Medical Center For Birds

3807 Main Street
Oakley, CA 94561



Our Doctors

Dr. Speer

Brian Speer 


Brian Speer was raised in a small town in California's central coast area. He received his baccalaureate of science degree in biological sciences with a concentration in zoology from California Polytechnic State University in 1978, and his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Since 1989, he has limited his practice in the San Francisco Bay area to include exclusively bird species, where his patients include companion and aviary birds, breeding bird collections, zoologic display collections, and performing animals. Brian received his board specialty status through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in February 1996, and was certified in the European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery (ECAMS) in 1999. ECAMS was the founding organization for the European College of Zoological Medicine in 2009, and Brian is now a recognized avian specialist in ECZM.

An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), he has served as chair of the Aviculture Committee, as a director of the board, and as president. Brian is currently a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network for avian medical topics.

Brian is well published in the AAV annual proceedings, has served as guest editor for the journal Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Veterinary Clinics of North America, and authored chapters in several recent veterinary medical texts on pet bird, avicultural, and ratite medical topics. He is a co-author of the 530-page textbook, The Large Macaws, published in 1995, and Birds for Dummies, published in 1999, and editor for Current Veterinary Therapy in Avian Medicine and Surgery, published in 2015. Brian is a sought-after guest speaker at veterinary conferences throughout the United States and abroad.

Timothy Beichner


Bio coming soon!

MICHAEL SCOTT ECHOLS, DVM Avian Medical and Surgical Services

Scott Echols


M Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP is an avian specialist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the Co-founder of Avian Mobile Surgical Services (Medical Center for Birds), founder of Avian Studios, LLC and Scarlet Imaging and co-director of The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project, Dr. Echols keeps busy practicing, teaching, lecturing, writing, consulting and researching throughout the US and abroad.

Dr. Echols is an Adjunct Professor and Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. He has also served as a Past President of the Association of Avian Veterinarians and has received the 2005 TJ Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award and 2007 Texas Veterinary Medical Association Non-Traditional Species of the Year Award. 

CLICK HERE to see Dr. Echols' complete Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Rachel Baden

Rachel Baden

DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Rachel Baden grew up in the South Bay Area of California. Rachel graduated from the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2017, following receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 2013. 

After obtaining her DVM degree, Rachel completed a one-year small animal medicine and surgery internship at Louisiana State University as well as a year-long internship at Colorado State University focusing on avian, reptile, and small mammal medicine. During these internships, Rachel participated in several research projects and publications focused on avian clinical pathology. Rachel looks forward to continuing to contribute to the growing body of literature on avian medicine throughout her career. 

Rachel joined the Medical Center for Birds team in 2019 and undertook a residency in avian medicine, which she completed in 2022. She then passed the examination and became a board-certified avian specialist in the fall of 2022. She is a co-author of several publications, including one that won an award for best clinical report of 2019 from the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, and is a regular presenter at the annual conference of exotic veterinarians. She currently serves as a Member-at-Large and a member of the Student Committee for the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

Her favorite birds are cockatoos, although she considers every day she gets to work with birds as a privilege. She currently shares her home with seven galahs and one cockatiel, who have their own room and prevent Rachel's life from ever being boring!

Holly Galusha

Holly Galusha


Holly was raised in upstate New York, in the small rural town of Bolton Landing. She obtained her DVM from Kansas State University in 2019, and a B.S. in Animal Science from SUNY Cobleskill College of Agriculture and Technology in 2015. Before veterinary school, Holly sat on the board of directors for an avian rescue in the Albany NY area, and during veterinary school she worked for the radiology department as well as an avian exclusive veterinary practice on weekends.

Outside of work, Holly proudly shares her home with several feathered friends- macaws Baby and Mugsy, Chamberlain the cockatiel, Chopper the yellow-naped amazon, and Vegas the African grey. She is also accompanied by her maltese, Cooper.

Holly begins her residency in spring 2021, and is looking forward to a long career of helping owners be better stewards and friends for their avian companions.

Vanessa Hernández-Urraca

Vanessa Hernández-Urraca


Vanessa is a veterinarian who studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she obtained her bachelor's and master's degree with highest honors. Since graduation, she has focused her career goals on avian medicine; either by doing externships, taking courses, wetlabs and attending conferences in México and abroad. She had her own practice in Mexico, and after that, she moved to the United Arab Emirates to continue to learn and pursue her passion in avian medicine.

She joined our practice in October 2020 with plans to complete a two year residency training program in Avian Medicine and Surgery under the guidance of Dr Speer and Fitzgerald, working towards her ABVP diplomacy with a specialty in avian medicine. 

Vanessa has been a part of our MCFB family for several years and we are so excited to have her working with us officially! 

Crystal Schoellmann


Dr. Crystal Schoellmann is a Texas native who completed her DVM with honors at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a BA in Anthropology and a BS in Biology.

After obtaining her doctorate, Crystal practiced small animal and exotic animal medicine in Texas for a few years before deciding to specialize in avian and exotic animal medicine. She completed an internship in avian and exotic animal medicine at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA in 2021 and joined the Medical Center for Birds later that year to pursue a residency in avian medicine.  

She has a long-standing passion for conservation medicine that developed after studying abroad in Costa Rica and Ecuador. She is particularly interested in the relationship of people with animals, both pets and wildlife. She loves working with birds and revels in the challenge and creativity that comes with treating each unique species.

In her (rare) spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, singing, and throwing pottery. Her mini zoo at home consists of a bronze-winged pionus named Nigel, a Yorkie named Birdie, a cat named Finn, and 2 corn snakes (Puck and Juliet)