It’s important to ask questions when applying to medical schools to make sure you find a program that meets your needs. Now that you’ve done some initial research into the School of Medicine at St. George’s University (SGU), you’re ready to seek specific information about things like the clinical training program and residency placements. Or maybe you’re especially curious about what it’s like living in Grenada.
You’re in luck, because the SGU admissions team has the answers you’re seeking.
8 questions students frequently ask the SGU admissions team
This list might even help you learn something you wouldn’t have thought to ask the SGU admissions team about on your own.
1. Will I be able to obtain a residency in the US?
According to Richard Kleinman, a director of admissions at SGU, this is often the top question a prospective student asks. “It’s a great question and probably the most important one. Ultimately, students considering SGU want to know that they can come back to the US for residency training. The answer is yes!” he says.
Published information from November 2020 shows that SGU’s residency placement for eligible 2020 US graduates who applied for US residencies is 95 percent. Additionally, more than 1,120 SGU students and graduates obtained residency positions in 2020, according to September 2020 data from the same year. In fact, based on that same data, SGU is the number 1 provider of doctors into first year US residencies. That contributes to an already robust alumni network of more than 18,000 MD graduates.
2. How prepared are SGU students for the USMLE Step 1?
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 is a critical step toward licensure. It assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles. Furthermore, it evaluates mastery of fundamental patient-centered skills, which are critical in health management and constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. So, you’ll probably find it encouraging to know that 94 percent of SGU students taking the USMLE Step 1 for the first time in 2019 passed, according to official USMLE Performance Data. This rate is comparable to what you’ll find among US and Canadian schools. SGU’s success in this realm isn’t a coincidence.
“SGU exams are based off the USMLE Step 1, so they have that preparation from day one to get ready,” says Angela Cascio, a director of admissions at SGU. “The actual exam won’t feel like something new to them.”
And students have plenty of support to help them avoid potential roadblocks. The Department of Educational Services(DES) is staffed with experienced professionals and provides numerous services, including hosting hundreds of workshops every week.
3. What is SGU’s attrition rate?
For the class entering 2016, SGU’s four year attrition rate is just 11%. This figure is based on certified enrollment for the August 2016 cohort, which spans from fall 2016 to fall 2020. This low attrition rate is evidence of an excellent academic program and commitment to student success.
When you receive an offer of admission from SGU, it’s more than an invitation to accept a place in an upcoming class. It represents a promise to support you every step of the way. From the very start, SGU will do everything possible to equip you with the personalized academic support and the expert career guidance you need to be successful.
4. Where do students complete clinical rotations, and how do they secure those placements?
While students complete their first two years of medical school in Grenada—possibly split between Grenada and the UK—most all of them return to the US for clinical rotations. SGU offers a wide array of training sites and hospitals to choose from, and works hard to ensure students who want to finish their education close to home are able to secure placement in one of their preferred locations. That said, you’re free to move around if that appeals to you.
“Occasionally, we hear from students who want to use clinical rotations as an opportunity to travel, because there are options all over the US,” Kleinman explains. “And they have opportunities to go to Canada and the UK.”
5. How successful are students at obtaining competitive residencies?
SGU graduates go on to practice in all areas of medicine including family medicine, pathology and anesthesiology. You can see residency placements for yourself by browsing the annual match lists. SGU is also happy to connect you with a graduate who is practicing in your desired field.
“SGU works with each student to maximize their opportunities for matching.”
“SGU works with each student to maximize their opportunities for matching,” notes Ashley Ballesteros, a director of admissions at SGU. “This includes connecting students with alumni who are practicing in their desired field.”
6. Can I speak to a medical school graduate or student?
Speaking to graduates and current SGU school of medicine students is incredibly beneficial for hearing first-hand about the curriculum, the instructors, and more. SGU is happy to connect you with someone who has a similar background. For example, a student considering starting the MD program in January would likely be paired with a graduate who went that route.
“They’ve been there. They’ve lived it. They’ve breathed it,” Ballesteros says. “Sometimes, hearing about it from somebody who’s been through the medical school program helps.”
7. What is it like living in Grenada?
The best way to understand what it’s like to live in Grenada is to take a virtual touror visit in-person once that becomes an option again. It’s also helpful to do some research about what it’s like living in the Caribbean to gather additional information.
Accepted students have even more options outside of seeing Grenada. They can attend social events and join specific Facebook groups.
8. How can I pay for my medical school education?
When considering the cost of SGU School of Medicine tuition, keep in mind that there are numerous options for financing your education.
“We are approved for US Department of Education loans for the four-year MD program, so you can borrow up to the cost of the education,” Kleinman clarifies. “And we also have very generous scholarships.” There are also numerous ways SGU students have made paying for medical school both manageable and affordable.
Lastly, it’s worth remembering the long-term value of your education. The cost of tuition encompasses more than classroom instruction and access to labs.
“We are approved for US Department of Education loans for the four-year MD program.”
“Our students are getting the residencies they want and doing well on their board exams,” Kleinman emphasizes. “You’re getting a lot in return.”
Get started on the road to your MD
Now that you’ve reviewed some of the questions students ask the SGU admissions team, you’ve probably found some answers you were seeking. If you can see yourself as a student at SGU, take the next step by heading to our request information page.
*This article was originally published in October 2019. It’s since been updated to reflect information relevant to 2021.
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