St. George’s University Expands “Pay It Forward” Tuition Refund Program to US Applicants

St. George’s University has announced the expansion of its “Pay It Forward” program, which will permit US students who enroll in the School of Medicine’s January 2019 class to claim a refund of their tuition if they subsequently matriculate at an allopathic medical school in the United States in Fall 2019.

“‘Pay It Forward’ allows students to begin their medical educations early and to see if St. George’s University is right for them on essentially a risk-free basis,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “We’re confident they’ll decide to complete their degrees at St. George’s after spending a semester with our esteemed faculty and tight-knit community.”

St. George’s University graduates have obtained more than 935 PGY-1 residency positions in the United States in 2018.

The program initially launched last year for Canadian applicants. Students who enrolled in the January 2018 term could claim a tuition refund if they later matriculated to a Canadian or US allopathic medical school in Fall 2018.

Three-quarters of current St. George’s students are US citizens. SGU is the number-one provider of US doctors into first-year residencies for the last eight years combined, with more than 930 St. George’s graduates securing PGY-1 positions in the United States in 2018. SGU is the fourth-largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce according to a recent census by the Journal of Medical Regulation.

“St. George’s University graduates are meeting the medical needs of countless patients across the United States,” Dr. Olds said. “We hope that ‘Pay It Forward’ will introduce more aspiring doctors to the top-notch medical education we offer at St. George’s.”

St. George’s University Welcomes Dr. Richard Liebowitz as New Vice Chancellor

Today, St. George’s University announced that Dr. Richard Liebowitz will assume the role of Vice Chancellor effective September 17.

As Vice Chancellor, Liebowitz will be the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. George’s University, with responsibility for all academic affairs at the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Graduate Studies, and Arts and Sciences. He will work closely with faculty and staff as well as members of the senior leadership team to promote student success, faculty development, and academic excellence.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Liebowitz to the St. George’s University community,” said Charles Modica, Chancellor and Co-Founder of St. George’s University. “We’re fortunate to be able to add someone with his depth of experience in academic medicine, clinical training, and strategic development to our leadership team.”

“St. George’s University has produced thousands of graduates who have distinguished themselves as leaders in medicine, veterinary science, and other fields,” Liebowitz said. “I look forward to advancing the work of St. George’s University, upholding the highest standards of academic excellence, and preparing our students for lives of service and leadership.”

Liebowitz most recently served as president of NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Before taking the helm, he also served as senior vice president and chief medical officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Center, one of the leading academic medical centers in the world.

Previously, Liebowitz served as medical director of strategic initiatives and network business development at Duke University Health System; section chief of general medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine; and medical director of the Massachusetts-based Fallon Clinic. He has been deputy editor of the Archives of Internal Medicine and is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

“Our students will benefit enormously from the insight that Dr. Liebowitz has gleaned from his decades of experience leading major hospital systems,” St. George’s University President Dr. G. Richard Olds said. “He’s the ideal person to help our students prepare for successful careers in medicine and the sciences, and I am eager to begin working with him.”

Global Scholars Take First Steps in Medical Profession at White Coat Ceremony

The longstanding partnership between St. George’s University, Grenada, and Northumbria University, UK, was strengthened again as 72 students joined the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP). The relationship between the two institutions, now in its eleventh year, enables SGU students to take the first year of their MD degree—basic sciences—at Northumbria University, before returning to Grenada to continue their studies.

The occasion was marked by a traditional White Coat Ceremony, where the students were ‘robed’ in their white coats, a symbol of the medical profession, before taking an oath of commitment to use their training for the benefit of others. A key focus of the KBTGSP is to encourage medical students to devote at least a portion of their professional lives to the service of developing countries, underserved regions of the world, or international NGOs.

Leading the occasion was Master of Ceremonies, Gordon Bourne, MD SGU ’17, a graduate and faculty member of the KBTGSP at Northumbria, where he serves as a clinical tutor. As the grandson of SGU’s first Vice Chancellor, Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, and nephew of its third Vice Chancellor, Dr. Peter Bourne, his family has a long history with SGU. A former Royal Marine, Dr. Bourne spent seven years working and traveling in Sub-Saharan Africa, principally working with anti-poaching units in Tanzania. “Learning how to adapt and how to survive” is as useful in medical school as in the marines or the bush, he told the students.

Dr. Bourne introduced Baroness Howells of St. Davids, the only Grenadian in the UK’s House of Lords and president of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF)—SGU’s research arm. Baroness Howells welcomed the students, and remarked, “You will enjoy your time at this splendid university before continuing your studies at SGU in Grenada, where you can bask in the land of perpetual sun”.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. In his speech, Dr. Olds told three personal stories from his medical career that shaped him into the doctor he is today. “I hope to leave you with something you remember for longer than you are in this room”, he said. Dr. Olds emphasized, in all three cases, “always do what’s best for your patients, ahead of all other considerations.”

Having been robed in their white coats, the students joined their friends and families at a reception, before taking their first steps into a career in medicine.

Olds: The Fix to Texas’ Doctor Shortage Lies Abroad

In the Austin American-Statesman, Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University, explained how international medical schools can be the answer to the physician shortage in Texas, a shortage that could reach 6,000 doctors by 2030.

“Doctors trained abroad can help fill the gap,” Dr. Olds wrote. “They already treat millions of patients across the Lone Star State. And many of them are actually U.S. citizens who chose to study overseas—and then return home to practice.”

St. George’s University has graduated more than 16,000 physicians who have gone on to practice in all 50 US states, as well as more than 50 countries worldwide. Thirty-four SGU graduates began their residencies in Texas this summer, joining fields that included surgery, anesthesiology, and emergency medicine, as well as primary care specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

Read the entire editorial on the American-Statesman website.

 

St. George’s University and Cardiff University Create New Student Exchange Program

An agreement has been made between St. George’s University and Cardiff University in Wales that will provide opportunities for students to participate in exchange programs to bolster their training and further develop international partnerships between leading healthcare institutions.

The new five-year agreement, signed between SGU and Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, will pave the way for students studying nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiotherapy, and operating department practice to spend three weeks studying at the partner university, gaining international experience and new professional connections.

Under the agreement, exchange students will continue to pay tuition fees to their home university, with the host university waiving their tuition fees for the duration of study. They will be fully registered members of the host university, and have the same access to all academic, support, and recreational services as the resident student body. They will also receive a Statement of Attendance for their period of study at their host institution.

“We’re delighted to have struck this new agreement with Cardiff University,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “It is a testament to the growing prominence of SGU as a highly regarded international center of healthcare education, and a strong endorsement of both our programs and our students—recognized around the world for their quality.”

This new exchange program with Cardiff University will allow SGU students to benefit from studying with one of the top-ranked research departments in the UK. In turn, Cardiff students will have the chance to further their education at our beautiful True Blue campus in Grenada, alongside their contemporaries from more than 140 countries around the world.

“Our school in Cardiff University is committed to enhancing global networking. This MOU allows healthcare students an opportunity to experience healthcare education and practice in a different cultural context,” said Professor Dianne Watkins, Cardiff University Deputy Head of School, International and Engagement. “The first exchange of nursing students is underway and they are very excited to be part of this collaboration. We hope our partnership with St. George’s University will develop further and encompass opportunities for teacher exchange and joint research in the future.”

The partnership compliments SGU’s existing UK presence, with all MD students already offered the opportunity to undertake the first year of their program at Northumbria University in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, as part of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program—now in its 12th year. SGU students can also take advantage of third year core placements at 16 NHS affiliated UK hospitals.

SGU recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Health Education England (HEE), which is expected to enable 50 to 100 SGU graduates every year to undertake postgraduate training in England. Under this agreement, SGU School of Medicine graduates will join the Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) Program, an initiative within the NHS to recruit overseas postgraduate doctors into underserved specialisms, including General Practice and Psychiatry.

MD Grad Returns to Her Roots

St. George’s University graduate Jennifer Favre started as a bookkeeper at East End Pediatrics when she was just a college student. Twelve years later, with a medical degree to her credit, Dr. Favre has rejoined the practice, working alongside her mentor who helped her begin working toward her dream of becoming a physician.

“Gail has always advised all of her patients that this is their medical home,” Dr. Favre said of the practice owner, Dr. Gail Schonfeld. “You come into the practice, we will take care of you. If you have a question, you get one of four physicians on the phone within a matter of minutes, 24 hours a day. When we’re not here at night, somebody still calls them back. . . . That’s something you can’t find everywhere. And that’s the kind of medicine I want to practice.”

Read more about Dr. Favre by visiting the East Hampton Star website.

St. George’s University and Felician University Announce Medical and Veterinary Educational Partnership

St. George’s University and Felician University have launched a program that will allow qualified applicants to Felician to receive early admission to the medical or veterinary schools at St. George’s.

“We are excited to welcome Felician University’s best and brightest to our campus in Grenada,” Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University, said. “This partnership will allow aspiring doctors and veterinarians to focus on their studies at Felician, secure in the knowledge that they’ll have a spot reserved for them in our medical or veterinary school.”

Students who wish to pursue one of the combined degree programs apply to Felician. St. George’s will consult with Felician on their applications and conduct interviews with qualified candidates. The universities will jointly makes offers for the combined program.

According to Dr. Anne Prisco, President of Felician University, “Several Felician students have attended St. George’s University. This partnership expands our relationship to a new level and provides our incoming students who qualify for this program the peace of mind they need to focus their efforts on preparing for their professional studies.”

In order to proceed to the St. George’s University School of Medicine, Felician students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 and an MCAT score within three points of the previous term’s average score at St. George’s. To be eligible to continue onto the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, Felician students must have a grade point average of at least 3.1 and a GRE score of at least 300. A letter of recommendation from the appropriate Felician University faculty is also required.

Medical students will complete their first two years of medical study in Grenada and then undertake two years of clinical training at hospitals affiliated with St. George’s in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Students pursuing degrees in veterinary medicine will study in Grenada for three years and spend their final clinical year at affiliated universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, or Australia.

Felician University joins a network of dozens of institutes of higher learning in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that have teamed up with St. George’s to offer students an accelerated path to a career as a doctor or veterinarian.

“It’s a privilege to educate the next generation of doctors and veterinarians,” Dr. Olds said. “These future graduates of Felician and St. George’s will play a critical role in addressing the world’s most pressing health challenges.”

For Students, Med-Vet Summer Leadership Academy Is a Glimpse of Their Future

For the past 16 years, St. George’s University’s Med-Vet Summer Leadership Academy has provided college and high school students from around the world with an insider’s view of medical or veterinary medical school. This summer, more than 80 aspiring physicians and veterinarians were provided with insight into their future professions to help them make a well-informed decision before fully committing to such rigorous careers.

Successfully balancing a challenging academic program with extracurricular activities selected to highlight the culture and innate beauty of Grenada, the Summer Academy program offers courses that combine didactic lectures, small-group problem-solving sessions, practical lab work in state-of-the art facilities, and hands-on training through simulated and real-life situations.

Attending this year’s program was Pranav Lakhan, a 16-year-old student from Mumbai, India who traveled to Grenada from Paris, France. Mr. Lakhan enrolled in the Academy with hopes of interacting and gaining insight from existing students on what he would be experiencing in a few years when he enters medical school.

“I think the Summer Academy is an invaluable platform for aspiring medical professionals to get experience while still in school, which is an absolutely rare opportunity,” said Mr. Lakhan, who was one of more than a dozen Academy attendees who hailed from India. “We visited the labs for anatomy, suturing, and ultrasounds, which was mind blowing. I felt like I was a real medical student in medical school. Although the pressure may be a little overwhelming at first, it was still an amazing experience that just filled you with knowledge and all you had to do was absorb it. I think this program gives you a good indication of what medical school will actually be like. To any aspiring students that want to come here, it’s an absolutely surreal experience.”

Also, participating in the Med-Vet Summer Leadership Academy was 16-year-old Reet Kohli, a 12thgrade student also visiting from India. Coming from a family of doctors, Ms. Kohli has known since sixth grade that she wanted to become a doctor. Enrolling in the Summer Academy gave her a closer look into the practical aspects of the profession that she expects to pursue.

“This was my first time traveling alone, but once I got here it has been a really fun experience,” Ms. Kohli said. “I feel at home in Grenada. It is such a beautiful place. My parents were very supportive of me coming here and very happy that I was going to get this opportunity. In India, we are taught from the textbooks, so although we know what a cadaver is, to actually see one in real life was a truly great experience. Getting to wear a stethoscope, using all the equipment that doctors use and hearing the professors refer to you as ‘doctor’ is just an amazing feeling. This experience has given me more confidence that yes, this is what I want to do with my life. Putting on those scrubs, I can imagine myself living in them for the rest of my life.”

Heather Brathwaite, who has directed the Met-Vet Summer Leadership Academy for the last 13 years, has seen many of the students come full circle.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity and very rewarding to be able to see the students come to the program and then later come back as enrolled students at SGU,” added Ms. Brathwaite. “Many of these same students also come back to work for the Summer Academy while they’re studying at SGU.”

“One of the major goals of the Academy is to help students decide whether this is the path they want to choose,” she added. “With a mix of academic and fun activities, they go to lectures and labs just like our regular SGU medical and veterinary students do. They receive one-on-one attention, working closely with our actual SGU faculty who provide hands-on experience utilizing equipment and materials that most students their age would not have the chance to.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

SGU Graduate Named Resident of the Month at Marshall University

In July, St. George’s University graduate Thao Wolbert was named Resident of the Month by Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

On MU’s Twitter account, it was noted that “patients and every member of her clinical care team raved about Dr. Thao Wolbert’s bedside manner and knowledge of the human body, surgery and the disease process.” Dr. Wolbert is in the third year of a five-year surgery residency at MU, and is currently applying for plastic surgery fellowships.

Read the full story here.

Dr. Olds Discusses US Doctor Shortage on WUSA 9 in Washington, DC

Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University, visited with WUSA 9 in Washington, DC, to discuss the primary care doctor shortage facing the United States.

“There’s a general shortage of physicians because we don’t produce enough doctors in the US for our needs. Remember that we’re a growing country, but from a doctors’ standpoint, we’re an aging country, and when you get over 70 years of age, your need for physicians goes up astronomically.

“The primary care problem is that 30 percent of graduates of US medical schools go into primary care and the rest specialize. We need more than half of them to go into primary care. This primary care shortage is going to get considerably worse as the next decade rolls out.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation will be short up to 50,000 primary care doctors by 2030.