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New RUSVM class celebrates the start of their DVM training

A new class of students celebrated the start of their DVM career at RUSVM’s White Coat Ceremony this month, with 163 new students donning the white coat for the first time.


A new class of students celebrated the start of their DVM career at RUSVM’s White Coat Ceremony this month, with 163 new students donning the white coat for the first time. The ceremony marks each student’s entry into the profession, concluding a week of orientation.

New RUSVM Student Government Association President, Mr. Bob McCarthy, welcomed the new class to the RUSVM family and advised them to get to know their fellow students who will be their future professional peers.

“Your fellow students will become your family and one of the best resources for you on the island. It may not seem like it right now, but by the end of your first year, you will have bonded more with everyone than you thought possible because you went through the same class, the same tests, and you all came out the other side victorious.”

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Lauren Deahl, (DVM ’12) addressed the new Red Semester, and challenged the class to always be inquisitive as they have chosen a career where they will never stop learning.  

“You will always be presented with something that you don’t know, something you will have to figure out on your own…the most important lesson I have learned throughout my clinical training, that I wish I had realized as a student, is how important it is to always be inquisitive, ask questions and understand what you are learning.”

Dr. Deahl, currently a small animal surgery resident at Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, encouraged the new class to learn from their time in St. Kitts.

“Learn from the island and your experiences here – it will teach you many wonderful positive lessons if you allow it to.” Dr. Deahl emphasized that RUSVM brought her to St. Kitts, but she returns for the culture, the people and wonderful memories. 

RUSVM Interim Dean Dr. Guy St. Jean shared the significance of the white coat and encouraged the class to consider their role as veterinary students and future professionals. Each student was presented with a white coat, the symbol of their future profession by a member of RUSVM faculty. The ceremony concluded with recitation of the Veterinary Students Oath, with students pledging service to animals and humanity.

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