Dreams Fulfilled on 2019 Match Day

 

On Match Day 2019, St. George’s University students and graduates once again demonstrated their aptitude and excellence, with more than 890 securing first-year residency positions in the United States. The numbers are expected to climb in the coming weeks.

Students matched into highly competitive positions in such fields as anesthesiology, child neurology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/emergency medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, surgery, urology, vascular surgery. They will join residency programs in 42 US states and the District of Columbia this summer.

“We couldn’t be prouder of those who are on to the next chapter in their careers,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “Each and every student showed great dedication and perseverance in order to clear each hurdle in their journey, and we’re delighted to see that they’ve been rewarded for their efforts.”

 

Scores of students gathered at SGU’s Match Day Luncheons in New York City and Miami, collectively celebrating as the match results were revealed by the National Resident Matching Service. Gaelle Antoine, MD ’19 (expected), described matching into her number one choice – the anesthesiology program at Brown University—as “surreal.”

“I’m still processing that my dream actually came true,” she said. “It’s unbelievable. All the sleepless nights and the ups and downs, that I matched at Brown made it totally worth it.”

Ms. Antoine was raised in Haiti before earning her bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College. When considering options for medical school, she seized the opportunity to enroll at SGU.

“I made such long-lasting friends in Grenada, and met some amazing professors, mentors, and faculty members,” she said. “As much as I want to say that I did a lot of it, SGU really played a big part of my success. The education was tailored for me to make it to the top, which is where I am right now.”

She now joins a diverse residency program that “represents America as well as the best of the population in medicine.”

Al Lore, MD ’19 (expected), will join the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beaumont Health in Dearborn, MI. As an SGU student, he appreciated the camaraderie among his medical school brethren in Grenada, and felt a similar tight-knit community at Beaumont.

“When I went to interview, as soon as I walked into the department, everyone was so welcoming,” he said. “It felt like such a great working environment to work in for the next four years of my life.”

Like other Class of 2019 members, Mr. Lore waited anxiously for the news to arrive on Match Day. It proved to be well worth the wait.

“This whole week, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Christmas Day to come,” he said. “You can’t wait for it to arrive, and then when that moment hits, it’s just an incredible feeling.”

Adam Lane, MD ’19 (expected), will begin residency with the internal medicine program at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell/Mather before going on to a diagnostic radiology residency at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ. Even for someone who describes himself as “laid-back,” Match Week made for an anxious time. He was thrilled to discover that he’d go into Atlantic Health’s program at Morristown.

Mr. Lane feels that his inquisitive nature is a natural fit with the field, and he’s also looking forward to serving the departments throughout the hospital.

“Some people think you just sit in the dark looking at imaging, but it’s so much more than that,” he said. “You have to have great communication skills. Every single specialty relies on radiology to provide critical insight so that they can better direct their clinical decisions, so you have to be able to communicate effectively. I’m just so excited to get started.”

While some had never visited Grenada prior to medical school, it had long been a second home for Anna Stransky, MD ’19 (expected). Her father, Martin Stransky, graduated from SGU in 1983 before going on a long and successful career in neurology. Anna had first visited there while her father was still a student, and many times over while growing up in Connecticut.

Her own SGU experience has catapulted her to an internal medicine residency position at Stamford Hospital in the aptly named Nutmeg State. It was her top choice.

“The road was long and sometimes bumpy, but I’m very happy to finally have the chance to be a practicing physician,” she said.

Ms. Stransky pointed to her support system as part of the reason for her success. That includes the friends she made on the island.

“SGU started as a ‘mom and pop’ organization, and there remains a very family-oriented vibe around it,” she said. “From day one, everyone is looking out for you. If you ask for help from students or faculty, there’s certainly support there for you.”

 

“The education was tailored for me to make it to the top, which is where I am right now.”

 

Like Ms. Stransky, Muaaz Masood, MD ’19 (expected), is headed home. He grew up outside Atlanta, and will begin his internal medicine residency at the Medical College of Georgia this summer.

“Home is a special place for me,” he said. “I felt that especially so at MCG, which solidified that this was going to be the right place for me the next three years.”

Mr. Masood was able to spend time in Georgia, having rotated at DeKalb Medical Center, one of SGU’s 70-plus clinical affiliates. He also took advantage of the expansive network of hospitals at which SGU students rotate, having trained in New York, Florida, and California as well. His travels took him well away from where he’d end up, but also gave him great perspective.

“It was a long journey, but it was 100 percent worth it,” Mr. Masood said. “My dream came to life.”

The Match Day news came just two weeks after 16 SGU students secured first-year residency positions in Canada through the Canadian Resident Match Service. For the complete list of 2019 residency appointments and a broad view of SGU’s track record of placing doctors in the US workforce, visit the SGU Graduate Success page.

– Brett Mauser

US Ambassador to Eastern Caribbean Visits Grenada to Discuss Community Outreach, Women’s Empowerment

Senior officials from the US State Department visit St. George’s University to speak with student leaders about community outreach and women’s empowerment. Discussions were led by US Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie Chung, Caribbean Affairs Director Katherine Dueholm, Deputy Political Economic Counselor Rachel Meyers, and Principal Officer Stephen Frahm.

Community outreach and women’s empowerment were at the forefront as St. George’s University’s student organization leaders welcomed senior officials from the United States to campus on March 8. Among the distinguished guests were Linda Taglialatela, US Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, and Julie Chung, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and other senior US State Department officials.

Representatives from groups such as the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, and Women in Medicine shared their many contributions to the island, from the well-attended One Health One Medicine health fairs to a 5K road race that supports breast cancer awareness.

Since the visit coincided with International Women’s Day, students took the opportunity to seek advice on balancing gender inequality in the workplace, and in the State Department in particular. Both Ambassador Taglialatela and PDAS Chung shared some of their own experiences as women in the workplace dealing with gender inequality. Each encouraged students to be prepared for any situation or discussion, and when in a position of power, to assist other women in making the climb upward.

The visit ended with a tour of the True Blue campus and PDAS Chung expressing the hope that this visit would reaffirm the United States’ commitment to forging stronger bonds with Grenada and other Eastern Caribbean countries.

Commonwealth Secretary-General to Deliver Keynote at Education Conference in Grenada

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, has agreed to deliver a keynote address at the annual conference of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) in Grenada from May 21-23 at St. George’s University.

The CEC annual conference takes place biennially in a Commonwealth member country and the United Kingdom. This is the first time that it has been held in the Caribbean.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland

The title of the conference will be “Our Common Wealth: A Focus on Student Success.” Speakers who have also accepted the invitation include Dr. Joanna Newman MBE, Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities; Professor Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies; Dr. Jacky Lumarque, President of Quisqueya University, Haiti; and Professor Kenneth Matengu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia, which hosted the CEC’s annual conference in 2017.

“There are a range of options and challenges facing the student community today, which previous generations did not have to face,” said Sonny Leong CBE, Chairman of the CEC. “The conference will explore the main challenges facing education provision in the 21st century in the Caribbean—and beyond, in the countries of our Commonwealth.”

“We are delighted to be hosting this conference,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University. “Over 20 percent of our students are from Commonwealth countries and we greatly value this association and the diversity it brings to our campus. We welcome representatives from government, education institutes, and teachers to work with us in developing answers and responses to the existing issues affecting education today and which impact student success.”

Patricia Scotland is the second Secretary-General of the Commonwealth from the Caribbean and the first woman to hold the post.

St. George’s University Welcomes Incoming Veterinary Students in White Coat Ceremony

Last week, St. George’s University formally welcomed its newest class of aspiring veterinarians with the traditional White Coat Ceremony.

“Today is your next step along the road of realizing your dream of becoming a veterinarian,” said Dr. Neil C. Olson, dean of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, in his opening remarks.

The White Coat Ceremony signifies the start of veterinary school for SGU’s January class. Students can begin their studies in either January or August.There are 828 students currently studying in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Nearly 90 percent are US citizens.

Other speakers at the event included St. George’s University Provost Glen Jacobs, Vice Chancellor Richard Liebowitz, and keynote speaker Dr. Janet Donlin, who serves as executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Donlin encouraged the incoming class to embrace new challenges and focus on the value of lifelong learning.

“You are our future, and our next generation of veterinarians, and tomorrow’s leaders in veterinary medicine,” Donlin said. “We’re proud of the goals you have set, and the desire you have to serve both animals and people in a changing world.”

Recently, St. George’s University earned full reaccreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. This allows St. George’s graduates to seek licensure in the United States and Canada after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. The school’s graduates had a 95 percent pass rate on the exam in the 2017-18 school year. The reaccreditation also allows US students to apply for federal loans and deferments through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

St. George’s students spend their first three years in Grenada and complete their final year of study at an accredited affiliated school. The school has clinical partnerships with 29 other universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Grenada. To date, St. George’s has trained over 1,400 veterinarians.

St. George’s University Welcomes New Class of Aspiring Doctors in White Coat Ceremony

Last week, St. George’s University welcomed its newest class of aspiring doctors to campus with the traditional White Coat Ceremony.

“It is a very special day, and the beginning of a new journey,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, provost at St. George’s University, in his remarks before the new class. “I don’t know what it took you to get here today—each journey is different. But you should be really proud to be here.”

The ceremony signifies the start of medical school for St. George’s January class. Students can begin classes in either January or August.

Other speakers included Dr. Molly Kilpatrick, a 2013 graduate of St. George’s, who congratulated the incoming class and chronicled the history of the White Coat Ceremony. St. George’s University Vice Chancellor Richard Liebowitz offered words of encouragement and emphasized the value of a diverse student body, the importance of shared success, and the school’s extensive support network.

Dr. Daniel Herr, a 1981 graduate of St. George’s and the current chief of surgical critical care services and director of the Cardiac Surgery Unit at the University of Maryland, delivered the keynote address. He urged students to embrace new opportunities and take advantage of the globally focused education St. George’s provides.

“I advise you to really become a part of the culture of Grenada, because it will serve you well when you start going out into the medical school world, or out into the real world,” Dr. Herr said. “The real world isn’t just the United States anymore. The real world is interacting with other countries, other cultures, and learning other medicine.”

Altogether, nearly 100 countries on six continents are represented within the St. George’s student body.

Among the other highlights from the ceremony was the surprise presentation of a white coat to incoming student Aidrian Ranjith by his parents Ranjith Mahadeva and Koshela Ranjith, who are both SGU alumni currently practicing medicine in Ontario.

“I have no doubt that every student in this room is going to be successful,” said Dr. Liebowitz in his remarks. “At SGU, we’re going to do everything we can to ensure that success.”

SGU Medical Students Get Their Start in Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program

In January, 34 students from St. George’s University took their first steps into the medical profession at a traditional White Coat Ceremony held at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. They joined the prestigious Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP), a longstanding partnership between SGU and Northumbria University that is now in its 12th year. Students in the program are able to take the first year of their Doctor of Medicine degree at NU, before settling in Grenada to continue their studies.

The White Coat Ceremony was emceed by Dr. Derrick Eyong Ebot, MD SGU ’09, who started in the KBTGSP and is now one of the program’s clinical tutors. Dr. Ebot spoke of his time studying at Northumbria before introducing the White Coat Speaker, Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of SGU.

Dr. Olds gave a moving address, drawing heavily on his personal experiences as a doctor of medicine, to impress upon the students that their motivation must always be what is in the best interest of their patients. Enrollees were then invited onto the stage to be robed in their white coats; a symbol of the responsibility society places on those in the medical profession.

“Our relationship with Northumbria University is a vital component in our ability to offer our students a truly international education,” Dr. Olds said. “By training in different countries with international colleagues, SGU graduates will have experienced a diversity of medical and cultural settings—standing them in good stead to be world-leading doctors. This is reflected in the current group of students here in Newcastle, who come from 12 countries on four continents.”

Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program Hosts British Association of Clinical Anatomists Winter Meeting at Northumbria University

All elements of anatomy—the backbone of medicine—were on the table for discussion and examination at last month’s British Association of Clinical Anatomists (BACA) Winter Meeting at Northumbria University, UK. Hosted by St. George’s University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, for which SGU’s medical students spend their first preclinical year on the NU campus, the meeting welcomed clinical anatomists, surgeons, and students from the UK and beyond.

Dr. James Coey, Assistant Dean of Basic Sciences at SGU’s Newcastle campus, and Dr. Sara Sulaiman, Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol, hosted the meeting, which was attended by 80 delegates, primarily from the United Kingdom. It included 16 oral presentations and 29 posters covering gross, microscopic, clinical, applied, translational, surgical, and radiographical anatomy, as well as anatomy education.

The conference included a plenary lecture from Dr. Stephen Clark, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, and professor of cardiothoracic transplantation, presented on the topic “Heart Transplantation: Anatomy and Surgical Techniques.” SGU’s Marios Loukas, dean of basic sciences, professor of anatomical sciences and president of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) presented a keynote titled “A Snapshot of Anatomical Translational Research and its Applications.” SGU was further represented through two oral presentations and four poster presentations from clinical faculty (Drs. Al-Jaberi, Bourne, Ebot, Elajnaf and Hilal) and Nosheen Sandhu, a first-year medical student, working in a research group led by Drs. Coey and Hilal with local and international collaborative partners.

“I believe in collaboration as a channel of continuous advancement and progress,” Dr. Sulaiman said. “Hosting a BACA meeting where the best minds of anatomy come together under one roof for an entire day is the perfect opportunity to drive new ideas and foster future partnerships.”

“This conference has clearly demonstrated what can be achieved through reinforcing links between partner associations, establishing new academic and clinical connections, and fostering future collaboration,” added Dr. Coey. “Encouraging students, physicians, and academics alike to engage and participate is paramount to the future of our associations”

Dr. Sulaiman began attending BACA meetings when she was a student at the University of Dundee in Scotland, calling them a “supportive, nurturing environment” that helped her thrive as a researcher. Drs. Sulaiman and Coey went on to design a selective in 2015 for SGU students to introduce the research cycle and further their anatomical knowledge through a self-directing learning exercise. Since its inception, 33 students have presented their work at international conferences leading to publication abstracts in clinical anatomy.

“I’ve had my students attending and presenting across the years and I was so glad to see them benefiting from its encouraging and stimulating atmosphere as I did years ago,” she said. “To me, hosting a BACA meeting was a dream and being involved in organizing a world-class, well-recognized scientific meeting was truly an amazing experience.”

Founded in 1977, BACA aims to advance and publish the study and research of clinical anatomy in the United Kingdom. The organization hosts two scientific meetings each year, providing an opportunity for members and other attendees to network with fellow academics and clinicians who share an interest in anatomy. In addition, the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, a collaboration between BACA, AACA, and international associations from New Zealand, Australia (ANZACA), and South Africa (ASSA), publishes eight times each year, displaying original and review articles of scientific, clinical, and educational interest.

The success of BACA helped spawn the AACA in February 1983. Dr. Ralph Ger, a professor in Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Anatomy, had attended the BACA meeting in 1982. He recognized the need for a better forum for clinicians, teachers and students to discuss the status and future of anatomy, and later became one of the AACA’s 18 founding members.

Transportation

Transportation


Getting Around Campus and Grenada

There are plenty of ways to get around the University and Grenada. Below is some useful information regarding getting around by bus, renting a car, and obeying traffic and parking regulations—both on and off campus.


University Shuttle Buses

The main form of travel is by the University bus; buses run regularly from 7 am until 2 am between the True Blue and Grand Anse campuses and to the Lance-Aux-Epines, Mont Toute, Frequente, Point Salines and True Blue areas where many of the off-campus students live. There is no charge to take the University buses.

Schedules are displayed at the True Blue campus and next to the bus stop. You can also download or print the schedule from the Transportation Community on Carenage. Please note that there are separate schedules for weekdays and weekends. On holidays, buses run on a weekend schedule, unless otherwise stated.

City Buses

City buses run from the Grand Anse area into town. These are an inexpensive, fairly quick way to get into the city of St. George’s. The destination is the Esplanade, near the market in St. George’s. There are many marked bus stops along the route with the final stop being the Melville Street Bus Terminal in the city. A one-way fare to any point along the route is $2.50 EC. Buses are very common during the day, but fewer buses run after 11 pm Monday through Saturday, and fewer still run after 4 pm on Sundays, so plan your activities accordingly.

Buses to other towns around the island (Gouyave, Sauteurs, Grenville, Victoria and parish of St. David) depart from the Melville Street Bus Terminal. There is no fixed schedule. Taking one of the buses offers a good chance to mix with the local population. Fares are set by the Government, most are less than $6 EC each way, but verify the fare before you get on. Buses for each destination have a fixed embarkation point in the terminal and each bus has a route sticker on the front windshield. Many buses stop running in the early evening though, so make sure to return in plenty of time.

Many drivers are eager to accommodate groups of students and will arrange group rates for short trips or provide transportation to social events during off-peak hours, which is helpful in the evening.

Taxis are generally the transportation of choice when coming or going to the airport or when stranded at night. $35 EC is the standard charge to or from the airport.

There are several car rental agencies in Grenada. These agencies offer a variety of cars and 4WD vehicles with either standard and automatic transmissions. Many students get together in a group and rent a vehicle for the term. The rate for motor vehicle rentals can range from US $400-$600 per month.

Some students, particularly upperclassmen and those living off-campus, choose to buy used cars to get around the island.  Students leaving the island will often post these sales on the SGU marketplace. If you decide to purchase a car we recommend considering a car share with other students to supplement the cost. Please note that all vehicles must be registered with both the Grenadian Department of Motor Vehicles and the University’s Department of Public Safety and Security. All drivers must have a Grenadian driver’s license. Please see below for more information on how to obtain one.

Registering Your Vehicle
The following is required to complete registration at the Grenadian Department of Motor Vehicles and the University Department of Public Safety and Security:

  • Grenadian Driver’s License
  • Vehicle Registration Number
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Vehicle’s license plate number
  • Year, make, model and color of vehicle
  • Local home address and phone number

In order to drive a car in Grenada you must have a Grenadian driver’s license. Students with a valid driver’s license from their home country can get a temporary driver’s license to drive in Grenada.

  • In order to obtain a temporary Grenadian driver’s license, students should visit the Grand Anse or St. George’s Police Station carrying a valid driver’s license from their home country.
  • The cost is EC $60.
  • Temporary licenses are only valid for three months, and it is essential they be renewed prior to expiration.
  • Please do not drive yourself to the police station in order to obtain a license without a current, valid Grenadian license. This is a serious offense and can result in incarceration.

* International driver’s licenses are not valid in Grenada.

All drivers on campus are required to abide by all motor vehicle rules and regulations. For more information on rules and regulations, parking, and violations, please refer to your student manual or visit the Department of Public Safety and Security Office for the latest Motor Vehicle Rules and Regulations pamphlet.

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