Dave was born in upstate New York and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and then continued with a Masters in Biology, receiving the Phi Sigma Research Scholarship and working as a graduate teaching assistant.
During his medical school tenure at MCV he received the Carnation Scholarship, and was elected into Alpha Omega Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Sigma Chi Honorary Leadership Society, Sigma Zeta Honorary Science Society, and performed basic science research. Some of his research is represented by numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Pediatric Surgery and the Journal of Burn Care. Dave has presented before the Surgical Forum of the American College of Surgeons, the Virginia Academy of Science, the American Burn Association, and the Plastic Surgery Research Council. When he joined SAR in 1997, he brought advanced laparoscopic training and ability with him and has been a proponent of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for acid reflux disease and laparoscopic adrenalectomy. His reputation has generated a clinical appointment with the Medical College of Virginia whereby surgical residents from MCV rotate to our community hospitals to work with Dr. Bettinger learning about advanced laparoscopic procedures.
Dave and his wife Dr. Cynthia Bettinger have 3 wonderful children, and he enjoys snow skiing, wood working, and duck hunting.