37 SVM Students Secure Competitive Internship and Residency Positions through 2023 VIRMP Match

Vet small animal clinic with cat

Relief and excitement echoed across St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine as 37 students and graduates secured competitive internship and residency positions within the 2023 Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).  

SGU-trained veterinarians achieved a match rate of 69.8 percent, the highest among Caribbean veterinary schools. This rate compares favorably to the 53.2 percent match rate for all schools—including those in the US—according to data released by the VIRMP, a program sponsored by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC).

Beginning in June, the veterinarians will begin their specialized training in areas such as small animal internal medicine, emergency and critical care, surgery, cardiology, neurology, and diagnostic imaging.

These positions are situated at prestigious institutions, including Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and others within the SVM’s network of clinical affiliates as well as hospitals across the US and Canada.

“While veterinary school is challenging on all levels as students strive to earn their DVM, the effects of the pandemic over the last few years added another layer of challenges to these students, and we are so proud of their ability to shine even in the face of adversity,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Matching in the VIRMP is a true testament to their dedication to the veterinary profession and the care of animals. I have no doubt they will continue to learn and grow as professionals and I wish them the best of luck in their postgraduate training.”

Students shared their reactions to learning they matched and their advice for future veterinarians.

Ida Yate-Lavery, DVM ' 23, matched in the VIRMP

Ida Yates-Lavery, DVM ’23
Hometown: Renfrew, Ontario
Matched: Cornell University
Specialty: Small animal internal medicine rotating internship

Match Day reaction: I am so excited and honored to have matched to my top choice internship.

Career plans: I plan on applying to small animal internal medicine residencies next year. This internship will give me valuable experience in small animal internal medicine that will prepare me for a residency.

Advice for students: Don’t stress too much about the process.

Matthew Pickens, DVM '23, matched in the 2023 VIRMP.

Matthew Pickens, MSc, DVM ’23
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Specialty: Small animal rotating internship

Match Day reaction: Excited and relieved that I get to continue working with amazing clinicians at the University of Tennessee.

Career plans: I would like to specialize in zoo medicine. After I complete the small animal rotating internship, I plan on applying for a zoo/exotic/aquatic specialty internship. Afterwards, I will apply for a residency in zoo medicine. My overall interests are marine mammal and aquatic medicine and I would like to eventually include research on sea turtle fibro papillomatosis.

Advice for students: The Match is very competitive, especially if the program you are applying to has only one spot available. My advice is to make as many connections as possible. Having simple conversations with people in your field and establishing yourself can take you a long way. Knowing people in the field could help mentor you through the process and help point you in the direction to your next opportunity.

SVM student Shelby Morales, DVM '23, matched in the 2023 VIRMP.

Shelby Morales, DVM ’23
Hometown: Sugarland, TX
Arizona Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center
Specialty: Small animal rotating internship with emphasis in emergency and critical care

Match Day reaction: It honestly took a minute to set in. I opened it by myself in my room. When it finally hit me, I was so excited and  immediately called those close to me to let them know.

Career plans: I love emergency medicine and plan to pursue a career in it after completing my internship. The internship I selected gives me a lot of exposure to emergency situations and surgery while supervised to add that extra support. The internship gives me the chance to build a stronger foundation of skills and knowledge before I go off on my own as a doctor.

Advice for students: Actively engage in your rotations during clinical year. Build relationships with your doctors and absorb as much from them as you can. Finding support that helps you navigate the process, and potentially writes you a letter of recommendation will help with the anxiety and the ease of the process.

SVM student Adriana Kalaska, DVM '23, matched in the 2023 VIRMP

Adriana Kalaska, DVM ’23
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Matched: VCA Canada—Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital
Specialty: Small animal rotating internship

Match Day reaction: I was thrilled and relieved to hear that I had matched at my top ranked hospital. The program is one that I’m excited about, and I will also be much closer to home than I have been for a few years. It was great to finally have an answer on where I would be working for at least the next year.

Career plans: I plan on becoming a board-certified small animal surgeon. This small animal rotating internship is the first step in a multi-step process to accomplish this! Following this year, I will apply for a specialty surgical internship then a residency.

Advice for students: Building relationships with your clinical rotation clinicians is essential. Try to repeat rotations that are specific to your interests so that you can ask for a great reference. The VIRMP standardized letters are heavily clinical skills- and client communication-based, which makes our clinical instructors important for a successful match!

SVM student Devon Cruz-Gordillo matched in the 2023 VIRMP.

Devon Cruz-Gordillo, DVM ’23
Hometown: Miami, FL
Matched: Angell Animal Medical Center—Boston

Specialty: Small animal rotating internship

Match Day reaction: I was honestly shocked. I know Angell is one of the most renowned programs in the country and very competitive so when I learned I was chosen for a spot in their small animal rotating internship program—I was ecstatic!

Career plans: I enjoy practicing specialty medicine and receiving cases that are normally referred for tertiary care and am very interested in emergency and critical care medicine as well as internal medicine. I plan to let my internship year guide me.

At Angell, I’ll be mentored by reputable clinicians in their respective specialty fields and bank that knowledge to be used in my future practice of medicine. I also know that being an intern in this program will make me a great clinician, as it is believed that one year in this program is equivalent to three to five years of general practice. Moreover, this internship allows me to be the primary doctor and make my own treatment decisions. I believe doing this is how I will determine which specialty I want to continue in or to continue onto general practice.

Advice to students: Don’t stop yourself from applying if you think you are not as competitive compared to your classmates. If you really want it, go for it. It is important to know your medicine, perform well in clinics, and show that you have a great attitude no matter what. Doing that will take you far.


– Laurie Chartorynsky



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