St. George’s University Strengthens Public Safety in Grenada with Fire Truck Donation to Royal Grenada Police Force

In an impressive display of solidarity and commitment to public safety, St. George’s University has officially handed over the keys to an American LaFrance Custom Pumper fire truck to the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF). The truck was presented at the True Blue campus to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jessmon Prince and Thaddeus Hamilton, Acting Inspector of Police attached to the fire department.

“On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Don McKenzie, and the fire department we want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to St. George’s University,” said Deputy Commissioner Prince. “In the past, SGU has donated other firefighting equipment to help our firemen be better equipped to handle the task of managing fires. So today, receiving this truck is going to be another boost to our firefighting capabilities on island and we are extremely grateful for this gesture.”

Beyond being a symbol of the continued partnership between SGU and the RGPF, the new fire truck represents a tangible investment in public safety and wellbeing.

The red American LaFrance Custom Pumper fire truck is in excellent condition, and has an automatic transmission, a 450 HP diesel engine and 6KW diesel generator. Equipped with a 1,500 GPM side-mount pump and 750-gallon water tank, it has hydraulic hose reels with driver and passenger side deck guns, and front, side, and rear discharge ports. Also included in the donation were several hundred feet of 3.5 inch and 1.5-inch hose line and 20 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs).

“The fire department has a strong history with St. George’s University,” stated Inspector Hamilton. “We have partnered on several occasions in training and other operations to ensure that our team of firefighters received the best quality of training. And as such we are pleased to welcome this gift today from the University.”

This marks the second time SGU has made such a significant donation to the RGPF. In 2021, the University donated several water hoses, nozzles, bunker gear, and other firefighting equipment to the fire department.

SGU’s 2021 donation of firefighting equipment to the RGPF 

Ryan Charles, Captain at SGU’s Department of Public Safety in charge of Operations, emphasized, “SGU’s illustrious working relationship with the Royal Grenada Police Force continues to evolve. This fire truck, coupled with our previous contributions, reflects our dedication to fostering a safer environment. It will undoubtedly enhance the RGPF’s ability to respond quickly to fire emergencies and other rescue emergencies.”

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3 ways integrative medicine can lower cervical cancer risk: SOM grad featured in mindbodygreen

doctor examining patient

What is the difference between integrative and traditional medicine solutions? 

“Integrative practitioners heal by treating your whole body, including the environment your body lives in and the lifestyle you expose your body to,” according to St. George’s University School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Dana Cohen

Dr. Cohen graduated SGU in 1995. As an internal and integrative medicine specialist practicing in New York City, she treats patients by offering alternative approaches to health and wellness that can complement traditional methods of treatment.  

Dr. Cohen recently shared her expertise in wellness blog, mindbodygreen. In her article, I’m a holistic MD: What I tell my patients to do to lower cervical cancer risk,” she discussed holistic strategies to lower the risk of cervical cancer.  

Her three tips included ways to:   

  • Take care of your immune system with essential nutrients and supplements; 
  • Keep hydrated; and 
  • Reduce stress. 

“Taking a holistic, proactive approach to your immune health will also enhance your overall well-being and quality of life—yet another reason to start implementing these tips today,” Dr. Cohen wrote.  




 -Laurie Chartorynsky

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On the blog: What is preventive medicine?
Grad tackles hem/onc and integrative medicine fellowships to treat patients’ “whole health”
A first of its kind: SGU launches center for integrative medicine

SOM White Coat Ceremony: Students Describe What it Means to Put on Their White Coat

First-term student Paige Persaud received the gift of a lifetime at the recent St. George’s University School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony: Not only did Ms. Persaud receive her white coat on her birthday, but she was coated by her aunt and mentor, SGU clinical instructor Dr. Deborah-Ann Stephens-John.

“This is a very special day for me because it’s also my birthday and I got my Aunt Deborah to coat me. She is the reason I wanted to get into medicine, so this is a very special moment,” said Ms. Persaud, who hails from St. George’s, Grenada.


It was an emotional moment for both Ms. Persaud and Dr. Stephens-John.

“I’m super proud of Paige,” Dr. Stephens-John said. “Today brings up all sorts of feelings because 21 years ago on this day, I helped deliver Paige into this world and now I’m putting on her white coat. Growing up as a child Paige always said she wanted to be a doctor just like her Aunty Deborah. I’m here to give her all the encouragement and to see her dream come true.”



On October 20, Ms. Persaud, along with her fellow students in the Class of 2027, walked across the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall during the milestone event that marks their entry into the field of medicine. At the end of the ceremony, students then recite the Oath of Professionalism—pledging to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.

Hear from three other aspiring physicians on what it means to be able to wear a white coat.



“It’s a very surreal feeling being coated. I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done, which I obviously didn’t do alone. It’s with the help of my family and my community and God—that’s the reason I’m here today.”

– Yousef Karabala

     Stockton, CA



“It was an honor to be coated by my stepmom, who’s a general surgeon from the Dominican Republic. It feels like all of my dreams are falling into place. I honestly can’t believe that I’m here right now. I still feel like the little girl that would dream of this very moment.”

– Keegan Savage

Plymouth, MA




“It feels like I’ve come full circle. I didn’t always want to be a doctor. Initially I went into business and that was lucrative, but it didn’t give me the fulfillment that I was looking for and the challenge that I needed. However, when I got the opportunity to attend SGU it felt like a sign pushing me in the right direction. And I know it was the right decision because I’ve accomplished so much to get here and now, I’m at the starting point of my journey and I’m excited to keep going.”

– Brook Yohannes




   – Ray-Donna Peters

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“Pizza, Pets and Vets:” SVMAA fosters alumni-student connections with relaunched lunchtime workshops

Pizza Pets and Vets - photo of SVM graduate, student, SVMAA and Alumni Affairs administration

The Office of Alumni Affairs and SVMAA relaunched a networking initiative designed to give SVM students on campus a fresh perspective on what it is like to work in the field of animal care and to create connections between students and SVM graduates.

St. George’s University’s Office of Alumni Affairs and School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association (SVMAA) recently relaunched a networking initiative designed to give SVM students on campus a fresh perspective on what it is like to work in the field of animal care and to create connections between students and SVM graduates.  

Renamed “Pizza, Pets and Vets,” the lunchtime talk series was kicked off on September 13. More than two dozen aspiring veterinarians gathered at Charter Hall Lab to listen to Kimberly Ferizolli, DVM ’14, medical director and lead veterinarian at Central Florida Community Pet Clinic. She shared her experiences as a veterinarian and co-founder of the nonprofit organization that offers high-volume, high-quality spay and neuters, mainly to feline patients. Her comments were followed by an engaging Q&A period and, of course, a pizza lunch. 

“Coming back to the island and talking to the students was a way to pay it forward,” Dr. Ferizolli said. “It’s so great to give back to SGU because that’s where my dream started. I wanted to let students know that no matter how hard school is—it is possible to make your dreams come true and to continue on with your goals.”


Students can greatly benefit from the wealth of knowledge, experiences, and shared community amongst our more than 2,500 esteemed SVM alumni,” said Tara Paterson, DVM ’03, MSc, president of the SVMAA and associate professor of Small Animal Medicine & Surgery at SGU.We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring together our alumni community with our current students, creating connections and fostering a spirit of learning that lasts a lifetime.” 


Alumni who are planning to visit Grenada, please email or SVMAA President Dr. Tara Paterson if you would like to volunteer for a “Pizza, Pets and Vets” workshop. 


Alexandra Prince, a Term 4 student and current SVM president within SGU’s Student Government Association, attended Dr. Ferizolli’s talk, noting that the session was very informative. 

“It was genuinely really amazing,” Ms. Prince said. “I think we as students are looking for those networking opportunities.”  

Ms. Prince is interested in veterinary medicine that specializes in exotic and aquatic animals, as well as surgery and feline medicine. “I want to meet as many veterinarians who specialize in these areas as possible to get a good idea of what each field actually looks like in practice,” she said.  

Student networking and mentorship opportunities

“Pizza, Pets and Vets” is just one of the ways that the Office of Alumni Affairs and SVMAA plan to increase engagement between SVM students and alumni.  

In addition, Ms. Prince has been named the SVM student-alumni representative. Having Ms. Prince in this position will further encourage connections and networking among the two groups as she shares how alumni can help make students’ SGU experience more valuable, SVMAA said. Ms. Prince said she hopes to connect students with alumni based on their area of veterinary interest or geographic location as part of her role. 


“It was genuinely really amazing. I think we as students are looking for those networking opportunities.”


Students on campus will also have opportunity to connect with SVM alumni attending the upcoming VetBolus conference, taking place in Grenada November 2 to 4. During the “Alumni Student Night,” students will be able to speak with several SVM graduates in a speed-dating type of environment.  

“The immediate goal of Alumni Affairs is to improve alumni engagement across all our support areas, which include connections with prospective students, current students (future alumni), and other alumni,” said Dr. Brendon La Grenade, SGU’s vice provost for Institutional Advancement. “This will be done through selective programming, driven by alumni interest, like ‘Pizza, Pets and Vets.’ We encourage all SVM alumni to follow your newsletter and SGU social media, stay in touch with SVMAA current events, and share your ideas with us.”   

SVM alumni interested in sharing their professional experiences during a “Pizza, Pets and Vets” lunchtime talk (in person or virtually) should email or contact SVMAA President Dr. Tara Paterson.  


— Tonya Duncan and Laurie Chartorynsky



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SGU alum shares journey to a fulfilling career in cancer outreach

Patrick Dineen, MD, MBA, is the current program manager of cancer prevention and screening at Stony Brook Cancer Center where he leads their mobile mammography program. The program provides breast cancer screenings to historically underserved communities.

One St. George’s University School of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies alum is playing a key role in making screening for breast cancer more accessible for women on Long Island through his career in cancer outreach.

Patrick Dineen, MD, MBA, is the current program manager of cancer prevention and screening at Stony Brook Cancer Center. In his role with Stony Brook, he helped establish their mobile mammography program. The program provides breast cancer screenings to historically underserved communities.

“We screen uninsured women, we also screen insured women. The working woman, who works hard, has a family, takes care of a partner, children, the last person she takes care of is herself,” said Dr. Dineen. “When we’re parking outside of her business, and she sees us, she knows she can be back at her desk in 15 minutes and get her annual screening done.”

The impact of outreach

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, nearly 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In 2023 alone, there will be almost 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the United States. One of the most important prevention measures for invasive breast cancer is early detection.


Dr. Dineen spent his first few years at Stony Brook getting the mobile program off the ground and presenting its value to the community and businesses across Long Island. The program began servicing the community in 2018 and has since performed over 7,000 cancer screenings and detected over 40 cancers. A priority for Dr. Dineen in the inception of the program was ensuring the mobile unit’s staff was representative of the community, emphasizing the need for diversity.

“An interesting statistic is that in the brick-and-mortar facility at Stony Brook Breast Cancer, 12 percent of the women screened are minorities. Almost 80 percent of the women screened on the mobile unit are minorities,” Dr. Dineen added.

Dr. Dineen reviewing Stony Brook’s mobile mammography unit’s blueprint with his staff.

Dr. Dineen’s outreach efforts extend beyond the Long Island community. He publishes papers and speaks at conferences to inspire other healthcare professionals to think about how they can better serve communities in need. He is also the co-chair of mammography for the Mobile Healthcare Association, a national organization dedicated to increasing access to quality healthcare.

“Health equity means bringing healthcare, especially what we offer in breast cancer screening, to as many people as possible regardless of their gender, insurance status, immigration status, social determinants of health that stand in their way; making healthcare as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. And that is exactly what our program at Stony Brook was built for,” said Dr. Dineen.

Finding his path

Dr. Dineen’s interest in  cancer outreach is personal. His father, an orthopedic surgeon, passed away from cancer at 54 years old. In response to his father’s death, Dr. Dineen started a non-profit foundation that strives to bring happiness to cancer patients, the Dr. Patrick J. Dineen Memorial Foundation.

“My father was a doctor, and seeing how he led his life and the impact he made on other people’s lives made me want to be just like him,” Dr. Dineen said. “I know he would be proud of me as he has since passed from cancer, which led me down the path I’m on today.”

While Dr. Dineen ended up with a career in cancer outreach, the path he took to medical school was not a traditional one. He majored in accounting and planned to enter a career in business after graduating with his bachelor’s degree. Dr. Dineen also pursued his other passion, ice hockey, playing on a minor league team. It wasn’t long, though, until he realized his true calling was in medicine. And for Dr. Dineen, choosing SGU for his medical school journey was an easy decision.

“What made SGU stand out to me were the people that I knew in the healthcare system,” said Dr. Dineen. “Growing up in the world of medicine, SGU was a name that I repeatedly heard. I knew I would find the right home at SGU because of its reputation and others before me who had similar paths and were now happy, comfortable, and successful upon graduation.”

Once he was on his way to a career as a physician, Dr. Dineen realized he didn’t want to give up his passion for business. He decided to combine his interests and pursued his MBA with the goal of working on the business side of medicine.

A perfect day on the job

Dr. Dineen eventually crossed paths with Stony Brook Medicine. They approached him with the opportunity to lead their mobile mammography program.

“I stepped back and thought about my values and what I love. I love speaking with people, I’m a person of the community, I love having an impact,” Dr. Dineen said. “Despite it being a different path than the one I originally intended, a career in cancer outreach was the right way for me to move forward in healthcare.”

Dr. Dineen meeting with community members to discuss the importance of breast cancer screenings.

Evaluating where he is now, Dr. Dineen is grateful to have taken the road less traveled. It allows him to experience what he deems his perfect day in the role.

“My perfect day is getting feedback from those I supervise or our community partners about the impact we made. Although it’s a bittersweet moment when our team finds someone’s cancer, we also recognize that if we hadn’t discovered it, the patient might never have undergone screening for various reasons. Screenings allow us to find cancer before there is a physical manifestation. I can’t imagine a better day than hearing stories about the lives we’ve saved.”

—Sarah Stoss


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St. George’s University Announces New Partnership with Hunter College

St. George's University Announces New Partnership with Hunter College

St. George’s University has launched a new admissions partnership with Hunter College that will grant qualified Hunter students fast-track status and expedited entry into the St. George’s University School of Medicine.

“St. George’s University is delighted to offer this new opportunity for aspiring doctors from Hunter College to pursue degrees in medicine with us,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of St. George’s University School of Medicine. “Hunter has been educating outstanding students for over 150 years. We look forward to welcoming some of Hunter’s best and brightest in the years to come.”

The partnership creates a “4+4” program that provides students who have successfully completed the four-year premedical curriculum at Hunter admission to the four-year MD program at SGU. Hunter students interested in participating in the program must maintain a strong undergraduate GPA, complete all prerequisite coursework, and score competitively on relevant entrance exams, including the MCAT.

Students who are admitted to and enrolled in the St. George’s University School of Medicine may spend their first two years of study in Grenada or their first year at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and their second year in Grenada. They spend their final two years in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Hunter College is excited to partner with St. George’s University School of Medicine to provide our premedical students with the opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming physicians,” said Vince DiMiceli, a spokesperson for Hunter College.


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St. George’s University and Seneca Polytechnic Launch New Partnership

St. George's University and Seneca Polytechnic Announce New Partnership

St. George’s University has launched a new partnership with Seneca Polytechnic that will offer qualified Seneca students fast-track status and expedited entry into the five- or six-year MD programs at the St. George’s University School of Medicine.

“Seneca Polytechnic offers students a first-rate education,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of St. George’s University School of Medicine. “We’re delighted to form this partnership with Seneca and welcome its graduates to SGU to launch their careers in medicine.”

The partnership creates two admissions pathways to the School of Medicine: a five-year and a six-year MD track. The former track allows students who complete Seneca’s Arts and Science – University Transfer diploma program and fulfill all required prerequisites to proceed into the five-year MD program at St. George’s University. The latter pathway allows students who complete Seneca’s Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas & Degrees certificate program and meet SGU admissions standards to enter the six-year MD program.

“We are excited to offer this direct pathway to MD programs,” said Marianne Marando, vice-president, Academic & Students, Seneca Polytechnic. “This new partnership will provide our students with an outstanding opportunity to pursue further studies in medicine, and the long history of excellent medical education at St. George’s University makes them an ideal partner.”

Students may apply for the special admissions pathways to SGU when applying to or while enrolled at Seneca. In addition to completing all required prerequisite coursework, interested students must maintain a strong undergraduate GPA and score competitively on relevant entrance exams.

Upon enrolling at St. George’s University, students in the five-year track must complete one year of preclinical coursework in Grenada. Students in the six-year track must complete two years of preclinical coursework in Grenada.

Students in both programs then have the option to undertake their first year of medical study in Grenada or at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. Students spend their second year of medical study in Grenada and their final two years in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.


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St. George’s University Announces New Partnership with Lasell University

Lasell University

St. George’s University (SGU) has announced three new admissions partnerships with Lasell University offering qualified Lasell students fast-track status and expedited entry into the St. George’s University Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

“St. George’s is thrilled to form this partnership with Lasell University and to offer their most exceptional students manifold pathways to a degree in medicine or veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Richard Liebowitz, vice chancellor of St. George’s University. “We look forward to empowering Lasell students to pursue their dreams of becoming a doctor or veterinarian.”

The partnership establishes two admissions pathways to the School of Medicine: a “4+4” program and a Master of Science in Medical Science, or MSMS, pathway. The new “4+4” program is also available to qualified students who wish to attend the School of Veterinary Medicine. Students may apply for the special admissions pathways when applying to or while enrolled at Lasell.

Under the “4+4” program, qualified students who have completed the four-year pre-medical or pre-veterinary curriculum at Lasell will be admitted to the four-year MD or DVM programs at SGU.

Under the MSMS pathway, students who earn their Master of Science in Medical Science at Lasell and complete all prerequisite coursework will enroll in their first year of the MD program at SGU.

Under the “4+4” and the MSMS pathway, students admitted to the School of Medicine may spend their first two years of study in Grenada or their first year at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and their second year in Grenada. They spend their final two years in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Students entering the School of Veterinary Medicine through the “4+4” program complete three years of study in Grenada followed by a year of clinical studies at schools affiliated with SGU in the United States and internationally.

In addition to completing prerequisite coursework, Lasell students seeking to participate in these expedited admissions pathways must maintain a strong undergraduate GPA and score competitively on relevant entrance exams, including the MCAT for the School of Medicine. Pre-veterinary students should accumulate at least 500 hours of animal experience with a veterinarian or animal-care professional.

“Lasell University is committed to providing our students experiential and collaborative learning opportunities to inspire a life of social responsibility, intellectual curiosity, and professional growth,” said Eric Turner, president of Lasell University. “We are thrilled that this partnership with St. George’s upholds that mission by empowering our students to pursue the next stage in their academic and professional journey.”


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SVM White Coat Ceremony: What does it feel like to be coated?

SVM Fall 2023 White Coat Ceremony - group picture

A mixture of nervousness and excitement resonated on campus as the newest class of veterinary medical students received their white coats. The Term 1 veterinary medical students were coated during the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony, held on September 2 at Patrick F. Adams Hall.



White Coat Ceremonies are a storied tradition within veterinary medical school. The ceremony signifies students’ official beginning on their professional journeys to becoming veterinarians. During the event, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders—sometimes by family members or mentors who have become veterinarians before them. Students then affirm an oath of commitment by agreeing to uphold the principles of veterinary medical ethics and the highest professional standards.

Wondering what it’s like to be coated? Hear from four aspiring veterinarians on what it felt like to experience the milestone event.


Benjamin Self, SVM student, during WCC


“It feels surreal. Putting on the white coat just made things a little bit more of a reality for me. And having my mentor coat me was one of the best things that I could have ever wished for. Getting the white coat signifies for me that I’ve definitely been adopted into the profession and that I’ve achieved goal one in this whole marathon of becoming a veterinarian.”

– Benjamin Self
Tulsa, Oklahoma



Tatyana Thompson, SVM student, at White Coat Ceremony


“I come from a family of doctors, lawyers, bankers, and teachers. So, putting on my white coat is very symbolic because it’s the start of me becoming the first veterinarian in my family. I felt inspired by the White Coat Ceremony. It made me feel like this is actually happening and that this is where I’m meant to be.”

– Tatyana Thompson
Nassau, Bahamas


Nicholas Aaron, SVM student, at White Coat Ceremony



“The White Coat Ceremony was everything I thought it would be and more. I’m a bit emotional right now. When I put on the white coat, I felt one step closer to fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. My grandfather was also a great inspiration to me and I’m wearing his tiepin to honor him today. It’s a reminder that I wouldn’t be here without him.”

– Nicholas Aaron
Trinidad and Tobago



Taylor Edwinson, veterinary student, at SVM White Coat Ceremony


“One of the reasons I chose to come to SGU was because of my mentor, Felicia Gutierrez, DVM ’20. I’ve known her since I was 16—when I was just a baby vet tech, and she was my head vet tech. I felt honored to have her coat me. I’ve heard so many great things about the SVM program from Felicia and other alumni. And after putting on my white coat, I feel it’s the start of what I’ve been working so hard for, and it gives me the motivation to continue on.”

– Taylor Edwinson
El Paso, Texas




   – Ray-Donna Peters

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SVM alumna featured on Animal Planet TV series

Dr. Regan Schwartz, 2019 SVM graduate

Dedicating yourself to helping animals in need is a noble calling, but it may not be fully understood to what lengths veterinarians go to save the animals that come into their clinic. One St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine graduate is helping to change that as she gives an inside look at her daily life as a veterinarian in the Animal Planet series, “Pets and Pickers.”

Dr. Regan Schwartz, a 2019 SGU graduate with a dual degree in veterinary medicine and public health, practices at the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS), a nonprofit organization in Richmond, British Columbia. The television show, which aired its first season in the spring of 2022 (it was recently renewed for a third season), follows Dr. Schwartz and her colleagues at RAPS hospital in their day-to-day professional lives and seeks to raise awareness about animal welfare.

“There was a vision for the show, and it evolved,” said Dr. Schwartz. “The primary goal of the program is to raise awareness of the organization and grant exposure to encourage further support and involvement.”

Six veterinarians are featured in “Pets and Pickers.” The film crew shadowed the veterinarians over the course of six months, filming enough for two seasons worth, based on specific cases of interest and conducted interviews at the end of the show. After many weeks of the camera crew following the cast around the hospital, Dr. Schwartz said they all became like a big family.

“The filming process was a rewarding experience. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done on these first two seasons,” added Dr. Schwartz.


Dr. Regan Schwartz, a 2019 School of Veterinary Medicine graduate.

A Passion for Helping Animals

Originally from Toronto, Dr. Schwartz decided to apply to SGU when she discovered their dual-degree program in public health and veterinary medicine. Dr. Schwartz’s lifelong passion for community service and supporting communities in need led her to work extensively abroad, including in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Africa, before she began her current position. So, when a role opened at RAPS, Dr. Schwartz knew the opportunity would allow her to continue doing the work she loves. The show came later.

Dr. Schwartz said that SGU provided a supportive environment with a small faculty that prepared her for a career in veterinary medicine. But she attributes her greatest strength as a veterinarian to her parents, who instilled extreme compassion and empathy when she was growing up.

“I feel animal suffering so deeply that I work hard to alleviate it,” said Dr. Schwartz. “When I watched myself on TV, I definitely saw it as an asset, and it reassured me that this is what I’m meant to do.”


Regan Schwartz, a 2019 School of Veterinary Medicine graduate.


– Madeline Otto

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