How to Boost Diversity in Medical School: SGU President Featured in RealClear Health

SGU Students Take Altruistic Initiative During COVID-19 Pandemic; Reaffirm Their Commitment To Becoming Doctors

An article by SGU President Dr. G. Richard Olds was recently featured in RealClearHealth.

The piece, “How to boost diversity in medical school,” details the importance of diverse representation in medical education. Dr. Olds reasoned that by making diversity a bigger recruiting priority, today’s medical schools can “cultivate a more diverse physician network” and bring about a “more accessible, more equitable healthcare system.”

He also detailed some of the measures that SGU is taking to open doors for underrepresented students:

“Making medical school more affordable is another way to attract and enroll a more diverse group of students. More than 75 percent of students at St. George’s University, the school I lead, receive scholarships. Dozens of students have benefited from our CityDoctors scholarship program, which provides aid to students from the New York metropolitan area who commit to working in the city’s public hospital system upon graduation,” Dr. Olds wrote.

He added that international medical schools are a key source of diversity to the U.S. physician workforce. SGU’s student body represents 49 U.S. states and more than 100 countries.

 

Learn more about SGU’s commitment to diversity on our website. 

2021 MD class overcomes obstacles on way to residency

Their journey may have been different than the classes before them, but the St. George’s University School of Medicine Class of 2021’s commitment to excellence and their future profession was very much the same.

In a virtual ceremony held on June 6, SGU conferred Doctor of Medicine degrees to graduates from 47 US states and territories, as well as 35 other countries around the world. The SOM’s newest alumni forged ahead despite hurdles and wrinkles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and emerged on the other side with a bright future in front of them.

“With your new MD degree, you join the ranks of thousands of physicians, including our proud SGU alumni, and other healthcare workers fighting this pandemic,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine, in his address. “In joining this fight, you will need to call upon the same perseverance and commitment that carried you through four years of medical school.

“Go forth and do good by taking care of millions of people who will look toward your humanism in science to keep them safe and healthy,” he continued. “Remember that your positive attitude and determination have brought you this far, and life is as much about living the journey as much as it is about eventually reaching your destination.”

This summer, more than 1,080 newly minted SGU physicians will enter residency at hospitals across the US. These positions span 21 specialties, including anesthesiology, emergency medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, urology, and more.

“I’m sure many of you have been dreaming of this moment for many years, and I do hope that you’re all taking a moment to stop and reflect and celebrate your success,” said Dr. Lucy Clunes, dean of students at SGU. “As you transition from student to physician, and embark on the next phase of your career, I encourage you to reflect on the values and experiences throughout your tenure at SGU that have led to the success we are celebrating today.”

SGU is the largest source of physicians for the entire United States workforce, with more than 11,600 alumni licensed to practice in the US in 2019 according to the Federation of State Medical Boards.

 

Faculty members honored

Dr. Charles Modica, chancellor and co-founder of SGU, also bestowed the St. George’s University Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Stephen Weitzman, former dean of the School of Medicine, and Dr. Vishnu Rao, longtime dean of students and the current dean of university alumni affairs.

Dr. Weitzman joined SGU in 1978 as a visiting professor and remained on the faculty as a professor, chair of medicine, dean of clinical studies, and dean of the SOM.

“Dr. Weitzman really is a special person, but I think the most special thing about him is that his name is on the diplomas of more physicians in the US—having signed them—than any other person in the world,” Dr. Modica said. “He helped set up the clinical programs, he nurtured them, and he became involved with each and every student’s education through them.”

Dr. Rao started at the University at its inception, joining as a professor of anatomy before serving as the University’s Dean of Students for more than three decades. He will stay on as a member of SGU’s alumni affairs department.

“I’m so proud to be able to work with him in the future to make sure we are involved with and look after the thousands of graduates of the University, in all fields,” Dr. Modica said.

 

– Brett Mauser

2021 Class of New Veterinarians Recognized for Their Resilience and Perseverance

Although the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2021’s commencement ceremony was virtual, as were some of their classes, their incredible achievements were very much real.

On June 5, SGU faculty as well as students’ friends and family members applauded the School’s newest graduates for persevering through challenging coursework and rigorous clinical training, all during a global health crisis. With the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees in hand, they’re now equipped to successfully embark upon their professional careers as the world’s newest veterinarians.

“What I want you to remember is this: No matter where you are in the world today, no matter what the format of your graduation ceremony, the importance, the magnitude and the relevance of your achievement are in no way minimized,” said Tara Paterson, DVM ’03, president of the School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.

Dr. Paterson, a charter class alumna and associate professor of small animal medicine and surgery at SGU, welcomed the 184 graduates from six different countries who tuned in with faculty, staff, family, and friends from around the world for the celebration, as they each received their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

“What makes the Class of 2021 so exceptional is its resilience to persevere in the face of a global pandemic,” said Dr. Paterson. “They did what all SGU students do—they persevered, they did not give up, and made the best of what was offered to them. They are resilient and truly incredible.”

 

In her address, keynote speaker Carley Jones, DVM ’21, challenged the students to remember the joy, passion, and perseverance that got them to their graduation day. She also shared two lessons that she and her classmates had learned during their time at SGU—the value of community and adaptability.

“The sense of community that you have bestowed upon each other is the perfect reflection of the type of doctors that you have become,” commended Dr. Jones. “Our ability to adapt to the obstacles we face will make us better doctors, better leaders, and better members of every community we become a part of.”

St. George’s University graduates shined in the recent Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program cycle, achieving a match rate of 72.1 percent, highest among Caribbean veterinary schools.  It also compared favorably to the 53.5 percent match rate for all schools—including US schools—according to the VIRMP, a program sponsored by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC).

With the addition of these graduates, the SVM has now produced more than 1,900 veterinarians since the charter class graduated in 2003. Dr. Charles R. Modica, chancellor of SGU, congratulated and praised the new vets for pressing forward despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud that the country of Grenada has been part of your lives for a few years,” said Dr. Modica. “With the pandemic having impacted all of us, you have shown that you have the resolve, fortitude, and dedication to complete your studies no matter what.”

 

– Ray-Donna Peters

Op-Ed: SGU President Dr. G. Richard Olds Featured on KevinMD

St. George’s University President Dr. G. Richard Olds recently penned an article on KevinMD.

The article, “Here’s how we can rebuild health care post-pandemic,” outlines the critical role that international medical graduates (IMGs) will play in the future physician workforce. Thousands of new doctors will soon begin residency programs at hospitals across the country. That includes 7,500 IMGs—more than 1,000 of which are SGU alumni.

“These newly minted doctors, many of whom are U.S. citizens who chose to study abroad, will play an outsized role in treating the underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic,” Dr. Olds wrote.

He goes on to argue that internationally trained physicians are uniquely suited to address our country’s growing doctor shortage. They have a history of working in underserved areas, including rural regions and majority-minority communities.

“Internationally trained doctors are also more likely to treat people from historically marginalized groups. In areas where the population is 75 percent non-white, IMGs account for nearly 40 percent of the physician workforce. And according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, IMGs often care for Medicare beneficiaries with more complicated needs than their domestically trained counterparts,” he wrote.

Campus enhancements await students returning to Grenada

 

St. George’s University’s campus is ready for students to return by making several enhancements, and it will have a new look when they arrive.

SGU has continued to support its growing campus community with several expansion and redevelopment projects to be completed in the 2021-2022 academic year. When construction is complete, the campus will feature greater capacity for individual and group study spaces as well as new technologically advanced clinical skills laboratories.

“We are extremely excited to make these improvements to our campus, and truly believe that they will greatly contribute to our students’ success,” said Charles Modica, chancellor at St. George’s University. “We eagerly await their return and, with it, the return of our vibrant campus.”

Enhancements include:

  • New Eric Gairy Pavilion: Outside of Eric Gairy Hall, this open-air pavilion welcomes up to 282 students to convene for outdoor study, a tried-and-true setting to further absorb coursework. Scheduled to be completed by August 2021.
  • New Beachfront Pavilion: On the hill connecting upper and lower campus, this new pavilion will have the capacity for 324 students to conduct group study, all with backdrop of True Blue Bay. Scheduled to be completed by early fall.
  • Renovated indoor study spaces campus-wide: Students can really stretch their legs with 52 percent more individual study spaces thanks to new carrels in Founders Library, Lower Modica Hall, Lower Taylor Hall, St. David’s Hall, St. Andrew’s Hall, and St. John’s Hall. Scheduled to be completed by August 2021.
  • Additional clinical skills labs: After recently updating the existing 56 clinical skills rooms with the newest technology, SGU is also adding another 28 rooms as well as a new control center that will help provide an optimal simulation experience with standardized patients. Scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

The improvements were put in place as SGU prepares to welcome back fully vaccinated students, faculty, staff, and administrators later this month, with in-person classes back in session this August.

“When our students, faculty, and staff are all on campus together, it truly is a magical place to learn, study, and to enjoy each other’s company,” said Glen Jacobs, provost at SGU. “These additions and renovations only add to the unique and enriching student experience here in True Blue.”

St. George’s University’s campus is ready for students to return by making several enhancements.

 

 

– Brett Mauser

SGU Donates 8,000+ Meals to St. Vincent Relief Efforts

SGU campus officials collaborated with the Ministry of Health Grenada and officials from the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) to deliver meals to St. Vincent families affected by the volcano eruption. Image courtesy of Terrence Franklyn.

In solidarity with the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its people, St. George’s University has donated more than 8,000 meals to those affected by the recent eruptions of the La Soufriere volcano.

“SGU’s origins are tied to St. Vincent,” said SGU Chancellor and University Co-founder Charles R. Modica. “Our connection to the island spans far and deep and we hope to assist our St. Vincent brethren in any way we can. The meals will help families affected by the volcano, which continues to erupt and cause uncertainty for the people who live and work on the island.”

SGU’s Department of Public Safety officials collaborated with the Ministry of Health Grenada and officials from the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) to coordinate the effort. SGU’s Department of Public Safety delivered the meals to NaDMA for shipment to St. Vincent.

SGU has also pledged to offer beds for evacuated residents, if needed. In addition, the School of Medicine Alumni Association has started a charity drive to help St. Vincent families, which includes SGU alumni who live and work there. All individuals are encouraged to donate.

 

A Rich History Together

Just as Grenada and St. Vincent share close ties, the island and its people are dear to many in the SGU community, as it was a co-partner of the University from its inception. For more than 25 years, SOM medical students completed a semester of their basic sciences on the island. When the volcano last erupted in 1979, some SGU students were studying on the island and instrumental in helping island recovery efforts, even as medical students. SGU also lent a hand by donating much-needed supplies.

Similarly, when Hurricane Ivan struck Grenada in 2004, St. Vincent offered assistance during the country’s recovery.

“We are thinking of our Vincentian neighbors during this challenging time and stand ready to further assist in their recovery,” said SGU Provost Glen Jacobs. “We are working closely with the Government of Grenada and disaster preparedness agencies to continue offering support in any way we can, including food and shelter for our St. Vincent brethren.”

Students, faculty, and staff in Grenada wishing to drop off donations may contact NaDMA.

 

— Laurie Chartorynsky

 

 

 

Equity in medicine the focus of new SGU scholarship

St. George’s University’s new scholarship program—the Equity in Medicine scholarship—focuses on developing strong physician pipelines in underserved areas by recruiting students from these areas and encouraging them to return home to practice.

According to Health Resources and Services Administration, medically underserved areas are areas designated as having too few primary care providers and other factors.

Read about two Equity in Medicine Scholarship recipients who are committed to working in areas where care is needed most.

Anders Grant

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Her commitment: Primary care on Native American reservation

Anders Grant spent more than 20 years as a dietitian on the East Coast and in Texas. Years later, after raising her own children, she began working with various tribes on the Native American Reservation—where medical school called out to her.

In her three and a half years there, she “fell in love with the communities and the people.” Aided by the Equity in Medicine scholarship at St. George’s University, Ms. Grant is committed to returning to the reservation—a medically underserved area—when she becomes a physician.

“The people were so interested in teaching me their ways, and because I love languages, I immediately tried to learn the Navajo language. It was very reciprocal,” she said. “Once I showed that I wanted to learn their culture, that I wasn’t someone who said a casual hello, we became more like a family.”

Healthcare access and education is limited in and around the various Reservations. According to Ms. Grant, it takes upward of an hour to drive to visit with a healthcare professional, and even then, staff and resources are limited.

Ms. Grant is especially focused on the treatment and prevention of diabetes, working closely with children and families on the reservation to address the root of the problem—obesity. As an ultra-marathon runner, she offered diet and exercise programs for children that yielded tremendous results and was soon adopted by many parents.

“What I really emphasized was moving,” she said. “They saw me running out there every day, which showed that I practice what I preach. If I can get the children to start improving their health now, oh my goodness, the future is unlimited.”

Using the foundation she receives at SGU, Ms. Grant is committed to making a lasting difference in returning to the Native American Reservation.

“I can’t wait to get back,” she said. “I want to prove to them in person that you can never give up. It’s never too late to make your dreams come true.”

Taylor James

Hometown: Forest City, NC

Her commitment: Rural medicine

In rural America, state-of-the-art technology and a wealth of resources may only be found at a great distance. Growing up in the foothills of North Carolina, Taylor James has seen the consequences of such deficiencies firsthand—and they have shaped her career path.

When she was just four years old, her father passed away after a medical mishap during a surgical procedure on his hand. According to Ms. James, the anesthetic was administered in a blood vessel, inadvertently numbing his heart, and no available medication could reverse the effect. She attributes the mistake, in part, to a lack of resources at her local hospital.

“I didn’t really recognize it until I moved away and saw what other places are like,” said Ms. James, now a first-term student at St. George’s University. “As I grew older, I better understood what happened to my dad, why it happened, and now I want to figure out how to combat these problems in small towns like mine.”

She has been laser focused—graduating a semester early from North Carolina State University, with a degree in human biology. During her studies, she gained valuable clinical experience at the University of North Carolina’s emergency medicine department as well as WakeMed Cary Hospital.

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As a Spanish minor, she also completed a doctor shadowing assignment in Spain, an experience she said: “instilled the importance of cultural competence.” She has used her bilingualism to communicate with—and ease the minds of—Spanish-speaking patients.

While she is keeping her options open, Ms. James is leaning toward a career in primary care, to become a valuable resource in a community that needs it. She even foresees opening up her own family medicine clinic and is grateful for the financial flexibility she has to do so through receiving the Equity in Medicine Scholarship from SGU.

“I was so shocked and so thankful to receive the scholarship,” she said. “I have really enjoyed my first few weeks at SGU. It’s a lot of studying—which I expected—but I don’t think I expected the overwhelming amount of resources and support SGU provides to ensure that we’re successful.”

– Brett Mauser

US News and World Report Highlights SGU’s CityDoctors Scholarship Program

US News and World Report recently featured St. George’s University medical student Tim Malone and the University’s CityDoctors program in an article that discussed scholarships for medical school.

“Malone says his full-tuition scholarship via the St. George’s CityDoctors scholarship program for future urban doctors makes it easier for him to consider the possibility of becoming a pediatric oncologist, despite the fact that salaries within that specialty are lower than within other fields of medicine,” the article stated.

 

New On-Campus Lab Strengthens Diagnostics, Education, And Research In Grenada

With the development of a state-of-the-art diagnostic molecular facility on campus, St. George’s University has assured its community and the country of Grenada that SGU will be prepared to do its part should another infectious disease outbreak surface in the near or distant future.

The laboratory is housed in the on-campus Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) building, and was constructed to meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

“By upgrading our laboratory, we can now provide a long-term diagnostic molecular facility that could provide timely and appropriate diagnostic services for the University and potentially the region,” said Dr. Calum Macpherson, director of research at SGU. Previously, most diagnostic testing had to be sent outside of Grenada for analysis, often creating longer lead times for receiving results.

In addition to diagnostics, the lab will serve as a teaching facility for graduate and undergraduate students interested in molecular technology elective courses. It will also be a resource for faculty and students to conduct research on emerging and re-emerging vector-borne diseases and other infections.

By demonstrating the capacity to accurately and safely test hundreds of cases each week, Dr. Macpherson envisions that the lab will further enhance international and regional partnerships with such groups as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and universities worldwide.

We can now provide a long-term diagnostic molecular facility that could provide timely and appropriate diagnostic services for the University and potentially the region.”

 

Commitment to accuracy and efficiency

SGU’s molecular lab will be overseen by Elsa Chitan, the head of the WINDREF laboratories, and will be initially utilized to conduct all COVID-19 testing on campus. Vanessa Matthew-Belmar, MSc ’16, a lab technician in the School of Veterinary Medicine, will use the lab to conduct her PhD studies on COVID-19 at SGU.

“The molecular lab will provide a diverse group of students and faculty with a molecular facility, which is increasingly the Gold Standard for diagnosing infectious diseases,” said Dr. Trevor Noël, director of SGU’s field research studies in the Office of Research and deputy director of WINDREF. Since its founding in 1994 as a non-governmental organization in Grenada and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation, WINDREF has been committed to health and environmental development through research and education programs, by promoting collaborative relationships between internationally recognized scholars and regional scientists, and by adhering to the highest ethical research and academic standards. WINDREF’s current donors include the NIH, Grand Challenges Canada, Nature Conservancy International, FAO, The Spencer Foundation, Global Challenges Research Fund, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Water Partnership, and many other entities.

SGU’s molecular lab in the School of Veterinary Medicine served as Grenada’s initial national SARS-CoV-2 testing site at the onset of the pandemic last year. It was one of approximately 250 quality control labs around the world overseen by the WHO. Its results were in 100 percent concordance with the expected test results from the WHO. The national testing laboratory located at the Grenada General Hospital continues to collaborate with WINDREF personnel on best diagnostic practices.

PCR testing continues at SGU’s Open Modica Hall, where Dr. Kathy Yearwood, director of University Clinical Services and Dr. Jennifer Solomon, chair of nursing and allied health science, join staff from the University Clinic, nursing program, and WINDREF COVID-19 team, have been testing the SGU affiliated community and contractors. The program has tested almost 8,000 individuals over the past year with the majority of the results returned to those tested within eight hours. A rapid turnaround is essential for the test to be useful for epidemiological surveillance, and its success played a significant role in limiting the numbers of COVID-19 infections in Grenada over the past year.

Dr. Trevor Noel receives his COVID-19 vaccine as part of Grenada’s initial rollout.

SGU faculty step forward in Grenada vaccine rollout 

Drs. Macpherson and Noël were amongst the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on February 12. They joined the Grenada Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell; Minister of Health the Hon. Nickolas Steele; and a number of cabinet members, senior administrators from the Ministry of Health, and some frontline workers.

“In Grenada, non-pharmaceutical measures have been in place from the beginning, whether it’s a limited curfew, the mandatory wearing of masks in public, frequent washing of hands, physical distancing, along with a rapid test, trace, and isolate and quarantine program, all helped to maintain the low numbers of COVID-19 infections in Grenada,” Dr. Macpherson said. “As a result, we have had so few cases, which means that almost everyone is immunologically naïve and susceptible to infection. The vaccine is the final piece to protect everyone in Grenada.”

 

 

Both Dr. Macpherson and Dr. Noël reported having only transitory mild side effects from the first of two vaccine shots. The immediate rollout of the vaccine will be administered by the Community and Public Health nurses of the Ministry of Health at the Grenada General Hospital. Dr. Yearwood and members of the SGU clinical team and WINDREF COVID-19 team were among those to receive the vaccine early in its rollout.

“The strong partnership between the Ministry of Health, SGU, WINDREF, PAHO/WHO and the participation of the people of Grenada with the non-pharmaceutical measures allowed Grenada to limit the number of cases of COVID-19 in Grenada to extremely low levels,” said Dr. Macpherson. “It has been a pleasure for us to be a part of this remarkable public health achievement.”

– Brett Mauser

 

The News Stories that Defined the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2020

top vet stories of 2020

From being on the front lines of animal care during the COVID pandemic to discussions on diversity and equality within the veterinary field, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine students, faculty, and alumni made their mark in 2020.

In early June, 180 SVM graduates joined the network of more than 1,900 Doctors of Veterinary Medicine making an impact through veterinary medicine around the world. Many of these graduates took the next step in their careers as aspiring veterinarians by matching into highly competitive postgraduate positions.

When it comes to the ongoing COVID pandemic, it’s not just human healthcare that has been dramatically impacted—animal medicine had its own challenges and some surprising opportunities for veterinarians, including in zoos and aquariums. In Grenada, School of Veterinary Medicine also sprung into action as the country’s national testing site at the onset of the pandemic.

It was also a year in which diversity and equality was brought to the limelight. The University had frank discussions with its entire community about the importance of listening, learning, and supporting, not only in the current climate but going forward.

These are the stories that underscore the School of Veterinary Medicine’s strengths and define us as a University as we aim to enhance student success and grow the number of animal health professionals around the world. Read on to see the top SVM news stories of 2020 on SGU.edu.

SVM Commencement 2020

The School of Veterinary Medicine celebrated its 17th annual commencement on June 6, with 180 students from nine countries and 39 US states graduating from the school. For the first time in history, the ceremony was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many SVM alums began highly competitive postgraduate positions in a variety of clinical specialty areas such as orthopedics, cardiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, immunology, diagnostic imaging, and pathology, matching into positions at reputable veterinary hospitals throughout the US and Canada.

 

Dr. Heather Douglas, DVM ’06

How COVID Impacted Veterinarians

It’s not just human healthcare that has been dramatically impacted as a result of the COVID pandemic—animal medicine had its own challenges and some surprising opportunities for veterinarians.

Heather Douglas, DVM ’06, for example, discussed how the disease is changing the way that small animal veterinarians treat patients and interact with pet owners.

“Initially, businesses like my own were slow when lockdowns were in place,” said Heather Douglas, DVM ’06, owner of Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, MN. “Then in mid- to late-April the floodgates opened. This influx was due to clients waiting to bring their pets in during lockdown, clients paying more attention to their pets while at home for extended periods so that illnesses were being detected much sooner, and people adopting new pets to decrease loneliness and feelings of isolation at home. … I’ve had to become more efficient and spend more time communicating with owners.”

 

SGU's Large Animal Resource Facility

A Look Inside SVM’s Large Animal Resource Facility

SGU’s Large Animal Resource Facility (LARF) is a one-acre farm that is home to the equine and bovine teaching herds that students of the School of Veterinary Medicine use to gain crucial large animal clinical skills prior to their fourth year.

Dr. Inga Karasek, director of the Large Animal Resource Facility, was one of a handful of SGU staff who remained on the island to care for the animals during the early days of the global pandemic. In this video, she shared why the farm’s ecosystem—even while students are learning remotely—is important to studying veterinary medicine at SGU.

 

The Laboratory Personnel Behind SGU’s COVID Testing Site

Even before the coronavirus disease reached the shores of Grenada, the School of Veterinary Medicine, together with the Government of Grenada and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), were prepared for it. With the proper equipment and a team led by two staff members—both SGU graduates—in the SVM’s molecular virology lab, served as Grenada’s national testing site at the onset of the pandemic.

The effort facilitated testing for more than 2,000 SGU students, faculty, and staff, over 1,200 members of the Grenadian community, as well as individuals arriving in Grenada via plane or cruise ship.

 

VOICE SGU chapter

VOICE Seeks to Champion Veterinarian Diversity at The Student Level

It’s no secret that Black and Hispanic Americans are underrepresented in the veterinary profession. Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment, or VOICE, a national organization with student chapters across US and Caribbean veterinary schools, seeks to increase “awareness, respect, and sensitivity to differences among all individuals and communities in the field of veterinary medicine.”

VOICE SGU chapter and its current president, Antonia Nickleberry, MBA, a Term 2 student in the School of Veterinary Medicine, discussed with SGU News why diversity in the field matters and how SVM students can get involved.

“The world around is us diversifying rapidly,” Ms. Nickleberry said. “Veterinary medicine seems to have a delayed response to this diversification and therefore, those within the profession are not as aware as they should be. This can lead to major sensitivity issues between classmates and colleagues that can be avoided by educating and empowering those in this profession, starting with the students.”