VM3s Begin Clinical Training

Posted 10/17/2023

The White Coat Ceremony platform party included (from left) Missouri Veterinary Medical Association Executive Director Julie Braun, MVMA Executive Board Chair Ed Migneco, Associate Clinical Professor in the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory Fred Williams III, Chair of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery John Dodam, Interim Dean Leah Cohn and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Timothy Snider.

Amid hugs, handshakes, and a few whoops, 110 members of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2025 took the next step in their journey to becoming veterinarians. The college held its annual White Coat Ceremony Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Missouri Theatre. Students selected a family member, friend or mentor to present them with a white laboratory coat, representing their readiness to begin the clinical portion of their professional education.

CVM Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Timothy Snider, DVM, PhD, welcomed the students and their guests.

“We are celebrating the transition for the Class of 2025 as they progress from the curriculum of the veterinary basic sciences to begin their clinical training,” Snider said. “This represents a move from theory and lecture to interpretation, integration, and application within the world of complex, living organisms we know as pets and livestock.”

He also spoke about the diverse career paths that will be open to the future veterinarians.

On behalf of his classmates, Class of 2025 Vice President Alex Mandi thanked the CVM faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to students.

“Personally, I have worked with USDA meat inspectors, Air Force and Army veterinarians, regulatory veterinarians who protect the national herd, specialty surgeons and oncologists, production animal veterinarians who supervise the health of tens of thousands of animals, and so forth. I have even met veterinarians who were Nobel laureates in immunology, discoverers of new viral diseases that affect animals and people, a U.S. surgeon general, and even a U.N. weapons inspector. … You too may find a rewarding career path in any of these alternative career pathways, and we in the profession value that diversity.”

CVM Interim Dean Leah Cohn, DVM, PhD, told the students that they are now ambassadors for the college, and she encouraged them to serve as leaders within their profession.

“Possessing a willingness to step forward as leaders in the profession is more important now than ever,” she said. “If the past few years have proven anything, it’s that veterinary medicine and the MU CVM are in the midst of a rapidly changing environment, particularly as it relates to how we as veterinarians serve society.”

VM3 John Hansen chose his friend and fellow veteran Doug Garrett to present his white coat.

Class Vice President Alex Mandi delivered a response on behalf of the class. “In our journey thus far, we have completed 88 total weeks of didactic education, more than 300 quizzes and exams, over 2,200 hours of lectures and labs, and countless hours of studying,” he said. “We have grown close over the past two years as a class and can lean on one another when times get tough. Just as importantly, we can celebrate together in our moments of triumph.

“When asked what it means to be a veterinarian, for me compassionate, persevering, and selfless are a few words that come to mind. We are all compassionate toward our fellow humans, animals, and the world we live in. We persevere, when at times it seems we’ll never make it through. And we are selfless, always willing to help others, whether it’s creating study groups in anatomy, designing a toxicology Jeopardy, or sharing Quizlets amongst each other. Our class has displayed these three attributes and so much more.”

MVMA Executive Director Julie Braun congratulates Mikaila Smith.
MVMA Executive Director Julie Braun congratulates Mikaila Smith.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Chair John Dodam, DVM, PhD, also offered a welcome “across the parking lot,” as the class begins hands-on training in the Veterinary Health Center and the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

Ed Migneco, DVM, Missouri Veterinary Medical Association executive board chair, and Julie Braun, MVMA executive director, also participated in the ceremony, presenting each student in the class with a name badge, courtesy of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Additional photos can be found on the CVM Facebook page.