The world is rapidly changing, with shifting demographics, fluid borders, widespread travel, new medical advances, new diseases and fewer medical personnel per patient, both human and animal.
Worldwide, there is an urgent need for new thinkers and leaders, those who are experts in veterinary medicine but who also have the experience to quickly and accurately apply it in the real world. Our different world demands a different way of learning veterinary medicine, and St George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, is providing it.
Trisha Doswell, third-year vet student at St. George’s.
“St. George’s not only provides a unique educational experience but unique life experiences,” says Trisha Doswell, a third-year veterinary medical student at St. George’s University.
Originally from Melbourne Beach, Fla., Trisha earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida. Trisha doesn’t shy away from raving about the quality of education she’s receiving at St. George’s University.
“Our veterinary medical program is challenging and rigorous, but the faculty truly care about us, and when we graduate, we have the opportunity to work all around the world,” Trisha explains.
A Global Education
Founded in 1999, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine has continued to advance the university as a leader in global education, offering veterinary students a broad range of educational and professional training opportunities. St. George’s offers the preveterinary medical program and the veterinary medical program, which includes the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
The school holds 29 affiliations with international veterinary schools, including 23 of the 28 U.S. veterinary schools, and schools in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Australia. These international partnerships and field training allow St. George’s to prepare its students for the world of global animal health care.
The first two years of the four-year veterinary medical program comprise basic veterinary medical sciences. In the third year, students advance to the introductory stages of their clinical work, including work on horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats in Grenada.
Students are also given the opportunity to work alongside veterinary tutors at St. George’s Elisabeth McClellan Small Animal Clinic.
“The hands-on experience we’re provided is second to none and is why St. George’s produces some of the most confident, accomplished and prepared veterinarians in the world,” Trisha explains.
Programs Provide Greater Opportunities
An exciting option beyond the stand-alone DVM degree are the dual degrees the university offers, including a DVM/MBA, a DVM/MSc or the DVM/MPH.
St. George’s master’s of public health program is fully accredited by the U.S. Council for Education in Public Health, a vote of confidence in this on-campus program. The MPH program offers students research and knowledge through hands-on educational experiences—aligning the program with community needs and producing graduates of high quality.
Students in the MPH program spend much of their time working in the field and visiting communities in Grenada to gain a greater understanding of today’s public health climate.
Globalization of Communicable Diseases
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the current shortage of food-animal veterinarians in rural areas is a key factor in the globalization of communicable diseases. St. George’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program was recently granted full accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education.
As president of the St. George’s Student Chapter of the AVMA (SCAVMA), Trisha leads her fellow students in organizing “One Health, One Medicine” clinics in Grenada with their student counterparts from St. George’s School of Medicine.
“Being involved with SCAVMA allows us to explore the advantages of the veterinary and medical fields working together,” says Trisha.
St. George’s SCAVMA chapter emphasizes educating its students on the clear connection between animal-borne viruses and global human diseases, a growing public health concern.
“It’s amazing to learn how much a country’s veterinary medicine affects the population’s health and vice versa,” Trisha says. “SCAVMA members learn about global cultures and diseases, those we’ve heard about and those not prevalent in the U.S.—a key component of St. George’s mission of ‘One Health, One Medicine.’”
A Hub of International Education
St. George’s University pioneered the concept of international medical education and remains at its forefront. It has brought students and faculty from 140 countries to create an unparalleled international educational environment. An unexpected benefit of Trisha’s academic program is the school’s vibrant diversity.
“The biggest advantage at St. George’s is having the chance to meet people from all over the world,” Trisha explains. “St. George’s students are constantly surrounded by different cultures and languages, which helps us better adapt to unique situations. Our professors truly prepare us for a global way of understanding veterinary medicine.”
The True Blue campus, as it’s called, provides all the amenities and technologically advanced facilities of a world-class institution while offering beautiful scenery and majestic views of the Caribbean Sea. Over the last decade, more than $250 million has been spent to create a beautiful, state-of-the-art campus, rivaling some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
St. George’s campus includes 65 buildings spread out over 42 acres in a vibrant, tropical seaside location. Almost 2,000 students live on campus and others live in the surrounding neighborhoods, which are served by the university-provided free bus transportation.
Information about the university is available at www.sgu.edu, and through YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter at StGeorgesU.
This Education Series article was underwritten by St. George’s University of Grenada.