School of Veterinary Medicine Grads Achieve Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Membership

svm graduates that passed the rcvsSix graduates from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine have passed the Statutory Membership Examination of the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). 44 veterinary graduates in all took the RCVS this time; SGU’s successful examinees represent fully one half of the total number that passed.

SGU graduates Fiona Dobbie, Emily Jubert, Claire Lambourn, Jonathan McCotter, Jenni Mason and Peter James Burnett were among 12 candidates worldwide.  In the presence of their friends and families, RCVS President Dr. Bob Moore presented the accomplished graduates with certificates at a Ceremony of Admissions at the RCVS in London.

In order to practice veterinary surgery in the UK, all graduates with foreign or Commonwealth qualifications must pass this exam which consists of two days’ written papers in London, followed by clinical, oral and practical exams at a UK veterinary medical school. As a statutory regulator, the RCVS undertakes the responsibilities to maintain a register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practice in the UK; to regulate veterinary medical education and to regulate professional conduct.

Many of the graduates have set the wheels in motion for a career in the UK.  Jonathan McCotter, Claire Lambourn and Fiona Dobbie are eager to begin their careers in mixed animal practice.  Each of these graduates has been inspired in their youth by family members who similarly chose veterinary medicine as a profession.

According to Fiona Dobbie, “Veterinary medicine is not a career, but a way of life.”  Fiona was influenced by her veterinarian grandfather, and as a very young girl, dreamed of working with animals.  Fiona has accepted a position in a small country practice in Northern England, where she and her colleagues will cover approximately 100 square miles of farm land.  Dr. Dobbie reflects upon her experience in Grenada with admiration for the University’s faculty and administration.  She believes the intimate class size at SGUSVM combined with the hands-on surgical experience and wet-labs significantly contributed to her confidence with patients.  She believes SGU students have a tremendous advantage in the practical stages of veterinary medicine, over programs in the UK.  Dr. Dobbie hopes to return to Grenada at some point in her career and practice the skills she acquired at SGU.

Dr. Jonathan McCotter, whose father is a veterinarian, will be joining his family’s five-person mixed animal practice in Cornwall.   When asked about his experience at SGU, Dr. McCotter stressed that the standard of teaching at the University, with faculty from Grenada, UK and the US, is exceptional.  “While the semester’s academic pace was intense,” said McCotter, “the program was well laid out, offering invaluable hands-on experience.”
Dr. McCotter also praises his fellow students, explaining that while the academic environment is extremely challenging, the genuine camaraderie and mutual respect amongst the students was invaluable.  Fiona Dobbie is in agreement, emphasizing that her class of 40 students “bent over backwards” to help each other succeed.

For Claire Lambourn, her choice to practice veterinarian medicine skipped a generation.  Claire recalls wanting to be a veterinarian, like her maternal grandparents, from a very young age.  She was inspired by her grandmothers pioneering career path as the first female veterinary surgeon in Malaysia, where she traveled with her husband the late Major Witherington OBE.
While Claire is impressed by the caliber of the SGU professors, it was the life experience and lessons she gained from Grenada that left the most significant mark.  She arrived at the SGU campus a young 18 year old student and left more mature, confident and focused than ever thought possible.  Claire credits the University and its staff for their continuous guidance and encouragement.

Jenni Mason, who was in New York and unable to attend the ceremony, holds the distinction of being the first graduate from the joint program between SGU and the University of Nottingham.  Peter James Burnett is presently teaching at SGU in Grenada.

SGU has 25 British students enrolled in veterinary medicine, and looks forward to an increasing number of them practicing in the UK upon graduation.

Published on 8/20/07

School of Veterinary Medicine Graduate Featured on Animal Planet

dr steven berkowitzDr. Steven Berkowitz, recent SGUSVM alumni, will be featured on seasons 5 and 6 of Animal Precinct on Animal Planet.   Steve, a native of New Jersey, is currently an intern in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in New York City, where the episodes are filmed.  He will appear on several episodes of Animal Precinct during the next year. The first episode aired on Thursday, June 14th.

Animal Precinct is a powerful reality show that follows the animal cruelty agents from the Humane Law Enforcement department (HLE) of the ASPCA as they advocate for animals, sometimes removing them from dangerous situations and pursuing arrests of those cruel to animals. There are currently only 20 agents with full police powers for the entire city and state.

The episodes track the progress of the animals, specifically dogs and cats, from initial care at the hospital to their ultimate adoption.  According to Dr. Berkowitz, “Appearing in the episodes was a rewarding and unbelievably unique experience.”  He continued, “Since the ASPCA is not-for-profit, there are no monetary limitations to getting these animals back to health.”  He is continually amazed by the recovery many of these animals make, often after severely damaging injuries and abuse.  He believes Animal Precinct helps increase awareness of the scope of animal abuse.

Animal Precinct was the first show created by Animal Planet as part of an “umbrella rotation” of shows known collectively as “Animal Planet Heroes”, and its success led to the development of similar shows set in Detroit, Michigan (Animal Cops Detroit), Houston, Texas (Animal Cops Houston), Miami, Florida (Miami Animal Police), San Francisco, California (Animal Cops San Francisco), and Phoenix, Arizona (Animal Planet Heroes: Phoenix).  The show appears on Discovery Channel networks worldwide.

Dr. Berkowitz plans to stay close to home after completing his internship.  He is currently investigating opportunities in emergency medicine in hospitals in the tri-state area.

We will keep you updated on air dates of future episodes which feature SGU’s televised veterinarian.

Published 6/20/2007

Public Health Study Boost to ’07 School of Veterinary Medicine Graduate

rivkah bradsky with reindeerRivkah Bradsky graduated last week from the SVM, having recently been recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP).

Rivkah was one of 10 students awarded the AVMA Externship Stipend Program for her commitment to public health veterinary medicine.  Rivkah’s experience has clearly proven her dedication to the field.  She has interned at several research facilities including some work in Grenada with Dr. Ravindra Sharma on toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the single-celled parasite toxoplasma gondii.  Also, at the time of application, Rivkah had already received a highly sought after appointment as an extern with the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).  The strong support of SGU’s Dr. Buxton Nyack and Dr. Nicoletti, along with Dr. Linda Detweiler of the USDA program, were crucial to her successful application.  Rivkah completed her experience in NY at the Animal Import Center for animals entering or transiting through the US.  In this capacity, she worked directly in quarantine and control of infectious diseases from abroad.

The AVMA Stipend Program, which began in 2004 with five stipends at $1,000 each, has recently approved a significant increase in funding due to the success of the program.

This year there were 39 applicants, 10 of whom were selected to receive stipends for completing externships in Public Practice and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (examples of these externships locations would be, but are not limited to, Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Johns Hopkins University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Agriculture, research labs, wildlife and pharmaceutical companies).

In response to the shortage of food supply veterinarians, the AVMA recently expanded the program to include five additional $1,000 stipends specifically for students participating in externships in food supply veterinary practice. The AVMA now funds the externship stipend program for 15 students, at a total of $15,000.

In addition, Rivkah is one of only two recipients selected each year for the AAAP Foundation Kenneth Eskelund Preceptorship Grant.   Rivkah was selected for her interest in poultry medicine, most specifically in areas of infectious disease and biosecurity.  At the time of application, she had completed an externship with Tyson Foods, Inc. where she was directly involved in biosecurity analysis, control and prevention of infectious disease in turkey and chicken operations within the tri-state area of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the development of proactive strategies with area poultry veterinarians in infectious disease prevention, above and beyond government regulations.  Rivkah’s experience in poultry medicine as it relates to infectious disease was inspired and supported by SGU’s Dr. Sharma.  The externship was arranged through the help of Dr. Daniel Shaw and Dr. Alex Bermudez of the University of Missouri, where she spent her clinical year.

The AAAP Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation engaged in charitable, scientific and educational activities. The Foundation annually awards preceptorships up to $1,200 to veterinary students for the purpose of helping them defray housing, living and travel expenses incurred while attending poultry medicine training programs under the auspices of their veterinary medical schools.

Dr. Eskelund, who has had a successful career in the poultry industry and has been an ardent supporter of the AAAP, provided the capital funds to establish this program in 1988. His intention was to encourage veterinary students to consider careers in poultry medicine.
The American Association of Avian Pathologists has solicited the cooperation of its members in establishing a variety of training sites including universities, diagnostic laboratories, poultry production companies and poultry breeding companies.
Rivkah is proud of the education and experience she gained at SGU, both in the classroom and in the workplace.  She plans to pursue a career in public health veterinary medicine, with an emphasis on infectious diseases.  Her ultimate goal is to work with the US government in handling disease outbreak.  She is currently considering advanced degree programs in infectious disease and comparative medicine.

Published 6/20/2007

Princeton Review: St. George’s University vet grad is well prepared for future, obtains competitive surgical residency in Pennsylvania.

Nicole Salas has a promising future as a veterinary surgeon. A 2005 St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine grad, Nicole has earned a competitive surgical residency at Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Langhorne, Pa.

“I am very happy thus far and feel I have learned a tremendous amount in my two years post graduation, between my rotating internship at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in
New York City and my surgical internship at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Florida,” Nicole says.

A native of Oxford, N.J., Nicole received an Animal Science degree at Cornell University. She always knew she’d like to become a veterinarian, and looked to St. George’s University in Grenada to help her prepare for her career.

“I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since I was four years old. I’ve always loved animals and science,” says Nicole. “I am thankful St. George’s gave me this opportunity.”

After basic veterinary sciences, taught on SGU’s True Blue Campus in Grenada, West Indies, Nicole was placed at North Carolina State University for the clinical part of her education. In many ways, she felt better prepared than students from other schools, likely due to the hands-on training SGU students receive during their years in Grenada.

“St. George’s prepared us to be well-rounded veterinarians, despite our concentration in small or large animal medicine,“ Nicole says.

Nicole was also impressed with the professors at SGU: “They are always available, always willing to help you in any way they can,” she says. “Coming from a large university with teaching assistants, I was amazed to know that my professors had an open door policy, and would be willing to help and encourage me any way they could.”

Nicole’s potential was evident early on. “Even though spots are very limited, having known Nicole for the past several years, it’s no surprise that she obtained a surgical residency,” says Jeffrey Bates, Veterinary Enrollment Counselor at SGU.

“Her passion and knowledge for veterinary medicine has always been strong, and with all of the hands-on experience our students receive, I knew St. George’s University would teach her the skills necessary for her to follow her life-long dream,” he says.

In addition to the exceptional faculty, Nicole considered the Caribbean atmosphere a benefit.

“It was a relaxing atmosphere, despite the stress of class,” she says. “It really made me want to study, though most would think the opposite. You’re in a place where there aren’t the everyday distractions of the mall, the movies, and the hustle and bustle.”

Nicole couldn’t be happier with her education. “I am going to be a veterinary surgeon and I love what I am doing,” says Nicole. “St. George’s gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream. They prepared me to be a great veterinarian and it’s a great and safe study environment.”

About St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine, established in 1999, has become a sanctuary for aspiring veterinarians worldwide. It advances the University’s evolution as an international institution that offers a broad range of educational and professional training opportunities.

The School continues to keep pace with the latest in veterinary knowledge and technology, expanding its curriculum and adding new, state-of-the-art laboratories. The University’s True Blue Campus is an architectural masterpiece on the southwestern corner of Grenada, on a peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Published on 5/30/07

Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine, Inducts New Members

At a ceremony held at the Caribbean House Great Hall, 15 impressive individuals were honored by the SGU Alpha Delta Chapter of Phi Zeta. Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine, was founded in 1825 by students at the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell University.   It recognizes and promotes scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.
phi zeta new members
The Alpha Delta Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta was installed at SGU in 2005.  It was the first international chapter of the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine and the 28th chapter to be formed.  Dr. John McKibben, President of the Chapter, opened the ceremony at the SGU Campus, welcoming the inductees and other honored guest.  Twelve SGU students were recognized for academic achievement and good character.  They are:

Kelly Carignan
Jennifer Hale
Jenna Heusi
Ryan Jacob
Nichole Organ
Corrine Stewart
Joy Will
Lian Doble
Jessica Ellis
Jessie Peck
Katherine Thorne
Jennifer Webb

Two faculty members of the School of Veterinary Medicine were also inducted as new members of Phi Zeta.  Dr. Saul Mofya and Dr. Ulrike Zieger were recognized for their commitment and achievement in the veterinary profession, specifically in the areas of research and service.  In addition, Dr. Bowen Louison, Grenada’s Chief Veterinary Officer, was inducted as an honorary member, in recognition of his notable service to Grenada’s veterinary profession.Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Vishnu Rao, Dean of Students praised the achievements of all new members, as they exemplify SGU’s dedication to high scholastic achievement.

Dr. Thomas Schubert, an adjunct professor of Neurology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, delivered the keynote address, reinforcing the increasing demand for skilled veterinarians and the myriad of career choices available to them.  Dr. Schubert closed by asking each student to consider how they can give back to the veterinary profession while pursuing their career.

The Alpha Delta Chapter was honored to host the International President of the Society of Phi Zeta, Dr. Charles Hendrix, also the Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Hendrix offered brief remarks and congratulations to all new inductees, closing with a quote from Garrison Keillor, “Be well. Do good works. Stay in touch,” and adding “Stay in touch with Phi Zeta and stay in touch with St. George’s University. They want to hear from you, and they want to hear your successes.”

After the induction ceremony, Dr. McKibben announced the chapter’s newly elected officers, who will take effect next fall.  Dr. Hugh Larkin will serve as President, Dr. Marta Lanza Louw as Vice President, and Dr. Diana Stone will serve another term as Secretary/Treasurer.

Published 4/17/2007

Professor Ian McConnell Delivers the Thirteenth Annual Geoffrey H. Bourne Memorial Lecture

Professor Ian McConnell Balck and White PortraitThe Thirteenth Annual Bourne Lecture was delivered by Professor Ian McConnell on the evening of February 12, 2007 at the True Blue campus in Grenada.  Professor McConnell presented on the topic: One Medicine: A Continuum of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, focusing on the interplay between the three fields.

The lecture drew upon Professor McConnell’s distinguished career in research, specifically in the immunology of infectious diseases of animals and man.  One Medicine has been a consistent theme of his extensive research and teaching.  Throughout his research career he has exploited uniqueness offered by animal physiology and animal disease problems to gain insights into basic aspects of immunology and pathology of diseases importance to both veterinary and comparative medicine.

Professor McConnell is Professor of Veterinary Science and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, England.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, and Professorial Fellow at Darwin College Cambridge.  He graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Glasgow and in Natural Sciences (Pathology) from the University of Cambridge.  He carried out his doctoral studies (PhD) in immunology in the laboratory of Prof. RRA Coombs in the Department of Pathology, Cambridge.

Professor McConnell has 150 scientific publications which focus on studies on the immune system in health and disease, with particular focus on infectious diseases of man and animals including zoonotic diseases transmissible to man.  He was principal author of two editions of a highly successful book on the Immune System – a major undergraduate textbook in immunology.

He has made many fundamental discoveries on the immune system, particularly in the area of membrane receptors on lymphocytes, the role of the complement system in viral immunity lymphocyte physiology, and unique studies on immunity and pathogenesis of a naturally occurring ruminant lentivirus (maedi visna virus – MVV) – which is a prototype AIDS virus.  His research has provided unique insights into immune physiology and the pathogenesis of lentiviral infections of man and animals.  His current research is on the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is focused on the mechanisms whereby prions which cause scrapie in sheep are able to invade the central nervous system.

Professor McConnell is recognized as an authority on infectious diseases of livestock, and through chairmanship and membership of several key Government and Royal Society Committees in animal and human health, has played a leading role in top-level Government Committees dealing with BSE, the Royal Society’s Inquiry into Foot and Mouth Disease, and more recently the Nuffield Council Inquiry on the ethics of research involving animals.  He was chairman of the Vaccination Subgroup for the Royal Society’s Inquiry  into Foot and Mouth Disease which led to the UK Government’s decision that emergency vaccination would be used in any future outbreak of FMD in the UK.  This is a major policy shift for the UK Animal Health Authorities.  As a member of the UK’s main advisory committee on spongiform encephalopathies (SEAC), he has been involved in scientific and advisory issues relating to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) of animals and man.  He has also had a widespread involvement with the food industry through his expertise in diseases transmitted to man through the food chain.

For a synopsis of Prof. McConnell’s lecture “One Medicine: A Continuum of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science” please see: Bourne Lecture.

Published 2/20/2007

Grenada Hosts the 24th Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference (CbVMA)

The Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference (CbVMA) was held for the first time in Grenada from November 8-10, 2006. SGU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association were excited to host this prestigious event.
Group Photo at the 24th cbVMAThis year’s conference, “Veterinary Medicine: What is the Future?” brought together veterinarians and scientist from all parts of the Caribbean, Canada, The United States and The United Kingdom to address issues that affect the Caribbean region. A select group of over 150 professionals, including 50-70 students, had the opportunity to network, share ideas and participate in three consecutive days of outstanding education programs on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. This was also a wonderful opportunity for Grenada to exhibit and promote the exceptional facilities of the SGU campus. According to Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, the 24th Biennial CbVMA exceeded all of his expectations.

The event began on Wednesday, November 8th with an impressive opening ceremony that included welcome addresses from Dr. Eugene Rennie, President of Grenada Veterinary Medical Association and Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of SGU. Introductory remarks were then presented by Dr. Sis. This conference offered local government officials an opportunity to participate as well. The conference was opened by Senator the Honorable Adrian Mitchell, Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Public Utilities, Energy and MNIB.

Each day of the conference featured a series of lectures on topics including aquatic and avian veterinary medicine, re-emerging infectious diseases, anesthesiology, dentistry and public health. The invited plenary speakers are renowned experts in veterinary medicine. This year’s speakers and their topics included:

Dr. Richard Halliwell, Professor Emeritus, Veterinary Clinical Studies, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, UK: “Whither Veterinary Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities”.

Dr. Tom Nemetz, Dentistry Practice, South Athens, Animal Clinic, Athens, Georgia: Overview of Small Animal Dentistry.

Dr. Scott Echols, Director of Avian Medical and Surgical Services at the Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital in Austin, Texas: Collecting Diagnostic Samples in Avian Patients.

Dr. Gerald Johnson, Faculty of Atlantic Veterinary College of the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada: Aquatic Veterinary Medicine: Awash with Opportunities.

Dr. William Novak, Chief Medical Officer of Banfield, The Pet Hospital: Anesthesiology Workshop.

Dr. Howard Evans, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University: Marine Life of Grenada.

Dr. J.P. Dubey, United States Department of Agriculture: The Economic and Public Health Impact of Toxoplasmosis.

Following opening ceremonies, day one continued with the increasingly important subject of animal dentistry followed by a dental wet lab held at the SGU Campus. Hands-on wet labs were planned for conference participants to develop their skills and knowledge in emergent fields of veterinary medicine. Refreshment and lunch breaks were provided each day by several high profile industry sponsors including Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Novartis Animal Health, Pfizer Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, Merial and Philbert Thomas. A welcome reception was held that evening at the SGU Campus which featured cultural performances by local group Tivoli Drummers and the Grenada National Folk Group.

The second day opened with an analysis of the recent epidemics of West Nile Encephalitis, Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza, Canine Influenza, Classical Swine Fever and Bluetongue. The afternoon session focused specifically on avian medicine and the challenges facing CARICOM countries and the preparation for an outbreak of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza). An avian medicine wet lab focusing on collecting diagnostic samples in avian patients was offered to participants. Later that afternoon, a feature lecture and workshop introduced the best anesthesia practices for small animals.

The final day’s itinerary included several concurrent programs on aquatic veterinary medicine, small animal practice guidelines and management and public health issues. Final remarks from Dr. Rennie, President of Grenada VMA, and a farewell banquet at the Aquarium Restaurant closed the conference.

Dr. Sis acknowledges the dedication of all who helped make the conference a success. “The many benefits that were derived by all who participated were made possible due to the diligence and cooperative team effort of each member of the local arrangements committee,” said Dr. Sis.
The committee included the following colleagues from The School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada Veterinary Medical Association and WINDREF Research Institute:

Dr. Raymond Sis
Dr. Eugene Rennie
Dr. Bowen Louison
Dr. Calum Macpherson
Dr. Ravindra Sharma
Dr. Tara Paterson
Dr. John McKibben
Dr. Claude DeAllie
Dr. Buxton Nyack
Mrs. Meg Conlon
Mrs. Lisa McCartney

Dr. Sis gives special thanks and commendations to Mrs. Lisa McCartney, conference coordinator, who played a major role in the success of the conference. SGU and the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association look forward to hosting another CbVMA Conference in the near future.

Published on 11/21/2006

St. George’s University Announces the Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program (CGSG)

GU is thrilled to further its commitment to education and the developing world through its highly anticipated scholarship program. The Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program will be implemented on January 17, 2007 – the date of the founding of the University 30 years ago. The University will begin to accept applications on this date.

The administration is proud to offer 75 full tuition scholarships over the next few years to qualified students from Commonwealth countries, with preference to students from developing countries and small states. The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 countries, the majority of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom.

The Commonwealth represents almost a third of the world’s countries. It is primarily an organization in which countries with diverse economic backgrounds have an opportunity for close and equal interaction. Its primary activities are to create an atmosphere of economic co-operation between member nations, as well as promote democracy, human rights and good governance in those nations.

Five scholarship programs – public health, business, medicine, veterinary medicine, and undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences – have been created under the umbrella of the Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program. They will benefit both graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need and a commitment to their chosen discipline. These scholarship awards will mainly be granted to students from developing countries where the need for trained professionals is great.

A Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Committee has been established by the University to award the scholarships. While the $4 million (USD) program will fully fund tuition, students will require separate support for living and traveling expenses. The University will work with the Commonwealth Association to identify businesses and institutions in Commonwealth countries who will sponsor students in return for a promise of serving upon graduation.

Distribution of scholarships is as follows:

Master in Public Health
25 dedicated students will be selected, with special emphasis given to those who will dedicate their professional skills to the public health problems of their home countries. Public health issues in the developing world often involve large scale infectious diseases, which have been almost eradicated in the developed world. In addition, the developing world needs public health professionals dedicated to addressing the health inequalities engendered by the social determinants of health. Poverty, with its attendant problems in inadequate education, health care, sanitation and social support, is at the core of health issues in developing nations. The CGSG scholarships are designed to help battle healthcare through public health.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
The 10 CGSG scholarships in veterinary medicine are designed to provide veterinary surgeons for Commonwealth countries in need of more veterinary medical professionals. These veterinary surgeons may be trained to care for wildlife, large animals, herd animals or exotic animals. It is to be expected that they will be imbued with the concept of One Medicine and educated in ways to deal with the transfer of disease between man and animals, which cross international borders on a major scale, causing epidemics of zoonotic diseases.

Doctor of Medicine
The five scholarships in medicine will provide well-trained doctors to enhance health- care delivery in developing nations. This program is designed to stem the “brain drain” from developing to developed countries by training qualified medical doctors who will return home to practice medicine after being immersed in medicine as it is practiced and taught in the Caribbean, the United States and the United Kingdom. These doctors will be well equipped not only to help individual patients, but to contribute to their nation’s healthcare delivery systems as a whole.

Master of Business Administration
The 25 CGSG scholarships in business administration will deliver trained managers who will be able to help developing countries build effective infrastructures in business, industry and government. With an emphasis in the curriculum on international business and entrepreneurial skills and a concentration on public sector management and hotel/tourism management, the MBA degree holders will be well qualified to contribute to the economic development of their countries.

Undergraduate Degrees
The 10 CGSG scholarships in the School of Arts and Sciences are designed to train professionals in a variety of professions that will enhance the business and educational infrastructure of Commonwealth countries, especially developing nations. Degree programs are offered in international business, management information technology, life sciences, and liberal arts.

SGU will maintain strict adherence to its admission requirements which can be found on our website. Admission and scholarship application forms are also available through the website. Applicants will have up to April 15, 2007 to submit applications for the August 2007 class. The deadline for the January 2008 class is September 15, 2007.

Published on 11/10/2006

President of World Veterinary Association welcomes new Vet Students at White Coat Ceremony

Dr. Leon H. Russell, President of the World Veterinary Association, welcomed a new class of veterinary students to St. George’s University during his Keynote Address at the White Coat Ceremony held on August 22, 2006.

Dr Leon RUssell Speaking at SVM 2006 White Coat78 new veterinary medical students (22 men and 56 women) from seven different countries were welcomed to St. George’s at the 14th White Coat Ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine. To an audience filled with family, friends and faculty members, the new students pledged their commitment to the field of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Russell welcomed the students to veterinary medicine and urged them to try their hardest. “The next three years will require your dedication, perseverance and hard work to build on the educational foundation you already have,” he said. “You will have a great adventure within this profession, but it will continue to take great effort from you to succeed.”

Dr. Russell also talked about the significance of the white coat and the white coat ceremony, saying that it represents professionalism – an obligation that is inherent in the practice of medicine. He provided a descriptive analogy of what the white coats symbolizes. The three pockets of the coat “contain empathy, integrity, and productivity.” The five buttons represent these actions: “love what you are doing; love your colleagues, respect and appreciate your fellow students and your faculty; love your family; love and care for your patients; and love to plan for your future.”

Woman Receiving White Coat at SVM 2006Chancellor Charles R. Modica also welcomed the students to SGU, encouraging them to succeed in their goals and strive for greatness. Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, addressed the veterinary medical students, and welcomed them to Grenada and to their new noble profession. “You must honor the sacred trust and privilege that society places in medical professionals, cognizant that the standard is an ideal we must continuously aim to achieve,” he added.

Dr. Russell serves as a professor at Texas A&M, teaching epidemiology, biostatistics, toxicology, veterinary anatomy, public health, food science, medical microbiology and immunology. He held leadership roles in the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Chosen by the AVMA Board to represent the U.S. at the World Veterinary Association (WVA), Dr. Russell was elected Vice President in 2002. In 2005, he was elected President of the WVA at the 28th World Veterinary Congress.

Dr. Russell earned his DVM at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his MPH from Tulane University and his PhD from Texas A&M University. With his professional interests in epidemiology, food toxicology and mycology, Dr. Russell entered academia as a teacher and researcher. He has represented his professional on state, national and international levels throughout his career.

Students Clapping at SVM 2006 White Coat Ceremony

Published on 09/07/2006

Opportunities for Veterinary Grads Boom as ‘Global Health’ Initiatives Gain Momentum

Veterinary Medicine Professor with SkeletonThere’s good news for aspiring veterinary students: the scope and variety of careers in the vet industry is booming more than ever, thanks to public- and global-health practices. Comprehensive programs, such as those at St. George’s University, offer courses in general medical topics, in addition to the clinical skills needed for diagnosing and treating animal illnesses.

What can you do with a veterinary degree? A lot more than you might think…

General Medicine: Most new vet students have this in mind when they enter the field – treating animals such as cats, dogs, horses, or birds. Some focus on farm animals, while others go into academia.

Professional Specializing: As technology advances, so do the options for specialization. More veterinarians are focusing in traditional areas (equine, farm, small animals), exotic (zoo animals, wildlife), poultry, and aquaculture. Others choose to explore orthopedics, cardiology, and ophthalmology.

Animal Welfare: Career paths in wildlife conservation and zoo-animal welfare are growing rapidly. Similar paths lead to becoming an inspector of operations where animals are raised for human consumption, or working on the front-line in the fight against agri- and bio-terrorism.

Global Health: Many veterinarians find themselves working with M.D. colleagues on the extraordinary research effort in the battle against diseases that travel between species, such as BSE (“mad cow disease”), avian flu, or SARS.

Uniting Veterinary Medicine & Global Health
Veterinary medicine offers no shortage of opportunities. And prospects for veterinarians with postgraduate training in public health are virtually unlimited. St. George’s University offers a joint DVM/MPH degree designed for veterinary students with a desire to focus on global health. The mission is to improve the health, quality of life, and well-being of individuals and communities through education, research, and services in public health and preventive medicine. Specific training includes:

Environmental health
Health/policy management
Behavioral sciences
Electives in maternal/child health, chronic disease, emerging infectious diseases, and occupational health

Ahead of the Curve
St. George’s is on the cutting-edge of the ties that bind traditional and veterinary medicine. Even nationally recognized organizations, including the American Medical Veterinary Association, have issued a call-to-action for reinventing traditional medical mindsets.

“Animal health is truly at a crossroads. Its convergence with human and ecosystem health dictates that the ‘one world, one health, one medicine’ concept must be embraced,” said Dr. Roger K. Mahr, addressing the American Medical Veterinary Association, as he assumed presidency of the organization in August 2006. “We need our colleagues in human medicine, public health, and the environmental health sciences. Together, we can accomplish more in improving global health that we can alone, and we have the responsibility to do so.”

Broad Training, Boundless Opportunity
SGU students who complement veterinary education with public health offerings enter the workforce with a distinct advantage. Federal agencies, in particular, see the value of the blended skill set, including:

U.S. Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control
National Institutes of Health
Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Armed Forces
U.S. Department of Agriculture
State, county, and local departments of health

“The University’s approach to the teaching of medicine and programs that allow our medical and veterinary students to collaborate collegially on important scientific study make St. George’s truly distinctive in the world of education,” says Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning. “Our world is interdependent. People and animals are intricately linked – for food and for companionship. St. George’s broad training and public health offerings translate into wonderful opportunities for our students.”

For more information on St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, please visit

Published on 09/01/2006