D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., D.A.C.V.P.M.
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology
Dr. Lee is cross trained in Human and Veterinary Public Health and joined Saint Matthew’s after serving as senior fellow with the Institute of Science for Global Policy. Previously he worked as a research fellow with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Lee’s interest revolve around foodborne and zoonotic diseases.
D.V.M., The University of The West Indies,M.Sc., Royal Veterinary College, University of London, M.P.H., University of Minnesota
Date of appointment: January 2013
Elaine Blythe, B.S., Pharm.D.
Associate Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology
B.S., Pharmacy, Southwest Oklahoma State University Pharm.D., Creighton University
Instructor at West Texas A& M University and Creighton University Assistant to Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Creighton University Certified Online Instructor (Creighton University). Dr. Blythe has a strong background in the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory affairs. She has had extensive training and experience in disaster relief work, including a three week deployment during Hurricane Katrina.
Basic Science Curriculum Overview
The Basic Science Curriculum consists of:
|VB101 Veterinary Anatomy I||4 credits|
|VB103 Veterinary Histology and Embryology||5 credits|
|VB105 Veterinary Physiology I||5 credits|
|VB120 Veterinary Immunology||3 credits|
|VCS110 Professional Development I||1 credits|
|VB201 Veterinary Anatomy II||5 credits|
|VB205 Veterinary Physiology II||4 credits|
|VB207 Veterinary Parasitology||4 credits|
|VB211 Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology||4 credits|
|VB301 Veterinary Pharmacology I||3 credits|
|VB303 Veterinary Pathology I||3 credits|
|VB305 Veterinary Virology||3 credits|
|VB307 Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology||4 credits|
|VCS310 Professional Development II||0.5 credits|
|VCS311 Veterinary Clinical Skills I (Companion Animals)||3 credits|
|VCS321 Animal Welfare and Behavior||2 credits|
|VB401 Veterinary Pharmacology II||4 credits|
|VB403 Veterinary Pathology II||5 credits|
|VCS405 Veterinary Clinical Pathology||4 credits|
|VCS407 Veterinary Ethics and Communication||2 credits|
|VCS411 Veterinary Clinical Skills II (Livestock)||2 credits|
|VCS501 Veterinary Anesthesiology||2 credits|
|VCS503 Principles of Veterinary Surgery||2 credits|
|VCS505 Veterinary Toxicology||3 credits|
|VCS507 Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging||4 credits|
|VCS509 Veterinary Clinical Nutrition||3 credits|
|VCS511 Theriogenology||4 credits|
|VCS601 Small Animal Medicine I||6 credits|
|VCS605 Food Animal Medicine & Surgery||6 credits|
|VCS607 Exotic Companion Animal Medicine||3 credits|
|VCS611 Veterinary Clinical Skills III (Clinical Rotations)||2 credits|
|VCS701 Small Animal Medicine II||6 credits|
|VCS703 Small Animal Surgery||6 credits|
|VCS705 Large Animal Medicine & Surgery||7 credits|
|VCS710 Professional Development III||0.5 credits|
VB101 Veterinary Anatomy I 4 credits
VB103 Veterinary Histology and Embryology 5 credits
The fundamental principles of histology, the microscopic study of body tissues and organ systems in domestic animals, are presented in lecture and laboratory formats. Complementary understanding of developmental anatomy of the animal body is approached through the study of chick and pig embryos with reference to developmental anomalies.
VB105 Veterinary Physiology I 5 credits
The course includes the cellular basis of animal physiology, basic neurophysiology and neural control of body systems, the organs, hormones and functions of the mammalian endocrine system, endocrine control of reproductive cycles and development of certain important diseases relating to the physiology of the mammalian and endocrine systems.
VB120 Veterinary Immunology 3 credits
The course will give a review of the innate and acquired immunity and their components, including both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune response. The course is designed to help you in understanding the animal body defense mechanisms at cellular and molecular levels. The role of host defense mechanisms and the development of acquired immunity after infection will be discussed. The use of the different immunological tests in diagnosing animal diseases, malfunctions of the immune response and the role of vaccines in disease prevention will be covered.
VCS110 Professional Development I 1 credits
This course will provide students with a forum to discuss major current issues facing veterinary medicine in a discussion/seminar format. The course also will introduce practice and business management concepts to begin preparing students for the business aspect of veterinary medicine.
VB201 Veterinary Anatomy II 5 credits
This course is a continuation of Anatomy 1, VB 101. The tutorials, laboratories, radiographic anatomy and live animal palpation will follow a similar format and approach as in VB 101. The topics include the comparative gross anatomy of the pelvic viscera (urogenital organs), pelvic limb, perineum and head and neck. Neuro-anatomy and avian anatomy are integrated into this section.
VB205 Veterinary Physiology II 4 credits
This course will focus on the control, physiological mechanisms and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and non-ruminant and ruminant digestive systems. The basic physiology of birds, reptiles and fish and how specific aspects of physiology differ between these taxa and mammals will also be presented.
VB207 Veterinary Parasitology 4 credits
This course examines helminthic, protozoan, and arthropod parasites which affect domestic animals, including animal parasites transmissible to humans. Life cycles, identification, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of parasites are stressed in lecture. The laboratories focus on identification of parasites, and the clinical signs and lesions they produce.
VB211 Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology 4 credits
The course covers basic and pathogenic bacteriology and mycology. The objective of the course is to give veterinary students a thorough introduction to the theoretical and practical basis for the study of bacterial and fungal pathogens of animals. Lectures cover description of the organisms themselves as well as virulence, pathogenesis, diagnosis and control of animal pathogens. Zoonotic potential of some of the microbes and food safety issues are also discussed. To relate concepts of lectures to practicals, laboratory exercises are carried out using microbiological techniques for isolation and identification of disease causing bacteria.
VB301 Veterinary Pharmacology I 3 credits
The course focuses on the global principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drugs affecting the autonomic nervous system. Additionally, categorical classes of anesthetics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs will be presented. Upon completing this course, students will have obtained the pharmacologic knowledge base that can positively impact therapeutic choices that influence treatment, cure, prevention and mitigation of disease states and conditions in animals. Legal and regulatory issues that affect the practice of veterinary pharmacy will be emphasized. Additionally, current topics in veterinary medicine and veterinary pharmacy will be discussed.
VB303 Veterinary Pathology I 3 credits
This course examines the diseases and their processes in tissues and organs of the domestic animals. The general disease processes of cells and tissues—degeneration, necrosis, inflammation, growth abnormalities, and neoplasia—are studied, as well as the healing process. This course begins the study of the diseases of the various organ systems.
VB305 Veterinary Virology 3 credits
This course investigates the basic properties and clinical aspects of important domestic and foreign animal viruses. Topics discussed include the nature, taxonomy, replication and pathogenesis of important virus families, as well as clinical and pathological characteristics, methods of diagnosis, epidemiology, and methods of treating, preventing and controlling the spread of specific viral diseases of veterinary significance.
VB307 Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology 4 credits
Topics will include the use of epidemiologic methods to understand disease events in animals, including the interactions of domestic animals, wildlife, the environment and the human population. The role of the veterinarian in public health is presented with respect to safety of the food chain and the increased incidence of zoonotic agents.
VCS310 Professional Development II 0.5 credits
This course will focus on preparation of resumes, cover letters to employers, financial/business issues including student debt. Attendance is mandatory.
VCS311 Veterinary Clinical Skills I (Companion Animals) 3 credits
This course is the first in a series of clinical skills courses and is intended to introduce students to the clinical aspects of veterinary medicine, with a primary focus on dogs, cats, and horses. Additionally, an emphasis is placed on performing a complete medical history and developing physical exam skills. Other topics covered include: breed identification, husbandry and preventive medicine practices, restraint and handling techniques, and SOAP writing skills. Field trips and practical labs are an important component of this course.
VCS321 Animal Welfare and Behavior 2 credits
This course examines the husbandry of food animals, companion animals, and laboratory species as well as normal and abnormal behavior of these animals. Welfare assessment of animals and welfare issues related to the practice of veterinary medicine will be discussed.
VB401 Veterinary Pharmacology II 4 credits
The second in the pharmacology series, categorical classes of drugs presented are; cardiovascular, renal, blood, endocrine, anti-infectives, chemotherapy, antinematodal, GI, dermatology, respiratory and zoological pharmacology will be discussed. Upon completing this course, students will have obtained the pharmacologic knowledge base that can positively impact therapeutic choices that influence treatment, cure, prevention and mitigation of disease states and conditions in animals.
VB403 Veterinary Pathology II 5 credits
This course continues the discussion of anatomic pathology with a focus on disease processes in specific organ systems, including reproductive, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary, liver, muscle and bone systems.
VCS405 Veterinary Clinical Pathology 4 credits
Students learn the principles of hematology, cytology and clinical chemistry. They are taught to interpret clinical data derived from blood, serum, urine and aspirates from solid tissues and fluids. Clinical cases are presented to the students and they are required to apply their knowledge to interpret the cases and make appropriate differential diagnoses.
VCS407 Veterinary Ethics and Communication 2 credits
The course is an introduction to veterinary ethics and veterinary law. Students will learn ethical theory and discuss numerous clinical cases involving ethical decisions, as well as the laws that govern veterinary practice. Additional topics will include client communications and conducting oneself in a professional manner with colleagues and the public.
VCS411 Veterinary Clinical Skills II (Livestock) 2 credits
This course provides a general introduction to veterinary medicine, with emphasis on veterinary issues such as ethics, animal breeds, animal welfare, behavior, animal restraint and alternative medicine. Students will continue to develop their skills in history taking, physical exams and communication skills. Additional species, including food animals such as goats, pigs and cattle are presented for students to acquire appropriate animal handling skills.
VCS501 Veterinary Anesthesiology 2 credits
Integrated lectures and laboratories are designed to introduce students to the principles of general and local anesthesia of small and large animals, and also recognition, treatment, and prevention of anesthetic emergencies. Laboratory instruction provides students with experience in small animal anesthesia, in addition to demonstrations of monitoring equipment, mechanical ventilation, and large animal general anesthesia.
VCS503 Principles of Veterinary Surgery 2 credits
This course is designed to prepare students for later courses in surgery. Emphasis is on suturing techniques, proper procedures for aseptic surgery, experience using surgical instruments.
VCS505 Veterinary Toxicology 3 credits
Basic and clinical aspects of the more common poisonings that affect domestic animals/birds and wildlife will be considered. Emphasis will be given to intoxication resulting from drug interactions, pesticides (rodenticides, insecticides, herbicides), heavy metals (arsenic, copper, lead, iron, zinc etc.), poisonous plants, mycotoxins, gases, feed additives, poisonous and venomous animal toxins, household toxins, prescriptions/recreational/over the counter medications, selected industrial pollutants and forensic considerations.
VCS507 Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging 4 credits
Will introduce the student to the fundamentals of diagnostic radiology and acquaint the student with other imaging modalities such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) and nuclear medicine (NM) as they are used in veterinary medicine.
VCS509 Veterinary Clinical Nutrition 3 credits
This course will introduce students to concepts of basic nutrition as well as to clinical nutrition. The aim is to provide students with a detailed knowledge of basic nutrients and energy, nutritional disorders, diverse aspects of feeding behavior and practices, and key concepts in nutritional management of life stage nutrition and of various disease states. Students will learn to calculate energy requirements, read pet food labels and understand regulations pertaining to pet food. The course focuses largely on small animal nutrition but some large animal topics will be covered. A significant portion of this course is case based and there are opportunities for some lab components.
VCS511 Theriogenology 4 credits
The course presents material on the normal and abnormal reproductive function of dogs, and the common livestock species including cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and horses. Laboratories on breeding soundness and semen morphology of dogs are included. Special attention is made toward dystocia correction of livestock, stallion handling and management, assisted reproduction technologies, and breeding soundness of mares and cows. Pelvic examination of cattle and horses are emphasized.
VCS601 Small Animal Medicine I 6 credits
Students investigate concepts concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting small companion animals, including dermatology, ophthalmology, urology, endocrinology, and more.
VCS605 Food Animal Medicine & Surgery 6 credits
The course studies a selected list of common medical and surgical diseases of food producing animals. For each disease, the etiology, epidemiology, clinical signs, common differential diagnoses are presented, and ancillary methods for diagnosis are listed. Medical and supportive treatment options and surgical intervention are discussed for each condition. A preventive approach and public health significance for each disease condition is also presented. Ample case studies and clinical examples are presented in a lecture format. Swine, sheep, goats, camelids and cattle (beef and dairy) are discussed.
VCS607 Exotic Companion Animal Medicine 3 credits
This course covers anatomy, physiology, husbandry, and medicine of commonly kept exotic companion animals, including birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Discussion topics include clinical diagnostic techniques (including animal handling and restraint, physical examination, clinical sampling, imaging, necropsy), infectious and noninfectious diseases and medical and surgical approaches to treating these diseases. Important topics related specifically to the exotics animal practice and careers are also discussed.
VCS608 Aquatic Animal Medicine (elective *) 1 credits
This course will include topics on husbandry, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases affecting aquatic species including mammals and fish.
VCS609 Zoo, Wildlife Medicine (elective*) 1 credits
This course will include the husbandry, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases affecting captive animals in zoo settings (‘zoo’) and free-ranging (‘wildlife’) species.
VCS611 Veterinary Clinical Skills III (Clinical Rotations) 2 credits
This course gives students access to large animal farm calls and small animal clinical rotations. Taking histories, performing specialty examinations, writing problem-oriented veterinary medical records and communicating with clients are practiced. Students are required to have primary responsibility of a clinical case and present the case to the faculty and student body.
VCS701 Small Animal Medicine II 6 credits
Students investigate concepts concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting small companion animals, including cardiology, neurology, oncology, and other diseases.
VCS703 Small Animal Surgery 6 credits
This course is an introduction to surgery of the dog and cat, with emphasis on basic principles of asepsis, tissue handling, and surgical skills. Laboratories focus on students performing surgical procedures which are common in small animal practice. Initial surgical training is done on cadaver specimens.
VCS705 Large Animal Medicine & Surgery 7 credits
Medical conditions of horses are described and discussed with respect to etiopathogenesis, treatment, prevention and control, using a systems based, problem oriented approach. Principles of equine clinical pathology, therapeutics and critical care are addressed. Basic common surgical approaches for treatment of clinical problems will be discussed.
VCS710 Professional Development III 0.5 credits
This course will include job searching, interviews, negotiating, contracts, practice management and review of resumes and cover letters. Attendance is mandatory to achieve a Pass grade.
St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine has arrangements with numerous U.S. and Canadian Colleges of Veterinary Medicine to provide the important bridge from academic classroom settings to hands-on, real-world settings.
St Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine students, mixing in with US and Canadian-based 4th year veterinary students, will have direct contact with patients of a variety of species, working with state-of-the-art technology in the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening medical conditions. Through a series of clinical rotations in the schools mixed track programs, providing wide-ranging small-animal and large-animal hospital experiences, clinical students will be called on to integrate their knowledge acquired during the preclinical years of studies.
Key areas of focus include professional judgment, teamwork, problem-solving expertise and communication skills. Students will have St. Matthew's University oversight during their clinical rotations to ensure a great transition from the Grand Cayman campus, and success in the clinical programs.
Clinical students will be required to devote considerable time to rigorous case analysis, providing comprehensive and appropriate rationale for their conclusions. During this one-year period, opportunities for closely-monitored externships with practicing veterinarians will be available in many geographic locations, offering the student first-hand exposure to veterinary practice in the field and a potential springboard to career-building opportunities.
Regardless of which affiliate school attended, successful completion of the clinical program will culminate in the granting of a Veterinary Medical degree granted by St. Matthew's University.
The following web links are for the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine with whom we have agreements. Please visit their websites to learn more about their programs.
Externships and agreements
University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College
University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine
(For Canadian Students)
Iowa State University
North Carolina State University
Oklahoma State University
University of Georgia
University of Illinois
University of Minnesota
Washington State University
ECFVG and PAVE Licensure
In order to practice in the United States, graduates of St Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine must be certified by either the Programmatic Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE, a component of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) or the ECFVG - Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, a committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association). After successfully completing either of these programs, the student is eligible to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE).
The process for these two pathways is somewhat similar but not identical. Both require proof of competency in English, either by proof of education in an English speaking high school or via exam (TOEFL or EILTS)
For the PAVE program, the candidate can take the Qualifying Exam during either semester 6 or 7 on campus. Success in passing the QE then allows the student to have a state that accepts PAVE certify them to take the NAVLE. If you are following the PAVE program, the student can then take the NAVLE near the end of their clinical program. The NAVLE exam is given in November/December and in April each year.
An important point is that if you have passed the PAVE QE ;prior to doing your clinical training year in an AVMA accredited school/college, you have fulfilled the clinical competency requirement and do not need to take any further exams related to clinical competency.
At the present time 43 states and Puerto Rico in the United States, all provinces in Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand accept the PAVE program as a basis for licensure. For more complete information visit the website http://www.aavsb.org/pave.
For the ECFVG program, after meeting the English requirement, the candidate must pass the Basic and Clinical Sciences Exam (BCSE). Completion of this exam then permits you to take the NAVLE during your clinical year.
After graduation, the candidate must then take and pass the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE). The primary site for this exam is the Oquendo Center in Las Vegas and some US Veterinary Schools also administer this exam. More information on the ECFVG program is available at http://www.avma.org.
Students who intend to practice outside of the U.S. must meet the licensing requirements of the country in which they want to practice. At the present time, persons who wish to become licensed in Canada must use the ECFVG route.
Fall 2021Classes Begin: August 30, 2021
Last Day of Classes: December 10, 2021
Diploma Date: February 12, 2022
Spring 2022Classes Begin: January 3, 2022
Last Day of Classes: April 15, 2022
Diploma Date: June 11, 2022
Summer 2022Classes Begin: May 2, 2022
Last Day of Classes: August 12, 2022
Diploma Date: October 8, 2022
Fall 2022Classes Begin: August 29, 2022
Last Day of Classes: December 9, 2022
Diploma Date: February 11, 2023
MARVET (Marine Veterinary Medicine) is an educational program, hosted by St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine on Grand Cayman, which offers courses in marine animal medicine for veterinary students and veterinarians who would like to become more acquainted with the expanding field of marine animal health and conservation medicine.
Instructors include internationally recognized experts from the frontlines of marine animal health, welfare and conservation in a global context; they represent a diverse range of facilities and organizations, including oceanaria, aquaria, zoological parks, rehabilitation units, wildlife organizations and SMUSVM and other universities.
St. Matthew's University, School of Veterinary Medicine students are granted automatic admission to MARVET, and at a significantly reduced cost!
Student Success Stories
St. Matthew’s University provides a Basic Sciences program taught by expert faculty, all of whom hold extensive qualifications in both veterinary medicine and teaching. The program offers students the opportunity to develop extensive knowledge to prepare them for a successful career in veterinary medicine through on campus teaching and clinical training. Students will be taught in our state-of-the-art facilities on Grand Cayman, part of the Cayman Islands which has one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
In addition, our students have achieved an average pass rate of 92% on the NAVLE in the last three years. Students coming to study on Grand Cayman will be prepared for a fulfilling and exciting career in veterinary medicine.
Veterinary students take the NAVLE during their final (clinical) year of studies. The NAVLE is notoriously long with candidates required to answer 360 multiple choice questions during 6 blocks of 65 minutes. As with any exam, you should create a study plan that helps you to focus on the areas you’re not confident on.
In order to be successful on the NAVLE, you should review the study guides online and complete as many practice questions as possible. The exam is computerized and to help you prepare, there is an online mock exam. Prior to sitting the exam, St. Matthew’s University recommends you sit a full mock exam to get a real understanding of what the exam is like and how to pace yourself throughout it.
If you decide to pursue specialty training, having a good score on the NAVLE can help you to obtain a veterinary internship or residency. However, some programs do not require you to have completed the NAVLE before applying. You can learn more by reviewing the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).
(excludes fees, tuition only)
Tuition per semesters 1-7
Lectures, Labs & Small Groups
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(excludes fees, tuition only)
Tuition per semesters 1-7
Lectures, Labs & Small Groups