Archived News

New Vets Emphasize Empathy, Action

June 15, 2007

School of Veterinary Medicine CommencementWith the recitation of the Veterinarian's Oath at Commencement June 15, 2007, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine sent its newest graduates into the veterinary profession. 

UC Davis Provost Virginia Hinshaw, School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Bennie I. Osburn, and school faculty members conferred 122 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at its 56th commencement ceremony, which took place at the Mondavi Center for the Arts on the UC Davis campus. 

Executive Associate Dean John R. Pascoe gave the 2007 School of Veterinary Medicine Medal to Elinor Granzow, a student in the zoological medicine track, for her distinguished academic achievement, clinical performance and willingness to help others throughout the four-year program.

Student Adam Brown, in the small animal track, spoke on behalf of his class. Adam touched on the lighter side of veterinary school, but he also emphasized the transformation involved in becoming a doctor trusted by one's clients. "I wept with my clients...I now know now that empathy is part of the job."

Christi Payne, also in the small animal track, described nearly losing hope while working at an overcrowded, understaffed animal shelter. She told how she gathered the courage to begin working in animal rescue by taking small, practical steps. She told classmates, "We are in an undeniably powerful position to make a difference. Use that privilege."

Stanley Marks, the faculty speaker selected by the Class of 2007, reminded graduates, "Change is inevitable. Welcome change, and never stop learning."

Thirty-eight veterinarians received certificates of residency completion. 
The residency program at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital contains the largest number of residents (100) of any veterinary school. The school also awarded 20 Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degrees. Two continuing DVM students, who entered veterinary school before completing their bachelor's degrees, received Bachelor of Veterinary Science degrees.

Dean Osburn presented the Alumni Achievement award--the school's highest honor--to Doctors Alice Wolf, Bradford P. Smith, Michael McCloskey, N. James MacLachlan and Denny Constantine. See related story. 

The school community said farewell to retiring faculty members Lisle George, Jerry Gillespie, Robert Hansen, David Hird, Kenneth Lam, Michael Mount, Deryck Read, Bradford P. Smith, and Eugene Steffey.

An especially poignant moment occurred when a posthumous DVM degree was awarded to Dr. Allen Hayrapetian. Guests were also touched to learn that their classmate Catherine Debnam missed commencement due to the birth of her daughter the day before the ceremony.

Dr. Ron Faoro, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, concluded the ceremony by leading his newest colleagues in reciting the Veterinarian's Oath. 

School of Veterinary Medicine Commencement

The Veterinarian's Oath

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

Watch Commencement slideshow

Watch Commencement video


The percentage of women attending veterinary school has been higher than that of men for several years. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that with the graduating classes of 2007, the veterinary profession will contain for the first time more women than men in practice. The large number of female veterinary graduates entering the field even as male practitioners retire from the profession has tipped the gender balance--in a profession once only open to men.   
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the largest of the nation's 28 veterinary schools, has educated more than 4,900 veterinarians, 1,000 specialty residents, 800 Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine graduates, and countless doctoral candidates since the first veterinary students enrolled in 1948. Among its teaching programs are academic and clinical courses for veterinary students, advanced training for veterinary specialists, education for graduate students and continuing education courses for practitioners.  

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