Clinic(s): Chesapeake, VA Virginia Beach, VA Newport News, VA

A native of Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Spatola realized his passion for medicine shortly after graduating from New York University in 2003. Of all the health professions, he found veterinary medicine to be the best fit for his personality and career goals. Dr. Spatola graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011 with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Masters of Science degrees. His Masters research focused on canine corneal cells and drug toxicity. His passion for vision science began prior to veterinary college, and was only enhanced during his first exposure to clinical veterinary ophthalmology. Following Dr. Spatola’s graduation from OSU, he decided to further his education through a 1 year rotating small animal internship in Charlotte, NC with Carolina Veterinary Specialists. Following Charlotte, he took a 1 year ophthalmology internship with Animal Eye Care Associates here in Chesapeake, VA, where Dr. Spatola was fortunate enough to be offered a residency position in July of 2013. In July of 2016 he completed his residency and passed the ophthalmology board examination and achieved diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. He finds both the joys and challenges of veterinary ophthalmology extremely satisfying, and feels very fortunate to be with such a progressive and diverse group here at AEC. His clinical interests are vitreoretinal surgery, cataract surgery, blepharoplasty and ocular manifestations of systemic disease.

In his spare time, Dr. Spatola enjoys staying active outdoors by bike riding, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, and kayaking the Chesapeake Bay.