As veterinary medical students all across the United States recited the Oath of Professional Commitment at their own White Coat Ceremonies, Dr. Lauren Wise, Master of Ceremonies at St. George’s University, assured members of the Class of 2022 that although they would be held to the same exceptional standards as their counterparts abroad, their experience in Grenada would make them very unique veterinary medical students.
“You now live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Embrace it and love every second of it,” said Dr. Wise, Associate Professor, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, SGU. “For the next three years, you get to be a part of a culture that is fascinating and has a rich history. The people are proud and friendly, and they want you to be a part of this community while you’re here. So, don’t stay in your dorm room, get out there.
“The last thing that sets you apart is that you’re far away from home,” she added. “However, it’s going to make you be more resilient, stronger, and you’re going to form life-long friendships.”
Dr. Jack Hammett and his wife Denise traveled more than 2,000 miles from Spotsylvania, Virginia to sit among the proud family members and friends in attendance at the Fall 2018 SVM White Coat Ceremony. Dr. Hammett has spent over 30 years in mixed animal practice, and the last 15 in equine small animal. The proud dad who had the honor of coating his son, Jared, on stage during the ceremony was among 11 SGU graduates who returned for this fall’s SOM and SVM White Coat Ceremonies.
“My son has worked with me in the practice for years, gone everywhere with me, and he’s such a great young man,” praised Dr. Hammett. “When trying to describe how I felt coating my son, words fail me. I’m so proud of him. He’s done such a great job so far and I have great expectations for him. I was ecstatic for him when I found out he got accepted to SGU. I’ve practiced veterinary medicine for decades and there’s nothing else I’d rather do. It’s just a great profession and a great and fulfilling way to serve the community.”
“I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian—ever since I was small and going on farm calls with my dad,” shared Jared Hammett. “I’ve been working at his clinic during my summer breaks from college for the past three years, so I’ve seen firsthand that being a vet is the best job in the world.”
Echoing this sentiment was the evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).
“Be curious, not complacent, be skeptical, but not cynical and keep wondering because the world is full of wonder and you’re about to embark on a wonderful career,” Dr. Maccabe said.
The Class of 2022 will work toward joining the more than 1,600 graduates of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, which accepted its first class in August 1999. The School has since gained full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Small Animal Clinic became the second practice outside the United States and Canada to earn American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation. The AVMA Council on Education will conduct a site visit this April, as part of the reaccreditation process for the School of Veterinary Medicine.
– Ray-Donna Peters