St. George’s University Celebrates IMG Recognition Week

The St. George’s University community is thrilled to join the American Medical Association in celebrating “IMG Recognition Week,” which extends from October 21-27.

“International medical graduates play a pivotal role in the physician workforce,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “It’s important that we recognize their valuable contributions to the US healthcare system. This week gives us the perfect opportunity to do so.”

St. George’s University is the second-largest source of doctors to the entire United States. In 2019, SGU graduates matched into residencies in 42 different states and 18 different medical specialties. No other medical school in the world provides more new doctors to the US healthcare system.

IMGs currently account for roughly one-quarter of all US doctors. Forty percent of internal medicine physicians graduated from an international school. IMGs also compose about 30 percent of pathologists and psychiatrists.

Many of these aspiring doctors originally come from the United States and return home to practice. Seventy-five percent of St. George’s students are US citizens. The percentage of US citizens who graduated from Caribbean medical schools increased by roughly 30 percent between 2010 and 2018.

IMGs disproportionately choose to work in high-need specialties and underserved areas. They selected primary care residencies at nearly twice the rate of US medical school graduates in 2019. They also tend to practice in low-income, rural, and majority-minority parts of the country.

Given the nation’s growing healthcare needs, these doctors are more important than ever before. The Association of American Medical Colleges recently reported that the United States will face a shortage of up to 122,000 doctors by 2032. Those shortfalls will disproportionately hurt “rural and historically underserved” areas.

“As our population grows and ages, so will demand for health care,” said Dr. Olds. “International medical graduates can meet the nation’s healthcare needs. We’re honored to have the opportunity to train these future doctors. And we’re confident they’ll continue to provide high-quality care to all Americans.”

For more information about IMG Recognition Week, please visit the American Medical Association website.

St. George’s University to Host International Veterinary Simulation Conference

Aerial images of Sir Eric Gairy Hall and Andrew J. Belford Centre.

With increased emphasis on simulation at veterinary institutions around the world, the 7th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching (InVeST) Conference, to be held May 1-3, 2020, at St. George’s University, will welcome researchers, developers, and educators to the island to explore and discuss techniques, technology, and its rapidly growing implementation.

Grenada will be the fifth country outside of the United States to host the conference, following South Africa, Germany, St. Kitts, and Canada.

“It is our pleasure to host the InVeST conference in 2020,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Our university, an international center of excellence, is uniquely positioned to provide a meeting of high scientific quality and training in veterinary simulation. SGU is outfitted with the facilities and personnel to educate conference participants, while the scenic university also offers an atmosphere of relaxation as they earn continuing education credits.”

Participants will include veterinarians, educational institutions, InVeST members, and researchers, along with students and alumni from SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The two-and-a-half-day conference to be held in the newly established Andrew J. Belford Centre will feature keynote addresses, poster presentations, workshops, a reception, and various social events.

“By creating a space for these experiences and ideas to come together, SGU will continue to drive progress in all areas of veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Neil Olson, SVM Dean

 

Presentation topics previously covered include; effective delivery of simulation with realism and teamwork; best practices in educational technology: from games to virtual reality; getting started with simulation research; and voice user interfaces and their potential role in veterinary education. By partaking in the conference, attendees are eligible to receive 10 RACE credits.

“By creating a space for these experiences and ideas to come together, SGU will continue to drive progress in all areas of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Olson.

InVeST was established in August 2011 following a successful Veterinary Simulation Exchange symposium hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. The group has grown exponentially through the Network of Veterinarians in Continuing Education (NOVICE) project, reconvening every 18 months for the InVeST conference.

“Ultimately, InVeST 2020 will provide an avenue for veterinary medical personnel to thrive and build on their professional knowledge while networking with peers,” said Dr. Olson. “The conference will enhance professional collaboration and camaraderie among veterinary experts, and we are excited to continue the growth of this group of innovators.

Alumni Association Announces “Art of Medicine” Continuing Ed Conference

 

The St. George’s University School of Medicine Alumni Association (SOMAA) invite SGU graduates and all medical professionals to its annual “Art of Medicine” continuing medical education (CME) conference in Grenada from March 9-12, 2020.

According to SOMAA President Bruce Bonanno, MD ’83, SOMAA president, its goal is to further harvest physicians’ passion for medicine, on the island that, for many, is where it all began.

“This conference welcomes doctors to reconnect with their profession, to build upon the foundation they’ve already created, and for SGU graduates, to get back to their roots,” said Dr. Bonanno, an emergency medicine physician based in New Jersey.

The four-day event features presentations from experts on a wide variety of fields, with several discussions led by SGU alumni. They include:

  •  “Hematologic Disease in Older People” – Shannon O’Connor, MD ’05
  • “Headache: It’s All In Your Head” – Paul Mathew, MD ’05
  • “Hypoxia – When Seconds Matter” – Pierre Moeser, MD ’83
  • “Maintenance of Certification: Reform or Reboot?” – Paul Mathew, MD ’05
  • “Monoclonal Antibody Use in Rheumatic Diseases” – Pierre Moeser, MD ’83
  • “Decoding the Alphabet Soup of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)” – Nirav Shah, MD ’02
  • “All About Gout” – Suneet Grewal, MD ’08
  • “Genetic Diseases in Cancer” – Shannon O’Connor, MD ’05
  • “Hepatitis is a Cure” – George Gartin, MD
  • “Psoriatic Arthritis” – Suneet Grewal, MD ’08
  • “How to Have a Baby Without Having Sex: New Frontiers in Reproduction” – Samuel Jacobs, MD ’82
  • “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Where Are We Now?” – Nirav Shah, MD ’02
  • “Nutrition in Chronic Disease” – Taraneh Soleymani, MD ’07
  • “Obesity Treatment – How Far Have We Come?” – Sunil Daniel, MD ’07
  • “Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)” – George Gartin, MD

Conference participants are eligible to receive 16 CME credits certified by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). In addition to the discussion schedule, visitors can enjoy a full slate of leisure activities, including campus tours, dinner at the University Club, catamaran cruises, and more.

“Each year, we have added more and more to the continuing medical education conference in Grenada,” said Dr. Bonanno. “We encourage all alumni to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and to once again enjoy this beautiful island.”

Career Day Helps Students Choose Path Toward Successful Future

For more than a decade, St. George’s University and Rotaract Club of Grenada Career Day has been important not only for the future of Grenadian citizens but for the island as a whole.

This month, the True Blue campus welcomed hundreds of secondary school students and young adults from across the nation to explore a diverse range of career opportunities and the educational tools to help them reach their goals. It allowed attendees to mix with Grenada’s industry leaders and other respected professionals in smaller group settings to evaluate how they can develop themselves, their families, and their country.

“St. George’s University provides an ideal setting to offer this kind of guidance to students in answering the oft-difficult question of what career to choose, given this constantly evolving and competitive global marketplace,” said Colin Dowe, associate dean of admissions at SGU. “It is critical that we encourage our young Grenadians to explore non-traditional and emerging disciplines, which can foster both personal and national development.”

The SGU/Rotaract Club Career Day experience featured dozens of presentations utilizing its Career Track System, as well as interactive sessions led by current St. George’s University students. Eight different career tracks, ranging from agri-business and fashion to communications and meteorology, were set up in each of the major halls on campus. In addition to presentations for the students, the event featured the popular and informative Parents Session led by Mr. Dowe. The special session covered a range of topics—from financing your education to responding to the challenges faced by today’s students.

“I’m elated that SGU offered a special Parents Session at Career Day,” said Camme Roberts McIntosh, a Cherry Hill resident and mother of three. “I found the discussion on letting go and allowing your child to make their own decisions most helpful. It’s easier said than done when dealing with my eldest son, but I’m learning how to step back, release the reins a little bit, and trust him.”

“This is our second time coming to the Parents Session,” stated Petal Duncan from Laborie, St. Paul’s. “My husband and I were here last year when our daughter attended Career Day. We thought it was informative then and found it even more valuable this time around. There’s something very comforting about knowing you’re doing all you can to help prepare your child for university life and their future career. We thought it was important to be here and our daughter felt so too—in fact, every parent should be here.”

By holding Career Day, SGU’s goal is to assist students and parents in making informed career choices and motivating them along their journey towards educational and career fulfillment. As the largest private employer in Grenada, the University makes a point to fulfill its mandate as a good corporate citizen, embracing the opportunity to equip students with the tools to build a successful career path.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Fall 2019 Visitors Join Extended SGU Family at 18th Beyond Spice Family Weekend

For James and Joyce Johnston, supporting their son Alexander’s dreams wherever they’ve led him was always a priority. First it was in his pursuits as a competitive ice hockey player. Now Alexander is a first-term student at St. George’s University School of Medicine, which prompted the Johnstons to join their son in Grenada at SGU’s 18th Beyond Spice Family Weekend.

“After getting injured while playing hockey, our son became inspired by his orthopedic surgeons to become a doctor,” shared Mr. Johnston. “We found out about SGU while researching medical schools together online and I encouraged him to apply. We couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishment.”

The Johnstons were one of dozens of families who soaked in Grenadian culture over the weekend, taking part in events such as a heritage tour, sea excursion, shopping opportunities, and a sunset barbecue. In addition, the weekend coincided with White Coat Ceremonies for medical and veterinary students, an event that marks their official entry into their respective professions.

“It’s a little hard on us with him moving so far away, so we decided to make it a vacation and join him for Family Weekend,” said Ms. Johnston. “I think every student should have a family member here for the Family Weekend. It connects parents with their students by letting them see firsthand what they’re getting involved in and it helps the parents get a better peace of mind.”

Michael Jacoby’s parents, on the other hand, had no qualms about their son moving three thousand miles away to attend medical school at St. George’s. Through their own research, Annie Allen and Doug Engman knew that students’ safety was paramount to SGU. The couple worried more about how Michael was going to get any studying done surrounded by such a spectacular view.

“I wasn’t the least bit worried about my son coming to SGU because I knew he would be safe there,” said Ms. Allen. “The island is wonderful and I’m already planning my next trip back.”

“The campus is distractingly beautiful, but in life, you’re going to have distractions,” stated Mr. Engman. “You have to be laser-focused on your goals. I don’t think SGU could have provided a more peaceful setting for students to get their studies done.”

Now celebrating its 11th year, Family Weekend continues to invite family members to visit the country and campus that their students have now made their home away from home.

“Each semester we happily look forward to opening our doors to host students’ families who’ve traveled from across the globe to experience a weekend of sun, sea, and family in the Spice Isle,” said Robert Ryan, dean of admission. “Family Weekend was also designed to allow our visitors to have meaningful interactions with our top administrators. The sense of pride and accomplishment with which the parents speak of their students not only brings joy to us but serves as a reminder of St. George’s deeply held commitment to assisting students in realizing their various academic and professional aspirations.”

According to Mr. Ryan, those who attended the sunset barbecue even had the opportunity to witness a green flash, a natural solar phenomenon that rarely occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Eugene Becomes First Caribbean National to Lead SAS

Dr. Lucy Eugene

As the new Dean of St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Dr. Lucy Eugene is deeply committed to its growth. Her appointment as dean is the latest advancement in her near decade of professional service to SGU.

Dr. Eugene assumed her new role on August 16 after serving in the position in an interim capacity since February 2019. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she is the first Caribbean national to become the school’s dean. Given that many of the school’s nearly 800 students as well as faculty are from Grenada and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, she plans to use knowledge of Caribbean culture to her advantage.

“I want students and faculty to continue to be proud that they belong to a school that recognizes their Caribbean upbringing while enhancing opportunities for them to make meaningful contributions not only in Grenada but regionally and internationally,” said Dr. Eugene. “That’s what this position means to me—being able to make a difference in their lives.”

Dr. Eugene has been a part of the SGU faculty since July 2010. Dr. Eugene served eight years in the Department of Business and Management Studies as a professor and chair, where she lectured on international business law and trade regulations. In May 2018, she took on the role of associate provost for faculty and administrative affairs for SGU before becoming interim dean for SAS.

“We are very pleased to appoint Dr. Eugene as dean of SAS,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, SGU Provost. “Lucy’s longtime commitment to SGU, her deep involvement in the school through various committees and initiatives, and forward thinking about the future of the SAS and the student experience will ensure continued success in her new role.”

Dr. Eugene has placed enrollment growth, quality assurance (including accreditation), and faculty development at the top of her priority list. She has already launched plans to standardize quality assurance processes and obtain accreditation for SAS programs through the Grenada National Accreditation Board (GNAB) and other professional international accreditation bodies. For faculty, Dr. Eugene wants to create opportunities for them to further their own professional aspirations including working closely with SGU’s Department of Educational Services.

“As a longtime faculty member and administrative member of SAS, I am very familiar with the issues and concerns of the students, faculty, and staff, and I am approaching this position with a sensitivity and appreciation of those issues,” Dr. Eugene said.

For example, she noted that, as dean, she has been able to pursue classroom upgrades in a meaningful way so that classes are “consistent with the high quality evident throughout the rest of the university, giving students and faculty a sense of integration with the rest of the SGU community.”

Dr. Eugene received her PhD in Law from the School of Law at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Before joining SGU, she lectured at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus. In addition to her academic appointments, Dr. Eugene served as the regional coordinator for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) UWI training programs throughout the Caribbean. Her research interests include international business opportunities for small- and medium-size enterprises—particularly those in developing countries—as well as investment, educational services, and labor law issues related to international trade.

“To have been recognized and appreciated is very fulfilling for me in this stage of my career,” Dr. Eugene said. “I am honored to have been given this opportunity and I look forward to using my experience and perspective to grow SAS to its full potential.”

– Laurie Chartorynsky

Global Medical Students Welcomed Onto Path of “Lifelong Learning” at White Coat Ceremony

Students from around the world took their first steps into their medical education at the traditional White Coat Ceremony, inaugurating the 12th year of a partnership between St. George’s University and Northumbria University in Newcastle, England.

Seventy-five students from countries including Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Botswana were formally inducted into the St. George’s University School of Medicine/Northumbria University Joint MD Program. Since its establishment in 2007, the SGU/NU program has welcomed more than 1,700 students to the medical education track.

Path of Lifelong Learning

Emceeing the ceremonies was Leah Ratner, MD ’14, an alumna of the joint program who is now a pediatric global health fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. Recounting stories from her time practicing in the US and attending conferences in Mexico, Dr. Ratner advised new students to adopt a multidimensional approach to medicine that goes “beyond the exam room” and encompasses the social determinants of health. She urged them to “empathize with others” and the personal and structural problems that their patients may face, and to take personal responsibility for working toward equity and justice in healthcare and medical institutions.

Dr. Matthew Wynia, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado, and a former visiting professor at SGU, delivered the keynote address. He encouraged the students embarking on a “path of lifelong learning” to think of medicine as a series of complex adaptive systems, where knowledge of individual parts is not the same as an understanding of the whole, and outcomes will depend upon doctors’ abilities to constantly address these evolving challenges.

“We are creating our professional culture all the time, in every ordinary decision we make,” he told students, echoing Dr. Ratner’s advice to address the “hard questions” about doctors’ social responsibilities.

Special Tribute

To open the day’s proceedings, Professor Jon Reast, pro-vice chancellor at Northumbria University, paid special tribute to Baroness Howells of St. Davids, a former trustee of the St. George’s University UK Trust and a firm fixture of White Coat Ceremonies in years past.

Baroness Howells, who stepped down from the House of Lords earlier this year, is the only Grenadian to join the peerage and is a former president of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), a Grenada-based research institute that collaborates with SGU.

The SGU/Northumbria joint program, formerly the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, was founded in 2007 to create a pathway for highly qualified international students to pursue a world-class medical education by beginning their physician training with SGU at Northumbria, before going to Grenada to continue their studies. Earlier this year, the universities announced that the joint program would be expanded to allow students to complete up to two years of their pre-clinical medical education in the UK.

SGU Dean Speaks on the Future of Ultrasound

In Hong Kong, more than 400 students were in attendance as St. George’s University dean and professor Dr. Marios Loukas presented at the Global Aspiring Medic Conference (GAMC) on July 20. The conference, organized by ARCH Community Outreach (ACO) in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong (HKU), is the largest student medical conference in Asia. As one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Loukas gave a presentation on “Translational Research in Clinical Anatomy; The Way Forward”, which introduced the application of translational research as a tool to address the gap between gross anatomy and patient care.

“Our aim was to show these students how medicine relates with research,” said Dr. Loukas, dean of basic sciences and research at SGU. “We demonstrated how we can use new surgical techniques and approaches that we discovered at SGU, and how we can apply them to solve typical problems that we see in the hospital in patients. We identify a problem, take it back to the lab, solve it, and then go back into the hospital and implement that procedure. This approach is now being used in hospitals all over the world, from Japan to the United States.”

In addition to his keynote speech, Dr. Loukas also held a practical workshop titled, “The Use of Ultrasound in Everyday Practice”, where he performed ultrasounds on eager volunteers, wowing the 50+ students attending. He explained how a doctor could diagnose a patient through the use of an ultrasound scan and also gave each participant invaluable hands-on experience operating the ultrasound device.

“I think the students enjoyed both the lecture and the ultrasound session,” stated Dr. Loukas. “I believe ultrasound is the stethoscope of the future. It has so many uses and has become a cost-saving modality these days, and much less expensive. My hope is that many of these students here today will eventually become doctors treating patients and remember these experiences at the GAMC that were crucial to following this career path.”

At the end of the workshop participants received a copy of Dr. Loukas’ new book, Essential Ultrasound Anatomy, which he co-authored with Dr. Danny Burns. The book provides today’s students with a solid foundation in regional ultrasound anatomy by offering practical, comprehensive coverage of the ultrasound images and important structures that are most frequently encountered in daily practice.

“The book project started three years ago,” Dr. Loukas said. “Dr. Burns and I wanted to combine anatomy within ultrasound, so that students from other courses such as physiology or pathology could understand how we use ultrasound. This forms the basis for any type of student or even resident to start diagnosing different conditions.

“Interestingly, the entire design of the book’s pictures and illustrations were all created here at SGU in our new illustration unit,” added Dr. Loukas. “Since we have medical illustrators in-house, that makes it much easier for us when we’re publishing a paper or writing books. In fact, the quality of the finished product then becomes that much higher.”

In 2011, SGU introduced ultrasound teaching into the Department of Basic Sciences. Today, the department now offers a Point of Care Ultrasound Certification course, allowing students to become certified in ultrasound, which provides an enormous advantage during their clinical years and residencies. St. George’s University is one of the few schools that provides such an intensive ultrasound course.

Additionally, the University has substantially invested over $1 million in the ultrasound technology at the True Blue Campus. Currently, it has more than20 ultrasound units that are operated in conjunction with standardized patients. Each ultrasound station can hold up to four students, paired with a standardized patient and a clinical tutor demonstrating how the device is operated.

– Ray-Donna Peters

St. George’s University Grants Four Honorary Degrees, Service Awards During 2019 Commencement

St. George’s University honored a new class of medical school graduates from 38 countries and bestowed honorary doctorates and service awards on four individuals during its commencement ceremonies this past weekend.

“It is my pleasure to be here once again at one of these ceremonies to recognize your accomplishments,” said Dr. Charles Modica, Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Directors at St. George’s University, in his opening remarks.

Doctorates of Humane Letters were awarded to Dr. Mark Lanzieri, a Massachusetts cardiologist and 1985 St. George’s alumnus, and José Sánchez, President and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago.

For 20 years, Dr. Lanzieri has returned to Grenada to provide cardiological care free of charge to Grenadians. He encouraged the Class of 2019 to stay connected to the St. George’s community. “We need your involvement more than ever,” he said. “I would encourage you that this is not your last interaction with SGU or Grenada, and that you become involved early with the alumni association.”

Dr. Sánchez has managed healthcare and hospital systems for more than three decades. He is a member of the Illinois State Board of Health and helps lead several other state boards, councils, and commissions.

Marty Lyons, a philanthropist and former defensive lineman for the New York Jets, and Congressman Max Rose received Distinguished Service Awards.

In 1982, Lyons founded the Marty Lyons Foundation, which has 11 chapters across the United States. The non-profit grants wishes for terminally ill children.

“Life is about making opportunities and choices,” Mr. Lyons said. “You’ve made one that started four years ago, when you started to chase a dream of helping other people, and making a difference in this world.”

Congressman Rose is a decorated war veteran who represents New York’s 11th congressional district, which includes Staten Island and South Brooklyn. Prior to his election to Congress, he was Chief of Staff for Brightpoint Health, a non-profit dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of New York City’s underserved populations.

SGU Veterinarians Urged to “Shoot for the Moon” at Annual Commencement Ceremony

Animals of all shapes and sizes gained caretakers and advocates on Saturday morning as St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine granted Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 83 new veterinarians in New York City.

By reaching this milestone, the Class of 2019 joins an alumni network of 1,670 veterinarians who built a foundation for their careers at SGU.

“One of the greatest honors I have each year is to be here at this ceremony honoring you, respecting you, and with family and friends in the room who have helped you get to where you are today, to tell you how proud we are of you,” said Dr. Charles Modica, chancellor of St. George’s University.

This year’s graduates hailed from six countries—the United States, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. Many new alums will go straight into practice while others have committed to residency programs across 22 United States in such fields ranging from small animal medicine and neurology to oncology and food animal ambulatory and production medicine.

Dr. Richard Liebowitz, vice chancellor of St. George’s University, noted that this year marked the 20-year anniversary of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Our graduates are recognized in the US, Caribbean, and around the world, and now you leave the university with the same clinical abilities as they did,” Dr. Liebowitz said. “The question is ‘where do you go from here?’ With the training you have received, my only advice is to follow your passion, put no barriers in front of you, and shoot for the moon. I congratulate you all. I know you all will be extremely satisfied and successful in your careers.”

St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine Commencement

Join us live as we celebrate St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2019!

Posted by St. George's University on Saturday, June 1, 2019

One of those charter class members was Tara Paterson, DVM ’03, who has gone on to become an associate professor of small animal medicine and surgery at her alma mater, while also serving as president of the School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.

“On behalf of SGU faculty, I want you to know that we are very proud of you all,” Dr. Paterson said. “I’m honored to welcome you to our fraternity of SGU alumni, and I’m proud to call you my colleagues.”

St. George’s University Provost Glen Jacobs emceed the ceremony, and implored the newest SGU alumni to pursue knowledge and training throughout their careers.

“This ceremony is a symbol of our confidence that you are now equipped for the world in which you are entering,” Dr. Jacobs said. “You are equipped with the basic skills necessary for your profession. You must continue learning to keep learning in order to keep pace with the changing world around us.”