Spring 2017 Class Begins Journey as Future Veterinarians at School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony

At the Spring 2017 School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony on January 28, the newest class of St. George’s University students donned their newly received white coats and collectively recited the Oath of Professional Commitment. Like the more than 1,200 veterinarian graduates of SGU had done before, they dedicated their professional future to the thorough and ethical care of animals.

“The White Coat Ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year, and I am thrilled and honored to be here to share this day with you,” enthused keynote speaker Douglas A. Freeman, Professor and Dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. “The White Coat Ceremony is our opportunity to formally induct you into the profession and to welcome you as colleagues into the amazing and wonderful veterinary medicine community.

“This profession has evolved from farm animal care, to equine care to small animal care, and you too must be resilient as you evolve throughout your veterinary medical career,” advised Dr. Freeman. “There are many jobs available in the veterinary profession, from academia and research to the military and industry. You may try a lot of different things. You don’t have to choose just one path. So as you embark on your journey of lifelong discovery, I wish you great success.”

Alumnus and Master of Ceremonies Heather Douglas, DVM SGU ‘06, knew exactly how the matriculating class felt as first-term students, and counseled them to make the most of the opportunity to study at SGU. Dr. Douglas is now the owner and veterinarian at Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, Minnesota. She said that, through the commitment of her professors, colleagues, and the welcoming community, she gained invaluable opportunities and a deep-rooted love for the Spice Isle.

“Being in Grenada and attending this University gave me a wonderful opportunity, and I feel I am successful in my career in veterinary medicine because of SGU,” shared Dr. Douglas, President of Douglas Animal Hospital and Visiting Professor at St. George’s University. “You too have everything you could possibly need right here to become a successful veterinarian.”

Attending his first-ever School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony was Dr. Joseph Childers, recently appointed Provost of St. George’s University. He welcomed and congratulated the students on this next step they were about to take and, although not a veterinarian himself, connected with the students through his area of expertise—literature.

“Some of the greatest literature that was ever produced—works by Anna Sewell, George Orwell, and Jack London—are actually written by the point of view of an animal,” Dr. Childers said. “This was emblematic of who we are as human beings and our connection to the animal world. We are absolutely dependent on our animals, and who will speak for them, who will communicate with them?

“I recognize the importance of seeking an MD and the importance of what people do as medical doctors but they have a distinct advantage, they are able to communicate directly with their patients,” added Dr. Childers. “ You are called to something a little bit higher, a little bit more noble and I think in many ways much more self less. You’re advocating for creatures that cannot advocate for themselves, the creatures that we depend on. You have a double responsibility to not only deliver that kind of care and compassion but also to be those advocates. I think this speaks to the core of humanity and I congratulate you on your choice and I welcome you to St. George’s University. “

Dr. Chadd Tindall, an alumnus from the very first class of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and currently the Director of the SVM Office of Career Guidance, attended the ceremony. In addition, Dr. Austin Kirwan, Assistant Dean of UK Affairs in the School of Veterinary Medicine, who took the opportunity to robe his son, Elliot, now a first-term veterinary student.

“It was a fantastic experience. It was a long journey to actually get where you are and you would never believe that your child would be following so closely in your own footsteps but I think it brings home what SGU is actually all about,” Dr. Kirwan said afterward. “We are one family, it’s one nation, it’s one health, it’s one medicine, and it’s an absolute privilege. I graduated on that stage with my MBA from SGU and I’ve introduced my son to the veterinary faculty and school on that same stage, so it was a fantastic moment.”

The School of Veterinary Medicine accepted its first class in August of 1999, followed six years later by the installation of the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education announced its full accreditation of the St. George’s University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for seven years. Five years later, in October 2016, the American Animal Hospital Association gave its stamp of approval, accrediting the SVM Small Animal Clinic for two years, making it only the second practice outside of the US and Canada to earn the distinction.

School of Arts and Sciences Welcomes New Class of Nursing Students at Spring 2017 Nursing Induction Ceremony

Aspiring nurses were recently inducted into St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences Nursing Program, and marking their entry into the profession were presented with lamps as a symbol of the care and devotion administered by nurses around the world.

“You are about to enter a profession that is held in high regard across the globe. Take all of the opportunities that are open to you. It may seem a long journey but embrace it. You’ve done a lot of work to even sit here at the start of this journey,” praised Master of Ceremonies, Mrs. Jennifer Solomon, RN and Chair and Director, Nursing and Allied Health, SGU.”

In addition to being welcomed into the School of Arts and Sciences by Acting Dean, Dr. John Swartz, the incoming class was also greeted by recently appointed Provost of SGU, Dr. Joseph Childers. “I want to congratulate all of you on your personal and professional choice,” commended Dr. Childers.  “As nurses, you will be the first line of care for patients. You will be that connection between the doctor and the patient. That is an extraordinary responsibility and I congratulate you on choosing this career and taking on that responsibility.”

Mrs. Hazelene Benjamin, Acting Director of Nursing Services, General Hospital, Grenada and the keynote speaker, focused on the evolving roles of nurses and the challenges of a diverse, complex health care system.

“Over the years, nursing has become more complex in ways that could not have been imagined a generation ago. Now there is an imperative to not just be great caregivers, but great innovators too. Nursing is now a profession for the intellectually curious, the life-long learner, the caring enthusiast, and the innovative advocate,” stated Mrs. Benjamin.

“Today nurses are not only empowered to face the associated health care challenges, but are better prepared and able to play a significant role in the transformation of health care systems nationally, regionally, and internationally.”

“As future nurses, today marks the beginning of your journey into the beautiful, exciting and rewarding career of service filled with wonderful opportunities and possibilities. The sky is the limit,” promised Mrs. Benjamin. “Your attitude will determine your altitude of success. Go light your candle of service, go light your world,  and be an outstanding trailblazer.”

About St. George’s University Nursing Program

Uniquely structured, the Nursing Program at St. George’s provides an opportunity for students to be taught by professors from both the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as visiting professors from outside of Grenada. In addition, student nurse training experiences will include working at the Grenada General Hospital, lab work at SGU’s Simulation Center, and community-based learning opportunities. At the end of training, and with the completion of regional and international licensing exams, successful students will become fully fledged Registered Nurses as approved by the Caribbean Nursing Council.

St. George’s University Welcomes Newest Class of Future Doctors at Spring 2017 School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

An ocean away and in a two-week span, the Spring 2017 class of St. George’s University took their Oath of Professional Commitment, the first step in their journey to becoming physicians, at the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremonies in the United Kingdom and Grenada.

Students in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program ushered in the spring term with a ceremony held at Domain Hall on the campus of Northumbria University on January 13. They will spend their first year of Basic Sciences in the UK before joining the Grenada class in Spring 2018.

Delivering a touching keynote address to this year’s entering class was Dr. Gerard Corcoran, recently retired Lead Clinician for Cancer Services at Aintree University Hospitals in the UK. He reflected on the growth of SGU, having arrived in Grenada in 1979 and working one year in the General Hospital and at St. George’s University School of Medicine.

“Back then as a young 28-year-old, many of the students at St. George’s were my age and I was really impressed by all of their varied backgrounds,” Dr. Corcoran said. “Some had previous occupations, others had military experience, some had not studied sciences and others had endured quite a lot of hardship before coming here. But rather than looking at this as a disadvantage and a roadblock to their progress, I actually think that, for the future doctor, this different life experience was an advantage and not only for themselves but for our profession. It has been delightful for me to watch the University flourish over the years, and so in this its 40th year, I hope the Class of 2017 will continue to prosper.”

“Please take an interest in each other and share your experiences,” he added. “While in Grenada try to gain some insight on what it means to provide healthcare in a low resource country. And, never forget that universal access to health care is something that still has not been attained. There is a worldwide shortage of primary care physicians and also health professionals and SGU is to be commended for its efforts in trying to offer up opportunities for people from different countries to train here to become doctors.”

Also present at the ceremony was the Honorable Mr. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health and Social Security. He welcomed the newly enrolled medical students and congratulated them on their choice of such an admirable profession. The Minister implored the students not only to work hard to acquire their degree but to also take the opportunity to make a difference to Grenada because their time spent in the Spice Isle will surely make a difference to them.

In Grenada, students and their friends and families filled Patrick F. Adams Hall for the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony on January 27. Dr. Bruce Bonanno, MD SGU ’83, a member of the fifth entering class at SGU, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. In addition to his professional career as an emergency medicine physician at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, NJ, Dr. Bonanno has a second career as a media personality. He hosted a 30-minute medical television show and was the Chief Medical Consultant for a New Jersey station for more than 10 years.

As an alum, his involvement with SGU has included interviewing candidates for admission, teaching students and residents, and becoming re-involved with the SGUSOM Alumni Association two years ago when he was elected President. He arrived in Grenada 38 years earlier, and never ceases to be amazed at the development of both the country and his alma mater.

“Although many things have changed since I was a student at SGU, one thing has remained constant and that is you, the students,” said Dr. Bonanno. “We all arrive here with a chip on our shoulder because of those that said we couldn’t do it. But I’m here to show you that you can do it and you will do it.”

The School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony has coincided for the sixth straight term with Beyond Spice Family Weekend at SGU. Students’ family members enjoy a fun-filled weekend of activities, exploring Grenada’s rich cultural heritage and getting a taste of life at SGU before attending the special ceremony, which serves as an affirmation of commitment to their studies and marks the beginning of their medical career.

Dr. Kenneth R. Bridges, Expert in Sickle Cell Research, Delivers Annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture

More than 100 years ago, sickle cell disease was discovered while two doctors examined Grenadian-born Walter Clement Noel. One of the world’s leading authorities on the disease, Dr. Kenneth R. Bridges, Founder and Director of the International Sickle Cell Anemia Research Foundation, delved into this disease, and its treatments, in his keynote address at the annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture on January 18 at St. George’s University’s Bourne Lecture Hall.

“Sickle cell disease is the world’s most common single gene disorder,” said Dr. Bridges in his address. “However, the disease is not simply a blood disorder but a systematic disorder that affects every part of the body. Tell me which area of the body you’re interested in studying and I will tell you what sickle cell disease does to it.”

Sickle cell disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells) that causes distorted (sickled) red blood cells leading to tissue and organ damage and chronic pain.

The current treatment of sickle cell disease focuses on treating symptoms while the more challenging and expensive treatments like disease modification therapies remain underutilized, including a promising new drug treatment called GBT440, which causes the inhibition of polymerization of deoxygenated sickle cells.

“The GBT440 drug was specifically and carefully designed to fit into this one area of the body where it stops the abnormal hemoglobin cells from sticking together in the first place, which is at the very start of the problem,” explained Dr. Bridges. “Now with the help of our colleagues here in Grenada, we’re hoping to recapitulate this treatment in a much more profound way and to really deliver on the promise made to Walter Clement Noel 100-plus years ago in that we will now be able to effectively treat this disorder.”

Dr. Bridges received the MD degree from Harvard Medical School, and subsequently trained in internal medicine and hematology in Boston, at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, respectively. Following medical subspecialty training, Dr. Bridges worked on the biology of cellular iron metabolism for three years at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. He later returned to Harvard as a member of the Hematology Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he reached the faculty rank of Associate Professor of Medicine. During this time, Dr. Bridges also maintained active clinical work and established the Joint Center for Sickle Cell and Thalassemic Disorders at the two aforementioned Boston-based institutions, emphasizing bench-to-patient translational research.

WINDREF and St. George’s University have long attracted world experts on climate change, health needs, and drug abuse and addictions, among other topics to its various lecture series. Past speakers have included Dr. Robert C. Gallo, best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Dr. Ruth Macklin, a bioethics pioneer; and renowned cardiologist Dr. Valentin Fuster.

The annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture is named for SGU’s second Vice Chancellor, whose vision and dedication to the international growth of St. George’s University led to the creation of the Windward Island Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) in 1994; was instrumental in instituting the School of Arts and Sciences in 1996; and whose memory was honored with the creation of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program and the establishment of Keith B. Taylor Hall on the True Blue campus in 2007.

St. George’s University Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence in International Education

St. George’s University’s highly anticipated 40th anniversary celebration kicked off with a weekend of festivities for which all those who helped author its incredible story—everyone from the faculty and staff to its more than 17,000 graduates — were invited.

SGU’s impact on health care, veterinary medicine, business, and many other fields has been felt both near and far. Close to home, SGU hasplayed and continues to play a large role in transforming the country of Grenada. In addition to contributing millions of dollars to the country’s economy, it is also one of the largest employers of Grenadians on the island, second only to the Government of Grenada. Similarly, SGU is also responsible for transforming education in the region, offering a tertiary education opportunity that has resulted in 1,200 Grenadian alumni, with more than 200 MDs.

Beyond the Isle of Spice, St. George’s University has graduated more than 14,000 physicians and over 1,200 veterinarians, helping to address doctor shortages in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Dr. G. Richard Olds, who hopes to continue that proud tradition as the University’s inaugural President, welcomed family, friends, and colleagues to a special investiture ceremony at Patrick F. Adams Hall during kickoff weekend. Attendees included Grenada’s Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, Baroness Howells of St. David’s, founding members of SGU, parliamentarians, and diplomats. They included Dr. Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University, who delivered the evening’s keynote address, expressing that, in Dr. Olds, SGU had chosen the right person to lead it into the future.

With more than 70 percent of SGU doctors having gone on to practice primary care, many in areas of need, during his address, Dr. Olds reinforced his and the University’s commitment to addressing the primary care shortage and maldistribution of doctors in the US and worldwide.

“I feel privileged to lead St. George’s University at a time when we are doing more than ever to address the shortage of doctors worldwide,” Dr. Olds said. “Our graduates are fulfilling SGU’s mission to shape the future of our world – especially in communities worldwide that most need quality health care.”

SGU also welcomed back members of its charter class who started class at St. George’s University School of Medicine on January 17, 1977. They joined longtime administrators, faculty, and staff, including retired bus driver, Whitley Courtney, the University’s first-ever employee, at a special Founders Dinner in L’Anse aux Epines hosted by Chancellor Charles R. Modica, one of four of SGU’s founders. Other events included a Charity 5K Fun Run, for which more than 100 runners raced from Founders Library to the Grand Anse campus, tours of the True Blue campus, and a library archive exhibition.

Kickoff weekend festivities were punctuated by a Parade of Nations, for which more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff celebrated SGU’s cultural diversity. In its 40 years, the University has welcomed individuals from more than 140 countries, and to celebrate, parade participants wore their national colors and waved flags of their native countries on their way through lower campus.


Kickoff weekend was only the beginning to a yearlong celebration of SGU’s 40 years. For more information and to register, visit www.sgu.edu/beyond40.



Getting Around Campus and Grenada

There are plenty of ways to get around the University and Grenada. Below is some useful information regarding getting around by bus, renting a car, and obeying traffic and parking regulations—both on and off campus.


University Shuttle Buses

The main form of travel is by the University bus; buses run regularly from 7 am until 2 am between the True Blue and Grand Anse campuses and to the Lance-Aux-Epines, Mont Toute, Frequente, Point Salines and True Blue areas where many of the off-campus students live. There is no charge to take the University buses.

Schedules are displayed at the True Blue campus and next to the bus stop. You can also download or print the schedule from the Transportation Community on Carenage. Please note that there are separate schedules for weekdays and weekends. On holidays, buses run on a weekend schedule, unless otherwise stated.

City Buses

City buses run from the Grand Anse area into town. These are an inexpensive, fairly quick way to get into the city of St. George’s. The destination is the Esplanade, near the market in St. George’s. There are many marked bus stops along the route with the final stop being the Melville Street Bus Terminal in the city. A one-way fare to any point along the route is $2.50 EC. Buses are very common during the day, but fewer buses run after 11 pm Monday through Saturday, and fewer still run after 4 pm on Sundays, so plan your activities accordingly.

Buses to other towns around the island (Gouyave, Sauteurs and Grenville) depart from the Melville Street Bus Terminal. There is no fixed schedule. Taking one of the buses offers a good chance to mix with the local population. Fares are set by the Government, most are less than $6 EC each way, but verify the fare before you get on. Buses for each destination have a fixed embarkation point in the terminal and each bus has a route sticker on the front windshield. Many buses stop running in the early evening though, so make sure to return in plenty of time.

Many drivers are eager to accommodate groups of students and will arrange group rates for short trips or provide transportation to social events during off-peak hours, which is helpful in the evening.

Taxis are generally the transportation of choice when coming or going to the airport or when stranded at night. $35 EC is the standard charge to or from the airport.

Car Rental

There are several car rental agencies in Grenada. These agencies offer a variety of cars and 4WD vehicles with either standard and automatic transmissions. Many students get together in a group and rent a vehicle for the term. The rate for motor vehicle rentals can range from US $400-$600 per month.

Buying a Car

Some students, particularly upperclassmen and those living off-campus, choose to buy used cars to get around the island.  Students leaving the island will often post these sales on the SGU marketplace. If you decide to purchase a car we recommend considering a car share with other students to supplement the cost. Please note that all vehicles must be registered with both the Grenadian Department of Motor Vehicles and the University’s Department of Public Safety and Security. All drivers must have a Grenadian driver’s license. Please see below for more information on how to obtain one.

Registering Your Vehicle
The following is required to complete registration at the Grenadian Department of Motor Vehicles and the University Department of Public Safety and Security:

  • Grenadian Driver’s License
  • Vehicle Registration Number
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Vehicle’s license plate number
  • Year, make, model and color of vehicle
  • Local home address and phone number

Grenadian Driver’s License

In order to drive a car in Grenada you must have a Grenadian driver’s license. Students with a valid driver’s license from their home country can get a temporary driver’s license to drive in Grenada.

  • In order to obtain a temporary Grenadian driver’s license, students should visit the Grand Anse or St. George’s Police Station carrying a valid driver’s license from their home country.
  • The cost is EC $60.
  • Temporary licenses are only valid for three months, and it is essential they be renewed prior to expiration.
  • Please do not drive yourself to the police station in order to obtain a license without a current, valid Grenadian license. This is a serious offense and can result in incarceration.

* International driver’s licenses are not valid in Grenada.

Driving On Campus: Rules and Regulations

All drivers on campus are required to abide by all motor vehicle rules and regulations. For more information on rules and regulations, parking, and violations, please refer to your student manual or visit the Department of Public Safety and Security Office for the latest Motor Vehicle Rules and Regulations pamphlet.

Admitted Student Checklist

Helpful Hints

Speak With a Student

  • US/Canada Toll-Free:
    1 (800) 899-6337 ext. 1478
  • UK Freephone:
    0800 1699061 ext. 1380
  • Worldwide:
    +1 (631) 665-8500 ext. 1380

Standards for Admission, Retention and Graduation

St. George’s University Celebrates 12th Beyond Spice Family Weekend

Satya and Vijaya Pothamsetti made the trip from Toronto, Canada to attend St. George’s University’s 12th Beyond Spice Family Weekend for two reasons. The first was that they couldn’t wait to attend the School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony, as the important event marked their eldest daughter’s entry into the medical profession. The second and more important reason, plainly, was that they missed her.

SGU Students Celebrate Family Weekend


To see Monika, the couple traveled to Grenada with their youngest daughter, Harika, and along with hundreds of families from around the world, converged on SGU’s picturesque True Blue campus to experience a taste of culture and hospitality on the Isle of Spice. They visited the Vendor’s Village, a display of local art, craft and food with many unique and handcrafted items; attended a sunset barbecue the next day, and even won third place in Discover the Culture in SGU campus scavenger hunt.

“The campus looks like a huge retreat spot; it’s really amazing,” said Mrs. Pothamsetti. “Any parent that has the opportunity shouldn’t miss Family Weekend and a chance to attend the White Coat Ceremony. This is one of the most significant experiences in the life of a medical student.”

SGU has proven to be a wonderful home for Monika as she begins her medical studies, just as the family has suspected it would be.

“We are extremely proud of Monika,” said Mr. Pothamsetti. “In addition to SGU, she was accepted to three other universities, but we all discussed it as a family and decided that SGU was the perfect fit.”

The Pothamsetti family was joined at Family Weekend by Robert and Mary Hidalgo. When their son, Christopher, was accepted to the School of Medicine, they were both excited and cautious, with the campus being more than 2,000 miles from their New York home.

They arrived two weeks in advance of first term, eager to explore their son’s new campus and adoptive country. “We took all the tours because we just had to come here and experience the island, the culture, and the people,” said Mrs. Hidalgo. “The school itself is phenomenal, and the campus is beautiful. I’m actually a little jealous.”

Now making a second trip to Grenada for Family Weekend, the Hidalgos felt confident in their son’s decision to attend SGU, after learning about it through his grandfather’s doctor, who is also an SGU graduate. “We felt secure and happy leaving him here and absolutely recommend Family Weekend,” Mrs. Hidalgo said. “I would advise all parents to come check it out.”

Since 2008, SGU has invited family members to come visit the country and campus that their students now call home. The bi-annual family weekend festivities included guided campus tours, which gave participants an intimate glimpse into the University, while the historical sightseeing tour of Fort Frederick, the famous Grand Etang Lake and the 30-foot Annandale Waterfalls provided a glimpse into the natural beauty of Grenada. The weekend also featured the Vendors Village, lunch at Belmont Estate, a fully functional and historic plantation; and a sunset barbecue and sea excursion, among other activities.

The weekend also coincided with the White Coat Ceremonies for Term 1 MD and DVM students, allowing families to take advantage of all that Family Weekend has to offer, as well as the chance to witness their loved one’s first steps into the medical or veterinary profession. Students and their families attended a weekend full of activities throughout campus and the island prior to the momentous White Coat Ceremony.

“Every term we happily look forward to opening our doors to host students’ families who’ve traveled from both near and far to experience a weekend of sun, sea and family in the Isle of Spice,” said Colin Dowe, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning. “The sense of pride and accomplishment with which the parents speak of their children not only brings joy to us but serves as a reminder of the great responsibility we have taken on in assisting these students in realizing their dreams.”

“Family Weekend is a venture that not only benefits SGU but the Grenadian economy as well, since many family members stay at local hotels, purchase handmade items from local vendors, and dine in local restaurants,” added Mr. Dowe. “Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where our visitors can explore all that the University and Grenada have to offer and hopefully become converted into lifelong visitors to our beautiful tri-island state.”

Published on 9/23/16

School of Medicine Class of 2020 Takes Oath at Fall 2016 White Coat Ceremony

The St. George’s University School of Medicine’s Class of 2020 took another step toward their future profession by taking part in the school’s 40th White Coat Ceremony on August 26. The students donned their newly minted white coats, emblems of the authority and professionalism of their chosen field, and collectively recited the Oath of Professional Commitment.

som white coat cereomy august 2016

University President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. G. Richard Olds delivered a touching keynote address, during which he shared anecdotes and lessons from his medical career. In one instance, he learned that a physician must always act in the patient’s best interest, no matter the perception. “When all is said and done, no matter how unpopular, no matter how you might appear, you have to do what is best for your patient,” said Dr. Olds.

For lesson two, he stressed to the students that being a doctor means more than diagnosing illness and recommending treatments. It sometimes means being a friend to your patient who really needs one.

His final lesson was about not letting emotional attachment obstruct recognizing what the patient truly wants. Dr. Olds spoke of a time when he battled to prolong his father’s life in the face of an increasingly complicated medical history. The father, however, wished to be allowed to pass quietly, surrounded by his loved ones.

“There is a tendency to try to do what you think the patient wants, or what you would do in the circumstance, and to forget that you have to listen to the patient and try to do what the patient wants with life,” he said. “The faculty will teach you what you need to know about how the body works, how it goes wrong in disease, how to make a diagnosis, and what is the best way to treat conditions, but it is your patients who will teach you the art of medicine. You have to be open to it, you have to listen to it, and you have to learn from the hard lessons, from the mistakes that you will make in the management of your patients. If you do that, you will all become great physicians.”

The festivities was emceed by Glenn Nanney, MD SGU ’14, a third-year physical medicine and rehabilitation resident at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The White Coat Ceremony was first established at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993 and has since been adopted by most medical schools. This important ritual, which symbolizes a student’s induction into the medical profession, was embraced by St. George’s University’s School of Medicine in 1996.

By Davette St. Louis

Published on 9/1/16

St. George’s University Veterinarians-In-Training Welcomed At Fall 2016 White Coat Ceremony

The School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed its newest class of future veterinarians at St. George’s University’s Fall 2016 White Coat Ceremony on August 27 at Patrick F. Adams Hall. Donning their white coats and reciting the Oath of Professional Commitment, it marked the students’ official entry into the veterinary profession.

svm white coat ceremony august 2016 group of students

Ten years prior, alumnus and Master of Ceremonies Dr. Thomas Monaco, DVM SGU ’09, made such a step himself. He reflected on his journey into veterinary medicine and admitted it would not have been possible without SGU giving him the opportunity to attend veterinary medical school – setting him on the path to becoming a board-certified small animal surgeon at Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center in New York.

“Now you all are in the same position with the same opportunities that I had,” extolled Dr. Monaco. “Be proactive and utilize the talented and dedicated faculty available to you at SGU. While we can all appreciate the luxury of attending veterinary school at a place where most people come for vacation, it is critical that you always remind yourself of the real reason you are here, and that is to become a doctor of veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Monaco stressed balance and time management to the future vets. He encouraged them to become caring and reliable colleagues. “The veterinary community is relatively small and everyone seems to know everyone, whether you are aware of it or not,” he counseled. “As you progress in your career, having a reputation as a great colleague will go a long way.”

Now entering his second year as President and Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University, Dr. G. Richard Olds was pleased to share in the happy occasion. Having spent most of his career as a physician working closely with veterinarians, he emphasized the link between veterinary medicine, human medicine, nursing, and all the health professions under the banner of One Health, One Medicine.

Dr. Timothy Ogilvie, Dean of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, also offered his advice, drawing from his 42 years in veterinary medicine. He then introduced the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Dr. Sheila Allen, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Dr. Allen has been extensively involved in developing and revising the college’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum. Through the use of famous quotes from American cinema and personal reflections of her 35 years of experience in the veterinary profession, she hoped that her heartfelt words would both inspire and resonate with the incoming class.

“How you handle failure builds a whole lot more character than how you celebrate victory,” she advised. “Secondly, don’t compare yourself to others. I promise you your class rank will not be on your diploma or your tombstone. And finally, when you can truly celebrate the achievement of another person as much as your own, or even more so than your own, it is truly liberating.”

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine was first established in August 1999, followed six years later by the installation of the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September of 2011, the School’s DVM program was granted full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) for seven years. The School of Veterinary Medicine continues to strive toward being a leader in providing veterinary knowledge and technology, while expanding its curriculum and adding new state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms.

By Ray-Donna Peters

Published on 9/1/16

School of Veterinary Medicine Confers Degrees oo 2016 Class

The energy and excitement was palpable in Alice Tully Hall as the graduating class reunited after spending their final year across five countries. The 2016 St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine graduating class reconvened at Lincoln Center in New York for their commencement ceremony.

svm commencement june 2016

Chancellor Modica and President Olds both addressed the students and congratulated them on their hard work and achievements. The cheering was endless as the graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Many of the graduates were hooded by one of their parents or a loved one, adding to the joy of the ceremony.

Among them were Zachary Pearl, DVM SGU ’16, and his fiancée, Morgan McMillan, DVM SGU ’16, who will join a small animal practice in Cincinnati. They will be mentored in veterinary business ownership and management with the goal of opening their own practice. Dr. Pearl described the celebration in New York as “surreal,” rejoining his classmates after their clinical year and picking up right where they left off.

“I would recommend SGU to anybody who wishes to pursue veterinary medicine,” he said. “I felt that we were as academically prepared for clinics, if not more than the students who went to schools stateside. Combine that with living on a paradise island for three years and it really couldn’t be better anywhere else.

“I made so many local friends as well as met colleagues from around the world,” he added. “They say networking is everything, and there really isn’t a better place to meet a more diverse group of people than SGU.”

Sarah Schott, DVM SGU ’16, is moving on to become an Associate Veterinarian at Green Meadow Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Marietta, OH. She enrolled at SGU with the idea of returning home to work with large and small animals. At Green Meadow, Dr. Schott will practice alongside her mentor, Jessica Smith-Kidd, DVM SGU ’06.

She called her SGU experience “truly life-changing” and enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate once more with her friends from True Blue.

“Commencement was truly an experience that I will never forget,” Dr. Schott said. “There is something to be said about being able to stand beside the people that became your family over the past four years, and knowing that you will always have people that shared the same experience you did. If I had to go back and do it again, I would do it exactly the same.”

By earning their degrees, this year’s graduates join more than 1,000 St. George’s University DVMs from 29 countries. DVM alumni have gone on to practice in 47 US states and 10 countries since the School of Veterinary Medicine opened in 1999.

Published on 6/20/16