Dr. Speer received 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. He 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 he is now a recognized avian specialist in ECZM.
An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Dr. Speer has served as chair of the Aviculture Committee, as a director of the board, and as president. He is currently a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network for avian medical topics. He is co-author of Birds for Dummies.