In your process of narrowing your list of potential medical schools, you’ve likely come across many sources citing the importance of accreditation. A voluntary process of quality assurance, accreditation signifies that a MD program has met the standards necessary for a quality medical education.
While it sounds somewhat straightforward, it can become confusing when you start reviewing the different types of accreditation and what they mean. If you’re considering attending medical school at St. George’s University (SGU), you can find answers to some of the most common questions about SGU’s accreditation below.
Common questions about SGU accreditation
Why is medical school accreditation important?
Med school accreditation doesn’t just help you feel confident about the quality of education you’ll receive. It also has an impact on your future as a medical student and physician. For example, attending an accredited MD program can enable you to utilize US federal student loans, despite attending medical school overseas.
And later on in your MD journey, having selected an accredited international institution, among other requirements, will grant you access to the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), you’ll be able to participate in the National Residency Matching Program, and you’ll eventually be qualified to apply for licensure to practice medicine in the US.
Is St. George’s University accredited?
SGU School of Medicine has been continuously accredited for decades, providing a reliable path for graduates to pursue residency and licensure in the US and beyond. SGU’s accreditation was recently renewed by the Grenada Medical and Dental Council (GMDC) through 2030.
However, if you’re considering attending an international MD program and hope to practice medicine in the US, ensuring the school is accredited is only the first step. You’ll also need to confirm that the accrediting body itself has been approved by the US Department of Education’s National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA).
The NCFMEA keeps close tabs on the standards set for US med schools, and it is tasked with reviewing the accrediting bodies a foreign country uses to accredit its medical schools. The NCFMEA will not recognize an international accrediting body unless it is deemed comparable to US standards in its approach and rigor.
The GMDC has been recognized by the NCFMEA. This means that the GMDC’s standards have been deemed comparable to the standards of US medical schools—and US citizens attending SGU have access to federal student loans.
The GMDC has also been recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), the leading global authority for reviewing medical accreditors. This distinction is important because, beginning in 2024, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) will require foreign medical schools to have an accreditor recognized by WFME in order for students to be eligible for USMLE exams and to pursue residency and licensure in the US. This puts some Caribbean Medical Schools at risk of losing their eligibility, but the GMDC (SGU’s accreditor) meets this requirement through at least 2032.
Are all international medical schools accredited?
Simply put, no—not all international medical schools have the accreditation necessary for practicing in the United States and receiving financial aid. This is why it’s extremely important to pay close attention to the accreditation status of the institutions you’re considering.
If you intend on utilizing US federal aid to finance your medical school tuition, it’s imperative that you ensure the program you’re considering is accredited by an agency that has been approved by the NCFMEA.
Even if you’re not planning on using financial aid, attending a med school that doesn’t have the necessary accreditation will cause you some additional roadblocks when it comes to practicing in the States. In order to be eligible to take the USMLE exams or participate in the NRMP match, your program’s accrediting body must be recognized by WFME.
Did SGU lose its accreditation?
It’s important to note that St. George’s University School of Medicine did not lose its accreditation. While there have been some changes regarding accreditation, we’re proud of our longstanding, continuous status as an accredited international medical school.
The School of Medicine was previously accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) in addition to GMDC. For a school to be eligible for students to access US federal direct student loans, accreditation by just a single NCFMEA-recognized accreditor is required.
SGU’s accreditation by GMDC, the chosen accreditor of the country of Grenada, solidly meets that requirement. Because of this, we voluntarily withdrew additional accreditation by CAAM-HP in 2021. This decision had no effect on SGU’s accreditation status.
Confidently begin your medical school journey
Now that you know more about SGU’s accreditation and the accreditation of international medical schools in general, you’re better equipped to make an informed decision regarding your future MD program.
But its accreditation is just one reason future physicians choose SGU. If you’re curious to learn more about the med school that is the largest provider of new doctors into the US healthcare system*, check out our article “10 Surprising Facts About the SGU School of Medicine.”
*As the medical school graduating the largest number of students per year, SGU places the largest number of graduates into residency programs each year, based on internal SGU graduate/expected graduate and residency placement data as of April 2023.