It’s a big decision to attend medical school, so you’ve taken your time. You carefully worked your way through applications and compared programs to make some important decisions about which ones would best meet your needs. There’s just one more thing you’re contemplating: the cost.
If you’re considering the School of Medicine at St. George’s University (SGU), you may have looked into tuition and fees. They run about $31,000 per term. It can be a little intimidating when you’re just looking at these numbers.
To help you make an informed decision, we’re taking a look at the full picture. SGU tuition is a lot more approachable when you consider everything you’d get in return. Make sure you know all the facts before making your final medical school decision.
6 Facts to keep in mind when evaluating the cost of SGU tuition
Schools vary substantially when it comes to tuition and fees, so it’s really worth taking the time to investigate. “When you’re looking at the cost of a school, comparing them side by side is not a good way to do it,” explains Bob Ryan, dean of admissions at SGU. “Just like buying a home or buying a car, there are so many factors that come into play.”
Consider the following information when assessing the cost of medical school at St. George’s University:
1. SGU guides students toward residency from the beginning
When it comes to outcomes, SGU’s numbers really speak for themselves. Of SGU’s eligible 2019 US graduates who applied for a US residency, 94 percent obtained one at the time of graduation. And 96 percent of SGU students taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 for the first time in 2018 passed. These metrics certainly stand up to the USMLE pass rate and residency placement rate for students from US medical schools.
There’s obviously a reason behind these impressive outcomes. Ryan highlights the way SGU helps guide students toward residency when they’re still near the beginning of their medical education.
"In year two, but especially in years three and four, the Office of Career Guidance and Student Development (OCGSD) starts to work with you."
“In year two, but especially in years three and four, the Office of Career Guidance and Student Development (OCGSD) starts to work with you,” he explains. Ryan adds the office is composed of SGU graduates who advise students on writing their CV, gearing up for interviews, and how to do everything else related to residency preparation.
Students can also choose to utilize SGU’s Residency Advisor software program. It helps them choose appropriate hospitals in the Match, offering yet another layer of guidance.
2. The facilities are top-notch, and visiting is risk-free
Perhaps you think you’ll have to lower your campus expectations by attending a Caribbean medical school. That’s just not the case with SGU. The campus includes lecture halls, labs, libraries, research facilities, and more — all fully equipped with the latest technology.
“You’re going to be studying at a state-of-the-art campus,” Ryan explains.
"You’re going to be studying at a state-of-the-art campus."
Perhaps you’re still feeling a bit skeptical. How can you really know what the facilities are like when you’re thousands of miles away? SGU actually encourages prospective students to book a trip to experience the campus for themselves. The See SGU program actually allows you to receive reimbursement for your flight and a three-night hotel stay if you visit and ultimately enroll.
3. Every student has a game plan for clinical rotations
While medical school is four years total, half of that time is spent completing clinical rotations. SGU students gain this experience in affiliated hospitals and clinical centers located in the US, UK, and Canada. This is the case with numerous Caribbean medical schools, but St. George’s University takes it a step further by facilitating everything on your behalf.
Ryan explains that representatives from each affiliated clinical center visit Grenada every year to interact with faculty and also host presentations for MD students. “You can listen to five to 10 presentations that appeal to you, that are in a certain geographic area,” Ryan says. From there, it’s just a matter of figuring out which facilities best meet your needs.
4. Academic support is built into the program
Medical school can seem like a sink-or-swim scenario. You buy your books, attend classes, study as much as possible, and hope it’s enough to keep you on the path to success.
“That’s not how St. George’s University acts at all,” Ryan insists. “Our culture is to help you and make sure you complete the medical program.”
"Our culture is to help you and make sure you complete the medical program."
The Department of Educational Services (DES) is a huge part of that effort, offering hundreds of workshops every week. Whether you need to work on time management skills or require some additional assistance with a challenging course, the DES has systems in place that can help. They proactively reach out to students to make sure no one falls through the cracks.
“It’s free extra help,” Ryan says. “Why wouldn’t you take advantage?” This is just one example of the many student support services included in the SGU tuition.
5. SGU rewards many students with institutional scholarships
Medical school scholarships aren’t as plentiful as those for college students. But there are some awards available through personal providers, organizations, and medical schools themselves. SGU is no exception. In fact, approximately 28 percent of each entering class at SGU is awarded institutional scholarships with awards based on academic excellence, and/or need.
6. Medical school is a long-term investment
The final thing to remember is that medical school is not something you’ll pay for by writing a few checks. The upfront cost might be steep, but it aligns with the commitment required to be a physician.
"This is a $300,000 investment that’s probably as important as buying your first home."
“This is a $300,000 investment that’s probably as important as buying your first home,” Ryan points out. Why would you let the cost of medical school derail your dream of becoming a doctor?
Invest in your dream
Obtaining an MD isn’t for the faint of heart. Medical school requires hard work, dedication, and a notable financial investment. While you may be tempted to make a decision based solely on cost, assigning a dollar value to each institution simply doesn’t account for everything you should be considering.
As you compare SGU tuition with other schools’ expenses, be sure to maintain a critical eye. Do other programs provide the support and guidance you need to reach your goals?
* This article has been updated from a previous version to include current facts and figures.
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