Why You Should Join the SGU AMSA Chapter

Photo courtesy of SGU AMSA chapter.

With more than 500 members, the St. George’s University chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is the organization’s largest international chapter and one of more than 60 student-led clubs hosted by the University.

“It is a great way to meet medical students at other schools,” said AMSA member Azka Iqbal, who served as the chapter’s president during the fall 2021 term. “AMSA national has opportunities that are one of a kind. You can connect with leaders in different medical fields and the experience can be life changing.”

The student organization is also a vital part of the Grenadian community providing health fairs and blood drives, and promoting medical education throughout the island.

In January, the SGU AMSA chapter welcomed Jeanette Carillo, a Term 2 School of Medicine student, as its new president for the spring term.

SGU News spoke with Ms. Carillo, an aspiring pediatrician, to celebrate the start of her tenure and to learn more about the club’s mission and community outreach.

St. George’s University: Congratulations! What are you most excited about doing in your new role as president?

Ms. Carillo: Thank you! I am most excited about leading such a strong group of students from around the world. As president, I hope to create awareness of the environmental and social determinants that impact health and how we as a chapter can alleviate those barriers to good health. I am also looking forward to working alongside other SOM clubs as well as clubs within the Schools of Veterinary Medicine and the Arts and Sciences, particularly the SAS nursing program.

SGU: For those who are new to AMSA, what is the mission of the organization?

Ms. Carillo: The AMSA was founded in 1950 to promote active improvement in medical education and the enhancement of social, moral, and ethical obligations of the medical profession. AMSA’s vision is a world where healthcare is accessible, medicine is affordable, and systems support the diversity around us. Advocacy is central to AMSA.

SGU: How does AMSA serve others?

Ms. Carillo: The SGU chapter of AMSA holds and participates in a number of events like blood drives, health fairs, and COVID-19 vaccination drives that promote equitability in healthcare for the Grenadian communities.

SGU: What are some of the challenges you aim to address as part of your term?

Ms. Carillo: Since many of our students are online due to the pandemic, we are in the process of creating workshops and panels that will allow them to feel supported and encouraged to continue to work alongside AMSA virtually or on campus.

In addition, we are so grateful for the support from our faculty advisors, Dr. Karl Theodore and Dr. Chamarthy Subbarao, who are guiding us to incorporate these new programs that prepare students and aid them towards becoming inspiring physicians.

Follow AMSA

Instagram: @amsa.sgu

Facebook: @amsasgu

Twitter: @amsa_sgu

Email: amsa.sgu@gmail.com

SGU: What would you say to students to encourage them to join? 

Ms. Carillo: Joining AMSA is a wonderful opportunity to expand your skills as a medical student, enhance your network through residency panels, and develop a strong understanding of the current issues facing healthcare. Becoming a member allows students the opportunity to influence change through leading and advocating for continued improvement and advancement in healthcare for all.

SGU: Is AMSA open to all students?

Ms. Carillo: AMSA welcomes all School of Medicine students from Term 1-5 both online and in person. In addition, premedical students from the School of Arts and Sciences can also join our chapter.

SGU: How active is your group?

Ms. Carillo: We are quite active as each term is about four months. The executive board meets a few times a month, but members on the e-board are in communication daily/weekly to discuss upcoming events. Since most of the e-board is online, we stay in contact via WhatsApp, email, and Zoom. The general body meetings are held monthly, and we are currently planning our first meeting for early February.

SGU: What other projects is the chapter working on?

Ms. Carillo: Currently we are collaborating with other clubs on several events that include COVID-19 vaccination drives, a phlebotomy lab, an anatomy crossover lab, and a CDC lecture and discussion on One Health.

In addition, we are working on a fundraising event to support the Grenada Heart Foundation. We are also hoping to incorporate more events that enable students to develop stronger clinical skills.

SGU: How can students join?

Ms. Carillo: Go to mycampus.sgu.edu, select student resources, then select student organizations from the drop-down tab. Our sign-up link and additional information about AMSA will be found there! Also, at the beginning of each term, you can sign up and learn more about us at the Student Organizational Fair. blood drives, health fairs, and COVID-19 vaccination drives. Visit our website.

 


Photos courtesy of SGU AMSA chapter.

 

— Paul Burch

 

 

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New DNA sequencing ability at WINDREF aids Grenada in identifying new COVID variants

Drawing on the strong partnership between St. George’s University and the Government of Grenada throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, new DNA sequencing capabilities at the campus-based Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) will help to identify new variants of the virus in Grenada—and be a resource for the country and other Caribbean nations to identify additional infectious disease variants.

“The potential public health impacts of having this research tool available to Grenada and potentially for the Caribbean region is significant,” said Dr. Calum Macpherson, director of WINDREF and dean of SGU’s School of Graduate Studies. “Being able to provide findings on the variants that are circulating in Grenada, as well as those that have circulated in the past and any new variants that arise, is critical information that can be referred to when creating policies and responses to the virus as a country and region.”

With funding from SGU, WINDREF acquired two DNA sequencing machines in early December to identify pathogen variants. The process, which entails testing infected individuals’ RNA samples for viral load, and then comparing the results to global databases, was used to confirm that the Omicron variant was detected in patients in Grenada as of the end of December.

The research team at WINDREF underwent an intense six-hour online training session in order to learn how to use the sequencer. The training was provided by Dr. Nikita Shadeo, Mr. Vernie Ramkisson, and Mr. Soren Nicholls from the PAHO-WHO Reference Sequencing Lab at the UWI St. Augustine Campus located in Trinidad, which is headed by Professor Christine Carrington.

 

“The potential public health impacts of having this research tool available to Grenada and potentially for the Caribbean region is significant.”

 

Among those who are now qualified to work on the sequencing data is Vanessa Matthew-Belmar, MSc ’16, who is going to use this technique to study the evolution of the variants found in Grenada over time as part of her research work towards her PhD. Ms. Matthew-Belmar is also a member of the COVID-19 testing team that assisted in the nation’s PCR testing program. In the early stages of the pandemic, the testing program was based on the SGU campus.

“I will use the potential of the sequencing equipment to investigate important epidemiological, viral, and public health issues raised by the circulating variants over time,” said Ms. Matthew-Belmar.

Other members of the sequencing team include: Dr. Trevor Noel, deputy director of WINDREF; Clarkson University MSc student, Nandy Noel, WINDREF lab technician, Elsa Chitan, an SGU MPH graduate, and Nikita Cudjoe, WINDREF’S COVID-19 testing team manager.

Going forward, Dr. Macpherson said that any patients admitted to the Grenada General Hospital or who pass away with a diagnosis of COVID-19 will have their samples sequenced to determine the variant.

The sequencing equipment is not only available to analyze the SARS-CoV-2 variants seen in Grenada since the start of the outbreak, but it also will provide a valuable resource for regional requests for disease sequencing to be conducted for other Caribbean countries, said Minister of Health, the Hon. Nickolas Steele.

“We are proud to be able to offer this service, which reflects the close partnership between the Ministry of Health, SGU, WINDREF, UWI, CARPHA, and PAHO-WHO,” said Minister Steele. “As one of only two labs in the English-speaking Caribbean region that can conduct sequencing, we are adding to the global body of knowledge, which is important for PAHO and WHO.”

Beyond COVID, the new equipment also provides “enormous potential” for understanding the further evolution of viral, bacterial, and other infectious diseases, such as dengue and the zoonotic potential of the canine hookworm species, Dr. Macpherson noted.

“Going forward, not only can we use this equipment to sequence any SARs-CoV-2, but we can also use it to sequence all other diseases,” he said. “It’s an incredibly powerful technique that can be an important diagnostic addition in Grenada’s toolbox as we continue to fight this pandemic.”

 

-Laurie Chartorynsky

 

 

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SGU Announces Direct-Admission Partnership with Beal University

Today, St. George’s University announced a new direct-admission partnership with Beal University in Bangor, Maine. The new program establishes a pathway for qualified Beal graduates to gain immediate entry into the St. George’s Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

“We’re excited to team up with Beal University to educate new doctors and veterinarians at a time when these professions are in such high demand,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University.

The partnership establishes a “3+4” program that enables students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in just seven years. Students who wish to qualify must express their interest when they apply to Beal University, where they will complete a three-year bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences.

To ensure they can proceed to St. George’s, students must complete all undergraduate coursework, meet minimum grade point averages, and score competitively on requisite graduate entrance exams. Veterinary students should also have completed the recommended 500 hours of animal experience. St. George’s University will waive application fees and fast-track students in the combined degree program for application review, interviews, and admission decisions.

Those who enter St. George’s University School of Medicine will be eligible to complete their first two years of study in Grenada, or they can complete their first year at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and second year in Grenada. The following two years of clinical rotations will take place at St. George’s-affiliated hospitals in the United States or United Kingdom, with elective opportunities available in Canada. Veterinary students will be eligible to complete three years of study in Grenada and their final clinical year within SGU’s network of 30-plus affiliates located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, or the Netherlands.

“We take pride in preparing students for both US-based and international careers,” Olds said.

“Our new partnership with St. George’s gives Beal students a tremendous opportunity,” said Sheryl DeWalt, president of Beal University. “It puts them on an accelerated career path and ensures a smooth transition from undergraduate work to medical training.”

New SOM Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs Champions Equity and Inclusion Amongst Med School Community

Home to students and faculty from 151 countries, St. George’s University is committed to developing initiatives and activities designed to nurture and celebrate the cultural differences of the SGU community. The recent appointment of Dr. Arlette Herry as the School of Medicine’s assistant dean for multicultural affairs, equity, and inclusion is another step in achieving that goal.

“We live and work in a global community and we see the impact of how connected our world is every day,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine. “It is therefore important to learn how to navigate that world. With Dr. Herry’s expertise and more than a decade-long commitment to SGU, we look forward to her guiding us to an even more equitable and inclusive environment within the School of Medicine.”

Dr. Herry has been with SGU for more than 15 years of her 20-year career as a psychologist. She also serves as SGU’s ombudsperson and as assistant professor of behavioral sciences in SOM’s Department of Physiology, Neuroscience, and Behavioral sciences.

 

“In this new role, my main goal is to provide avenues to embrace the diversity that is the foundation of our SGU community, from recruitment and retention, to curriculum, and faculty development.”

 

Her mission in her new position: to enrich the educational environment for SOM students and graduates who will embrace these values and draw on them when serving patients. More specifically, Dr. Herry is responsible for creating processes to enhance the school’s commitment to the belief that a culturally diverse faculty and student body is essential for successful teaching, learning, research, and service.

“This is an opportune time for multicultural affairs to be at the front and center of our everyday lives,” Dr. Herry said. “In this new role, my main goal is to provide avenues to embrace the diversity that is the foundation of our SGU community, from recruitment and retention, to curriculum, and faculty development.”

Some of Dr. Herry’s plans for SOM include: the creation and implementation of a School of Medicine Diversity Policy and an anti-discrimination policy—both of which can be found in the faculty and students’ handbooks. She also has several other initiatives in the works including implicit bias training as part of the basic sciences and clinical curricula, and for faculty and staff.

“My hope is that we become more open to new experiences,” shared Dr. Herry. “SGU’s diversity provides a valuable opportunity to share our culture, perspectives, and goals with each other, and feel safe and supported in doing so. I am very happy about the direction that the School of Medicine is taking to broaden its horizons in this area, and to educate and train culturally competent physicians. I am excited to see what the future will be at SGUSOM.”

— Ray-Donna Peters

 

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How the Dean of Students Office promotes student success

As the dean of students at St. George’s University, Dr. Lucy Clunes and her team within the Office of the DOS work closely with all of SGU’s schools, non-academic departments, the Student Government Association, and importantly, with individual students, to ensure that the unique needs of the university’s student body are met.

“Our goal is to provide each student with a strong infrastructure that promotes student success,” Dr. Clunes said. “We also encourage, guide, and expect that all students accept individual responsibility for their own personal, professional, and academic development.”

Dr. Lucy Clunes is is dean of students at St. George’s University.

Dr. Clunes shared how the DOS seeks to assist all students, including those studying virtually, and what advice she has for new students.

St. George’s University: What are some aspects of student life that fall under the department’s purview?  

Dr. Clunes: DOS has assistant deans that are dedicated to each school. This allows for these deans to have an intimate knowledge of the student manual as it pertains to each school, making sure that students can navigate all policies and procedures appropriately.

In addition:

  • We coordinate student orientation events each term for all new students throughout SGU’s four schools.
  • Our International Students Office offers excellent support for our international students in everything from visa guidance to how to prepare local food.
  • DOS is responsible for the faculty advisor assignment in SAS and SVM and is now overseeing the SOM college system. This allows us to focus on how to support students not only in their academic ventures but how to optimize their student life and wellbeing.
  • In the School of Medicine, academic advising for both basic sciences and clinical students has recently been moved to under the DOS umbrella as well as the Office of Career Guidance.
  • Claire Purcell, SGU’s director of student campus life, also works with the more than 60 different student organizations to ensure students’ academic, spiritual, and cultural needs are all met.

SGU: How has COVID changed the way that DOS provides support to students?

Dr. Clunes: We recognize that students are under much more stress than in normal years. The COVID pandemic has caused personal, family, health, and financial challenges for our students. DOS is focused on making sure that students know where to find us and the support they need. My main priority is responsiveness—if a student reaches out for help, they should know that they can receive an answer within a short period of time.

Get in touch! 

Email: DOS@sgu.edu 

For students in NU, email: DOSNU@sgu.edu

For students in their clinical years, email: dosclinical@sgu.edu

SGU: What are some examples of changes made to campus to help students during the pandemic?

Dr. Clunes: Assistant Dean David Twum-Barimah has worked to optimize the use of all study venues as well as develop a student-friendly app that will provide live updates on the availability of both individual and group study spaces. We hope this has decreased stress for students and increased their study time as they will not have to walk from venue to venue looking to see what is available.

Another example is related to use of the campus gym. Currently, the gym is open; however previous restrictions in Grenada had meant that the gym had to temporarily close. We worked to make sure that outdoor gym facilities were available and converted inside cardio and yoga classes to outside venues. We recognize the importance of exercise to our students and do all that we can during these challenging times to make sure that students have access to these amenities.

SGU: How do you ensure the needs of students studying online are met?

Dr. Clunes: The COVID pandemic has also led to us all being more familiar with online platforms such as Zoom; this has enhanced the level of support that DOS can offer. Reaching out to students across the world in all schools has never been so easy and felt more personal. A lot of students feel more relaxed during a virtual appointment which leads to them being more open about the challenges that they are facing and allows us to help more. This does not mean that in-person appointments are not occurring. We are happy to offer students phone, Zoom or in-person counseling.

As part of the broader support services provided by the Office of the Dean of Students, the International Students Office (ISO) offers a wide range of assistance and resources to new and returning students.

SGU: What should students know about COVID for the January ’22 term?

Dr. Clunes: While COVID is still providing us all with new challenges, we are here to listen and to advise. We are happy to work with a student’s individual situation and advise on what the best course of action is. For example, if a student tested positive over the break, we can transfer them to online learning until they are able to return to Grenada and can be transitioned back into in-person learning.

SGU: With the Office of Career Guidance now under the DOS, what changes have been made to streamline support for SOM students?

Dr. Clunes: Together with the School of Medicine’s Dean Loukas and dedicated faculty within the OCG, we have redesigned the department to further guide students toward residency starting their first day in medical school.

Our main goal is ensuring that the curriculum delivery and assessment is intertwined with preparing for residency applications and the matching process as early as possible. This will allow students to be even more competitive during the Match process.

For example, interview skills are not something that is developed the day before the interview but far earlier. One of our main goals is to enhance the interview skills of all our students early on.

In addition, SOM academic advisors in basic sciences as well ase clinical years now fall under the umbrella of DOS. This gives us a great opportunity to ensure our medical students have unfractured academic support from day one right up to graduation and beyond.

SGU: What advice would you give to students on campus for the first time?

Dr. Clunes: Don’t be afraid of asking questions, no matter how minor you may think they may be. We are here to help and support you, and if there is something that would make your life more comfortable, and therefore help you to be more successful academically, don’t hesitate to reach out.

SGU: You have been on island for over 13 years. Where is your favorite place for R&R on the island?

Dr. Clunes: Grenada is my home. My kids were born here and know more about Grenada than my home country—the UK. We are so lucky to have beautiful beaches, forests, wildlife, and beautiful sunsets which never fail to relax you after a long day. If you have not yet visited Carriacou, this is one of my favorite places. Life moves a little slower in Carriacou and a weekend away always manages to refresh me.

SGU: How can students get in touch with the DOS?

Dr. Clunes: Students can email DOS@sgu.edu or drop into the office at any time. They can also reach out to me directly at lclunes@sgu.edu.

 

 

– Laurie Chartorynsky

 

 

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St. George’s University Announces Partnership with St. Francis College

St. George’s University announced today two new programs that will allow qualified pre-medicine or pre-veterinary students at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, to gain streamlined admission to the St. George’s University Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

“We are excited to establish our first pathway program in New York City,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, New York faces a shortage of physicians. We look forward to welcoming aspiring doctors from St. Francis and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to serve their communities.”

Students in the “4+4” program will complete their four-year undergraduate degree at St. Francis in a pre-medicine or pre-veterinary medicine program and proceed directly to medical school at St. George’s in Grenada. Those pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree, the final two years of this combined program consist of clinical rotations at SGU’s affiliated hospitals in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. The final year of the combined Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program consists of clinical rotations at SGU’s affiliated veterinary schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and/or Ireland.

Exceptional pre-medicine students can qualify for the “3+4” program, under which they complete their degrees in three years and then move onto medical school at St. George’s before spending the final two (2) years in clinical rotations at hospitals affiliated with SGU.

Students who wish to participate in one of the direct admissions partnerships must indicate their interest upon applying to St. Francis. Qualified students will be prioritized for interviews and admissions decisions, provided they meet the admissions criteria for both schools.

In order to proceed to St. George’s, applicants must maintain a 3.4 grade point average at St. Francis and obtain a competitive score on the MCAT. A 3.2 grade point average and competitive score on the GRE are required for entry into the St. George’s veterinary program.

Students accepted into the medical program will receive a $10,000 scholarship upon matriculating at St. George’s.

“We look forward to a very productive partnership with St. George’s University. Offering our students a direct pathway into advanced programs in medicine and veterinary science strengthens our commitment to support our students to reach their personal and career goals,” states SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz.

 

 

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South African grad thrives treating elderly in UK

For Carmen Roessler, MD ’14, there is great joy in the company she keeps. The native South African splits time between three sites within England’s National Health Service, including a rehabilitation unit for predominantly older patients who require physical and occupational therapy. It’s her job to develop their functionality and, ideally, their independence.

Along the way, she appreciates getting to hear about the path they took in life, and applying their healthcare goals to the treatment plan she gives them.

“They often have different insights and some amazing stories,” she said.

Dr. Roessler recently shared her story, one that began on a sugar cane farm outside of Durban and has taken her around the world.

What do you enjoy most about working with an older population?

I enjoy interacting with people who have had a lot more time in this world than I have. And along with that, people in this part of their lives can be quite lonely and frustrated. I’m glad to get a feel for who they really are and what’s important to them. There are nuances to caring for them as their priorities may be different than someone who is middle-aged.

What is one challenge facing physicians in this field?

One challenge is that there’s not a lot of evidence out there that’s based on putting older people in studies. If you think about most of the medicines that we take, they’re based on younger people having been in the clinical trials. I think there are limited insights into how medications are processed by older people. People at different stages of their life are going to respond to medications differently. This is an area of medicine where there needs to be more research, and we also need more people to be trained to work in this sphere of medicine.

You completed your GP training in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. How do you believe it’s changed medicine?

COVID is still a major concern. It’s an ongoing threat to human life and human quality of life. One thing it has done is accelerate some of the technological advances that were probably already coming our way. There are benefits, but seeing someone in person can sometimes give you clues that you aren’t privy to if you’re having a telephone consultation. I think primary care is trying to balance and negotiate that very carefully.

When did pursuing an MD come on your radar?

I grew up on a sugar cane farm in South Africa. We had a bit of timber and cattle as well. I think the earliest roots of my interest in medicine were in nature or biology, and was probably inspired by growing up with a lot of contact with the outdoors. And then later on, I had a great aunt who was ill with cancer, and I found it rewarding to be able to offer her emotional support.

You spent your first year in the SGU/NU program in the UK. What was that like?

My experience in the Global Scholars program in the UK was brilliant. We had a smaller class size and we were a really tightly knit group. We built this sort of mini community that studied together and, when exams were over, we’d celebrate together. It was a fantastic bond. Together it was a time of growth and learning across multiple spheres.

In what ways did attending SGU help shape you as a physician?

Going to SGU exposed me to different cultures, different ways of thinking, and different ways of communicating. I think that it made me richer on a personal level; not only that but it has also made me a better communicator and hopefully, therefore, a more understanding doctor.

– Brett Mauser

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Royal College of Pathologists Recognizes Longtime SGU Professor

St. George’s University pathology professor Shivayogi Bhusnurmath was recently honored with an RCPath Achievement Award by the Royal College of Pathologists for his outstanding contributions to pathology education. He was presented with his award virtually as part of the College Council meeting in November.

The College, which oversees the training of pathologists and scientists working in 17 different specialties, including hematology, clinical biochemistry and medical microbiology launched the awards to celebrate excellence in pathology practice and promote high standards in pathology education, training, and research.

Dr. Bhusnurmath attributes this award to the successful joint efforts in planning and execution of many educational innovations with his wife, Dr. Bharti Bhusnurmath, co-chair of the Department of Pathology and director of the medical pathology diagnostic laboratory at SGU’s School of Medicine.

“Winning the award from the Royal College of Pathologists is truly humbling,” said Dr. Bhusnurmath, dean of academic affairs, SGU. “The College has outreach throughout the globe, including Asia, Africa, Far East, and Australia. It is satisfying to see the recognition of the combined efforts of Dr. Bharti and I spanning four decades in pathology education worldwide.”

Drs. Bharti Bhusnurmath (left) and Shivayogi Bhusnurmath

Dr. Bhusnurmath and his wife are two of SGU’s longest-tenured faculty members, having joined the University in 1996. Their accomplishments include revolutionizing clinical problem-based teaching of pathology through the extensive use of clinical vignettes in lectures; initiating audience polling systems in lectures; introducing small-group learning activities with objectives related to communication skills and professional behavior; creating a unique international clinical tutor teaching fellowship program, which has benefitted over 300 international medical graduates to study pathology; and generating an interest in pathology that has resulted in dozens of SGU graduates entering pathology residency programs in the US each year.

“In many ways, this award represents the excellence in education platforms and innovations at SGU,” added Dr. Bhusnurmath. “It was achieved only with the support of visionary leaders such as Chancellor Charles Modica, former dean of basic sciences; Dr. Allen Pensick, former vice chancellor; Dr. Keith Taylor; Dr. Steve Weitzman, dean emeritus; and our energetic new dean full of exemplary educational ideas, Dr. Marios Loukas and his team. This award should allow the flag of SGU to fly high internationally and help more students achieve their dreams of becoming a doctor at our university.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

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Animal-Human Connection at Heart of Caribbean Veterinary Medical Conference

As the science of veterinary medicine evolves, the veterinary professional continues to play an integral role in the socio-economic development of the community. In collaboration with the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA), St. George’s University welcomed more than 100 such professionals to the 32nd Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association (CbVMA) virtual conference earlier this month.

Under the theme, “The Veterinarian and the Community,” the two-day event brought together regional and international veterinarians and scientists from North America, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.

“The importance of hosting this conference at this time cannot be overemphasized,” said Dr. Eugene Rennie, president of the GVMA and newly elected vice president of the CbVMA. “As our region becomes more intricately woven into the global village, it was indeed a clarion call to bring together colleagues and professionals from the global community to discuss animal welfare and its impact on the human community.”

Amongst the 30 main presenters were 16 SGU faculty members, as well as 17 SVM alumni attendees. By partaking in the conference, participants were also eligible to receive 30 RACE credits.

“This conference presented an opportunity for continuing education that is reflected in being abreast with new scientific information as it relates to the profession, and to promote collegiality, which is one of the building blocks of intellectual strength,” added Dr. Rennie. “It was also an ideal platform for a ‘community of practice,’ which is an important alternative source that can be tapped into as participants to further enhance our knowledge.”

Topics covered at the conference included video and live presentations on:

  • One health one medicine
  • Small and large animal medicine
  • Exotics and marine animal medicine
  • Apiculture
  • Veterinary acupuncture
  • Poultry and swine medicine
  • Equine microchipping
  • Animal wellness and health
  • Using diagnostics to grow the veterinary clinic
  • Effects of the pandemic on the veterinary profession

 

“The veterinary profession is multifaceted and veterinarians play a crucial role in society,” stated Crissy-Ann Harrylal, DVM ’16, BSc ’12, instructor in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology. “It is not a profession that only deals with animal care, but all species imaginable, including humans. Veterinarians are involved in public health/disease prevention, food security, zoonoses, environment, animal welfare, biosecurity, and research.”

With his election to the board of the CbVMA, Dr. Rennie intends to champion the revitalization and restructuring of the GVMA. Future plans for the organization include, creating a veterinary council; formulating an Animal Act, which would be critical legislation encompassing proper control of animal health, animal welfare, and veterinary public health policies; and fostering mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation between the veterinary services and the Government of Grenada.

 

– Ray-Donna Peters

 

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Reflecting on 2021: 5 stories that illuminated the School of Medicine community

From students matching into highly competitive residency positions to alumni, students, staff, and faculty mobilizing to help Grenada combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. George’s University School of Medicine community made an enduring mark in 2021.

In a year full of significant news, these stories made our top highlights:

These and other stories defined the School of Medicine in 2021, underscoring the University’s aim to provide a rewarding education for students who aspire to become impactful health professionals around the world.

To read more SOM news stories of 2021, visit the SGU website.

 

 

– Laurie Chartorynsky

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