The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed new students in its Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences (BMVS) M.S. and Ph.D. programs this month.
The 127 students in the DVM Class of 2020 participated in a week-long orientation capped by a “white coat ceremony” at the Inn at Virginia Tech on Friday, Aug. 19. The incoming class will be the first cohort of students to participate in the college’s new DVM curriculum. (Read more about the incoming DVM Class of 2020 and view a Facebook gallery from the white coat ceremony.)
Cyril Clarke, dean of the veterinary college, spoke directly to students during the ceremony about the white coat’s significance. “As students, you will be accountable to yourselves, to each other, and to your faculty mentors for your integrity and commitment to learning,” he said. “After graduation, you will be accountable to your patients, clients, and the communities that you serve. You will be expected to present yourself in a professional manner with the white coat.”
Clarke added that the white coat represents the science-based nature of the veterinary profession and the rare opportunity that students have been afforded to become veterinarians. More than 1,400 prospective students applied for admission in the Class of 2020, the second largest applicant pool in North America according to figures from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
Earlier in the week, first-year DVM students completed orientation activities designed to produce well-rounded and professional veterinary students. In addition to lectures, tours, and presentations at the college, students visited the Alta Mons campground in Shawsville, Virginia, for a day of team-building exercises designed to boost their leadership, self-confidence, and communication skills. (View a Facebook gallery of the Class of 2020’s orientation activities at Alta Mons.)
The Class of 2020 includes 84 Virginia and Maryland residents and 43 out-of-state students who arrived with a 3.5 average cumulative grade point average. Outside of Virginia and Maryland, they represent 15 states, plus Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, the college also hosted orientation activities for graduate students. The BMVS program, which prepares students to be scholars and researchers who will benefit animal and human health by advancing veterinary and biomedical knowledge, welcomed 16 new students at its orientation on Thursday, Aug. 8 at the veterinary college. Of these, six are Ph.D. students, including two residents, and 10 are master’s degree students, including nine residents.
The MPH program also began a new academic year with an orientation for 24 incoming students on Friday, Aug. 19. Orientation activities included an opening reception, a welcome from Dean Cyril Clarke and MPH program leaders, and small group sessions to learn about the program curriculum, graduate student life, and resources. Students have the option to pursue a concentration in infectious diseases or public health education. (View a Facebook gallery from the graduate student orientations.)