7 Questions the SGU Med School Admissions Team Hears Most Often
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.
7 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.
SGU has had a 93 percent US residency placement rate for graduates over the last three years.¹ In fact, 2022 ushered in the placement of more than 960 SGU graduates into US residencies.²
Additionally, more than 1,120 SGU students and graduates obtained residency positions in 2020, according to September 2020 data from the same year, making SGU the largest provider of doctors into first-year US residencies.³
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 SGU students had a 92 percent USMLE Step 1 pass rate for first-time test-takers over the last three years.4
“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. 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.”
4. 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.”
5. 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.”
6. 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.
7. 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.
1Average of 2020, 2021, 2022 residency placement rate. Residency placement rate is defined as the total number of students who obtained a US residency divided by the total number of students who applied to a US residency program in a given year as of May 2022.
2Data as of May 2022
3As the medical school graduating the largest number of students annually, SGU places the largest number of graduates into residency programs each year, based on internal SGU graduate and residency placement data as of May 2022.
4Average of 2019, 2020, 2021 scores. First-time pass rate is defined as the number of students passing USMLE Step 1 on their first attempt divided by the total number of students taking USMLE Step 1 for the first time. In order to be certified to take USMLE Step 1, students are required to pass all basic sciences courses.
This article was originally published in October 2019. It’s since been updated to reflect information relevant to 2021.