Professor Ian McConnell Delivers Annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture at St. George’s University

Professor Ian McConnell, most recognized for his fundamental discoveries on the immune system, drew upon his distinguished career in research while delivering the Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture at Bourne Hall on November 8. His address, titled “One Health: Successes and Opportunities,” focused on the immunology of infectious diseases of both animals and man, and was delivered to an audience of more than 1,100 faculty, staff, community members, and online viewers.

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Dr. McConnell is an Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Science and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, England. One Health has been a theme of his extensive research and teaching, with particular emphasis on zoonotic diseases and genetic diseases of animals that have parallels with genetic diseases in man. In particular, his work is currently focused on the scientific basis of infectious diseases of animals and man and how they impact public health at a global level.

“One Health is a concept that has had a long history in both medical and veterinary science,” said Dr. McConnell. “It is an important and defining concept which recognizes the interconnectedness between medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, and the biomedical and biological sciences. Public health, environmental health, and biodiversity all play in to the issues and concerns affecting the health of animals and man.”

ian-mcconnell-lectureAlthough One Health is a broad subject that covers many areas in veterinary medicine, human medicine, and biological sciences, Dr. McConnell chose to focus his lecture on two areas: global infectious diseases and comparative medicine. He used the examples of the eradication of rinderpest and rabies in animals in Europe to illustrate the successes and opportunities for One Health in global infectious diseases. For comparative medicine, he discussed the opportunities for translational research in man based on the repair of spinal cord injuries in dogs.

In addition to his professorship, Dr. McConnell is a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the UKs foremost Academy of medical science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), and was elected to Fellowships of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Royal College of Pathologists’ on scientific merit. He is a Professorial Fellow in Veterinary Science of Darwin College Cambridge.

After he graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Glasgow and in Natural Sciences (Pathology) from the University of Cambridge, he carried out his doctoral studies (PhD) in immunology in the laboratory of Professor Robin Coombs, one of the founding fathers of immunology, in the Department of Pathology at Cambridge. Professor McConnell also gave the 13th Annual Geoffrey H. Bourne Memorial Lecture at St. George’s University in 2007.

The Annual WINDREF and Keith B. Taylor Memorial Lecture, named after SGU’s second Vice Chancellor, has drawn the attention of numerous renowned presenters willing to share their expertise on topics such as climate change, health needs, and drug abuse and addictions. Past speakers at the lecture have included Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and Dr. Valentin Fuster, a renowned cardiologist who presented on the topic, “The Worldwide Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease.”

Published on 11/15/16

St. George’s University Provost Feels Right at Home

The new Provost at St. George’s University, Dr. Joseph Childers has received a warm Grenadian welcome upon his arrival. Although he is new to the island, the feeling he has is a familiar one.

childers-joseph“This has been very much like coming home for me,” Dr. Childers said. “Grenadian culture is, in many ways, similar to the Southern culture I grew up in. There is a certain friendliness, courtesy, and slight formality that everyone possesses. Grenadians also have an incredible joyousness – they love to laugh. I’ve found them to be upbeat, resilient, and proud, traits I very much recognize and respect.”

Appointed Provost in October 2016, Dr. Childers will oversee the University’s academic units, academic centers and initiatives, and student services, providing leadership for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure for the Grenada campus. He assumed the Provost role from Allen Pensick, who has spent more than 30 years at SGU, including as Provost from 2004 to 2016. Dr. Pensick has stayed on as Provost Emeritus, assisting Dr. Childers with his transition.

“Dr. Pensick has been an invaluable resource,” Dr. Childers said. “He’s so well liked, so well respected, and is such a major part of the University’s history. In addition to being a gracious mentor, he’s a great person. I couldn’t have asked for better.”

Dr. Childers came to SGU after serving as Dean of the Graduate Division at University of California, Riverside (UCR) for eight years. During that time, UCR witnessed increases in graduate student diversity and student success, garnering national attention as an institutional model and for best practices.

“Having purview over an entire campus was instrumental in helping me get a sense of the specific issues facing different departments and disciplines,” Dr. Childers said. “Also, because I have taught at all levels, from freshmen to advanced graduate students and even faculty, I have learned to be mindful about how to present and to ensure that people come away with an understanding of the material. It is paramount that the audience feels the environment is safe for asking questions and communicating.”

At UCR, he worked alongside G. Richard Olds, then the Founding Dean of its School of Medicine and the current President and Chief Executive Officer at SGU. Together they helped create one of the US’s most diverse campuses, a trait it shares with SGU, which has drawn students from more than 140 countries.

“You cannot over value the importance of diversity on any campus,” Dr. Childers said. “If you’re always seeing and dealing with people just like yourself, you’re effectively living in a cocoon. It’s important to be able to deal with difference, to see the world from alternate perspectives, and to respect other cultures, especially if you’re going into a profession that demands that kind of open-mindedness and curiosity.”

The oldest of five children, Dr. Childers was born in north central Indiana but as an infant moved with his family to Bentonville, Arkansas, a farming community on the Missouri and Oklahoma border. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Arkansas, and went on to obtain his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia University.

He then joined UCR as a Professor of English, a position he held for more than 25 years. Dr. Childers has also authored two books, co-edited two others, and published numerous articles and essays on a wide variety of topics. In addition to bringing his expertise and leadership to SGU, he is joined by his wife, Dr. Karen Pyke, a well known sociologist who is a visiting professor in the School of Arts and Sciences and who is consulting on the formation of an ombuds office for the campus.

In a short time, Dr. Childers has settled in at SGU, and he looks forward to using his background as an administrator and educator to create policies, procedures, and efficiencies that contribute to its development, both regionally and worldwide.

“Before it came on the radar for me as potential opportunity, I knew it was well respected for its medical education, but I didn’t know just how large of a role it has in the Caribbean,” Dr. Childers said. “St. George’s University is in position to become a comprehensive and truly premier international university. We are moving in that direction, and I’m tremendously excited to be a part of the University’s advancement.”

Published on 11/14/16

St. George’s University Small Animal Clinic Obtains AAHA Accreditation

For more than 15 years, the St. George’s University Small Animal Clinic (SAC) has provided quality care for animals throughout Grenada. This month, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) gave its stamp of approval, accrediting the SAC for two years, making it the second practice outside the United States and Canada to earn the distinction.

small animal clinic

Comprised of 10 clinicians and 15 support staff, the Small Animal Clinic is open year-round and around the clock, welcoming between 5,000 and 7,000 patients for wellness visits, emergencies, and surgeries. In addition, the SAC has been a clinical training venue for more than 1,200 School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) graduates.

“Accreditation proves that we are practicing a standard of excellence at the Small Animal Clinic,” said Dr. Christina Fernandez, DVM SGU ’07, Immediate Past Director of the SAC and an SVM Associate Professor in Emergency Critical Care. “The AAHA assessed what we’re teaching our students, providing for our clients, and how we work together as a business. On all of these fronts, we showed that we are doing a really good job.”

“AAHA accreditation provides an enhanced and enriched learning environment for students,” added Dr. Tim Ogilvie, Dean, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. “It is a point of pride for clinicians and staff, and it is a measure of quality and service focus for clients comparable to the best standards of care for animal patients.”

The SAC team began working toward AAHA accreditation in 2015, studying their efficiency of the practice, changing protocols, and updating the facility with state-of-the-art equipment. Earlier this month, an AAHA representative visited Grenada to measure the clinic on more than 900 mandatory and additional standards. The SAC attained accreditation for two years, and will be evaluated for potential three-year re-accreditation in 2018. According to the AAHA, only 12 to 15 percent of all veterinary practices in the US are accredited.

Dr. Wayne Sylvester, a longtime SVM Associate Professor and SAC Clinician, assumed the role of Interim Director, taking over for Dr. Fernandez on July 1.

“At the Small Animal Clinic, we are constantly striving to improve the standard of veterinary practice while optimizing the delivery of our services to our patients, clients and the community,” Dr. Sylvester said. “AAHA accreditation is a monumental accomplishment. It is a clear demonstration of the dedication and professionalism of our team, and we will continue to maintain the highest possible standards.”

For Dr. Fernandez, accreditation is only the latest feather in the clinic’s cap. She has witnessed tremendous improvements at the SAC since arriving at SGU as a student in 2003. “The clinic has changed so much, and the quality of medicine and teaching that the faculty offers is really outstanding at this point,” Dr. Fernandez said.

It has not only provided care and clinical training for SGU students but it has shifted Grenadians’ perspective of pet ownership. “Years ago, pets were considered property – they had a job to do, like to guard property or hunt,” Dr. Fernandez said. “Now we’re seeing more and more Grenadians who are proud of their animals. They bring their pets in for preventive care as opposed to just when they’re sick. They’re part of the family now.”

Published on 10/18/16

SGU Alumnus Raises the Standard for Radiology in Grenada

As part of the St. George’s University 12 Degrees North program, Dr. Randy Becker, MD SGU ’00, has returned to his alma mater each of the past seven years to offer free clinics and radiology training at the General Hospital. This fall, Dr. Becker has taken his commitment one step further with the introduction of the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), providing an economical means of storing, archiving, and transmitting digital medical images like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

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The donation was facilitated by RadNet Comprehensive Radiology Solutions, which provides PACS services for Dr. Becker’s practices in Maryland, and has an estimated value of US $200,000. With the new technology, Dr. Linwald Fleary, MD SGU ‘97, the General Hospital’s only radiologist, can access and assess images from any digital radiology center in Grenada on the PACS system. In addition to this time-saving benefit, and more accurate assessments, radiologists worldwide can join Grenada’s network to offer assistance and even second opinions.

“This is a tremendous milestone for radiology in Grenada,” said Brendon LaGrenade, Interim Vice Provost of Institutional Advancement at SGU. “It is a heartwarming example of what can happen when one person sees beyond a challenge to a possibility, and puts their efforts into making that possibility a reality. Dr. Becker is that special person who saw the need and didn’t let the size of the project stop him. He returned to Grenada in various supportive capacities since shortly after his graduation, and since then has been a central figure in bringing this huge project to fruition in Grenada.”

With SGU’s help, the radiology department at General Hospital had been upgraded to a cutting-edge, digitally equipped facility some years ago. However, the new capability to produce high-quality radiology images created the need to export these images to a radiologist without compromising quality or accuracy.

“Implementing the PACS system was the next necessary step in bringing the standard of radiology in Grenada up to what it needs to be,” said Mr. LaGrenade. “With this new supporting technology, the full effectiveness of the imaging equipment at the General Hospital can be achieved.”

After identifying the need for PACS, Dr. Becker reached out to RadNet. Mr. Ranjan Jayanathan, Chief Information Officer at RadNet, and his team were so touched by Dr. Becker’s work and philanthropy in health care development in Grenada that they agreed to waive all charges other than some hardware, and a fee for system maintenance.
On September 12, Dr. Becker, along with Ralph Stubenrauch, Clinical Applications Manager, and Will Page, Integrations Manager at RadNet, visited Grenada and successfully installed PACS at the General Hospital, University Health Services at SGU, and Princess Alice Hospital, which is currently being upgraded to a digital system. Future plans are to support all digitally capable centers in Grenada who wish to come on board with PACS.

Published on 10/12/16

St. George’s University Alumnus Awarded Full-Tuition Commonwealth Scholarship

Kishon Francis, a 2015 graduate of St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences, has received a full-tuition Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a Master of Science in computer communication networks at Brunel University in London. The scholarship covers all expenses associated with the one-year program, including Mr. Francis’ tuition, accommodation, meals, and general living expenses.

Kishon Francis joined by his sister, Kinda Francis.

Kishon Francis joined by his sister, Kinda Francis.

Mr. Francis obtained a Bachelor of Science in information technology from SGU. He began his studies at Brunel in September, and is one of two Grenadians to receive this academic scholarship this year.

“I feel like I’m on top of the world,” said Mr. Francis. “This scholarship is one of the most difficult Commonwealth scholarships to obtain, and it feels great to be selected from among so many qualified candidates.”

“Not only are Commonwealth scholarships prestigious, but the kind of Commonwealth scholarship Mr. Francis has been awarded is very rare, with a highly competitive application process. This is testimony to the quality of education he received from SGU,” added Mr. Colin Dowe, Assistant Dean of Enrolment Planning at SGU. “We are extremely proud of him. This is a fantastic honor and one worthy of commendation and celebration.”

The Commonwealth scholarship aims to support advancement in developing Commonwealth nations. Recipients not only have shown academic excellence but also the strong potential to create a significant impact in their home countries.

As an assistant lecturer at the T.A. Marryshow Community College, Mr. Francis has always been passionate about sharing with his students more than mere knowledge of the field, going beyond the curriculum to help them convert their knowledge into high performance and success in the workplace. After earning his network-engineering-focused Master of Science, he hopes to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in software engineering and return to Grenada to fulfill his vision.

“My goal and dream is to use the education I receive to launch a company which will help make technology in Grenada seamless, up-to-date, and on par with international standards,” Mr. Francis said.

Published on 10/6/16

WINDREF Receives $380,000 in Grants to Study Vector-Borne Diseases

The Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) has received two grants, valued at $380,000, to study the prevalence and impact of the Zika and Chikungunya viruses in Grenada and surrounding countries.

windref

A two-year, $300,000 USD grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Fogarty International Center will allow researchers to examine the neurodevelopmental impact of the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in infants in Grenada. In addition, WINDREF, which is based on the St. George’s University campus, has been granted $80,000 USD by the United States Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to study the Zika virus in the Southern Caribbean.

Dr. Randall Waechter, Research Grants Coordinator and faculty member in St. George’s University’s Department of Bioethics, and Dr. Angelle Desiree LaBeaud, Associate Professor at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, will serve as Co-Principal Investigators for the NIH study, which is titled “Neurodevelopment and Vector-borne Diseases: Building Research Capacity in the Tropics.” They will be assisted by SGU faculty members Barbara Landon and Trevor Noel and also work in conjunction with researchers from Stanford University, Oxford University, and Université de La Réunion.

“The recent discovery of the potential impact of the Zika virus on neurodevelopment in utero has researchers all over the world wondering if other vector-borne viruses can also impact neurodevelopment. We have put together a global team of leading experts to address this question. We are very excited to carry out this study, get SGU students involved, and build further research capacity in Grenada”

CHIKV’s spread through the Caribbean beginning in December 2013, including Grenada from August to December 2014, was followed by the recent emergence of the Zika virus in the region, highlighting the need to investigate, predict, contain and respond to vector-borne diseases. Through the NIH study, researchers will determine the prevalence of mother-to-child transmission of CHIKV in Grenadian pregnant mothers, compare the neurodevelopment of children born to infected mothers versus unexposed children, assess the burden of confounding factors to better understand the specific impact of VBD on neurodevelopment, and build local capacity for arboviral and neurodevelopmental testing at SGU.

Past WINDREF research endeavors have been supported by the NIH, including a $50,000 grant through the NIH and the Caribbean Public Health Association (CARPHA) to research the efficacy and awareness of breast and cervical screening in the region earlier this year. However, the CHIKV study marks the first time that the NIH has directly funded a WINDREF research project. It comes on the heels of another neurodevelopmental study, funded by Grand Challenges Canada, for which WINDREF examined the connection between corporal punishment and cognitive outcomes. Through this previous grant, the capacity to examine neurodevelopment in association with CHIKV has already been established.

“In the recent UNESCO Science Report titled: ‘Toward 2030’,  the remarkable increase in research output from Grenada over the last decade – largely as a result of St. George’s University – was acknowledged,” Dr. Waechter said. “Grenada is now the number three producer in the Caribbean of the most internationally respected publications, behind Jamaica and Trinidad. SGU has a promising future as an international research center and we are excited by the opportunities this offers to Grenadians and other CARICOM citizens.”

Titled “Zika virus surveillance in the Southern Caribbean and Reference Lab Support,” the NMRC study will be led by Dr. Calum Macpherson, Director of Research at SGU, Todd Myers from the NMRC, and William Nelson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tetracore. Zika dominated headlines around the world in the spring and summer of 2016 and Grenada was among more than 55 countries whose residents were afflicted with the virus.

The study is only the latest partnership between SGU and Tetracore. In July, the Maryland-based biotechnology company donated a Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction thermocycler device to assist with the diagnostics and surveillance for Zika and other vector-borne infections in Grenada. The device can identify multiple genetic markers for Zika and can process six samples simultaneously.

“This collaboration between WINDREF, the Ministry of Health, Grenada, and the US NIDDL and Tetracore provides an essential diagnostic service, using the latest technology for the diagnosis of Zika, Chikungunya, and dengue,” said Dr. Macpherson. “This information is important for many at-risk sectors of the population.”

 

Published on 10/5/16

St. George’s University Celebrates 12th Beyond Spice Family Weekend

Satya and Vijaya Pothamsetti made the trip from Toronto, Canada to attend St. George’s University’s 12th Beyond Spice Family Weekend for two reasons. The first was that they couldn’t wait to attend the School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony, as the important event marked their eldest daughter’s entry into the medical profession. The second and more important reason, plainly, was that they missed her.

SGU Students Celebrate Family Weekend

 

To see Monika, the couple traveled to Grenada with their youngest daughter, Harika, and along with hundreds of families from around the world, converged on SGU’s picturesque True Blue campus to experience a taste of culture and hospitality on the Isle of Spice. They visited the Vendor’s Village, a display of local art, craft and food with many unique and handcrafted items; attended a sunset barbecue the next day, and even won third place in Discover the Culture in SGU campus scavenger hunt.

“The campus looks like a huge retreat spot; it’s really amazing,” said Mrs. Pothamsetti. “Any parent that has the opportunity shouldn’t miss Family Weekend and a chance to attend the White Coat Ceremony. This is one of the most significant experiences in the life of a medical student.”

SGU has proven to be a wonderful home for Monika as she begins her medical studies, just as the family has suspected it would be.

“We are extremely proud of Monika,” said Mr. Pothamsetti. “In addition to SGU, she was accepted to three other universities, but we all discussed it as a family and decided that SGU was the perfect fit.”

The Pothamsetti family was joined at Family Weekend by Robert and Mary Hidalgo. When their son, Christopher, was accepted to the School of Medicine, they were both excited and cautious, with the campus being more than 2,000 miles from their New York home.

They arrived two weeks in advance of first term, eager to explore their son’s new campus and adoptive country. “We took all the tours because we just had to come here and experience the island, the culture, and the people,” said Mrs. Hidalgo. “The school itself is phenomenal, and the campus is beautiful. I’m actually a little jealous.”

Now making a second trip to Grenada for Family Weekend, the Hidalgos felt confident in their son’s decision to attend SGU, after learning about it through his grandfather’s doctor, who is also an SGU graduate. “We felt secure and happy leaving him here and absolutely recommend Family Weekend,” Mrs. Hidalgo said. “I would advise all parents to come check it out.”

Since 2008, SGU has invited family members to come visit the country and campus that their students now call home. The bi-annual family weekend festivities included guided campus tours, which gave participants an intimate glimpse into the University, while the historical sightseeing tour of Fort Frederick, the famous Grand Etang Lake and the 30-foot Annandale Waterfalls provided a glimpse into the natural beauty of Grenada. The weekend also featured the Vendors Village, lunch at Belmont Estate, a fully functional and historic plantation; and a sunset barbecue and sea excursion, among other activities.

The weekend also coincided with the White Coat Ceremonies for Term 1 MD and DVM students, allowing families to take advantage of all that Family Weekend has to offer, as well as the chance to witness their loved one’s first steps into the medical or veterinary profession. Students and their families attended a weekend full of activities throughout campus and the island prior to the momentous White Coat Ceremony.

“Every term we happily look forward to opening our doors to host students’ families who’ve traveled from both near and far to experience a weekend of sun, sea and family in the Isle of Spice,” said Colin Dowe, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning. “The sense of pride and accomplishment with which the parents speak of their children not only brings joy to us but serves as a reminder of the great responsibility we have taken on in assisting these students in realizing their dreams.”

“Family Weekend is a venture that not only benefits SGU but the Grenadian economy as well, since many family members stay at local hotels, purchase handmade items from local vendors, and dine in local restaurants,” added Mr. Dowe. “Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where our visitors can explore all that the University and Grenada have to offer and hopefully become converted into lifelong visitors to our beautiful tri-island state.”

Published on 9/23/16

St. George’s University Links With Pre-Med Program at Erasmus University College in Netherlands

St. George’s University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Erasmus University College (EUC), paving the way for EUC students to receive world-leading medical training. The agreement, the first of its kind between the two institutions, will allow qualified students the opportunity to obtain the Doctor of Medicine degree at SGU.

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode

The signing of the MOU between EUC and St. George’s marks an expansion of options to EUC students wishing to pursue medicine at a master level. Currently, EUC pre-med students are able to enroll into a bridging program which links to the Master in Medicine at the Erasmus Medical Centre. The relationship with St. Georges offers an English option abroad for the pre-med students.

“This partnership will provide the opportunity for EUC students to receive some of the best medical training in the world at SGU and our affiliated universities, resulting in more world-class doctors practicing medicine,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St George’s University. “With this historic agreement we have also strengthened our global network of higher education institutions, and formed a lasting partnership with another excellent university.”

Photo by Eric Fecken

Photo by Eric Fecken

Students from EUC who have successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts and sciences, with a grade point average of at least C for the courses that form part of the Pre-Med major, will be eligible to apply for the program. Those who succeed will be free to choose whether to spend their first year at SGU’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars’ Program in Newcastle, and their second year at SGU in Grenada, or to spend both years in Grenada. The final two years of the program will consist of clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“It is important that our students are given the opportunity to study medicine overseas, which this MOU will facilitate,” Professor Maarten Frens, Dean of Erasmus University College. “Those on the program will receive international training to complement their education from EUC, and I am excited by the prospect of our students having the opportunity to obtain a US or UK medical practitioners license. I am pleased to have overseen the beginning of a new relationship between Erasmus University College and St. George’s University, and hope that this continues for many years to come.”

Erasmus University College is the international honours college of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and offers a Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. EUC is a residential and small-scale programme located in the heart of Rotterdam. EUR is ranked 71st in the Times Higher Education rankings and is known as a centre of excellence for health, wealth, governance, business, and economics.

Published on 9/15/16

St. George’s University Awards Legacy of Excellence Scholarships to 159 Students Over US$2 Million Awarded to Future Doctors

Today, St. George’s University awarded over $1 million in Legacy of Excellence scholarships to 159 students in the School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2020.

SGU campus aerial

“St. George’s is dedicated to making our unique international medical education accessible to the best and brightest students from all over the world — regardless of circumstance,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s. “I congratulate these students on a job well done, and look forward to welcoming them in the upcoming academic year.”

Sixty nine students received the Chancellor’s Circle of Legacy of Excellence scholarship this year. The CCLOE is an award to 50 incoming students who meet or exceed an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.7, a science GPA of 3.5, and an MCAT score of 506. The University has awarded CCLOE scholarships since 2009.

“I’m honored that we have such a qualified group of students accepting these awards,” said Dr. Olds.

Ninety additional incoming students received the Legacy of Excellence Scholarship, a partial-tuition scholarship given to students whose academic histories and MCAT scores demonstrate excellent work ethic and a passion for learning. The University began the Legacy of Excellence Scholarship program over ten years ago.

“We created these awards not only to enable these students to attend medical school, but also in the hopes that they will help to fill vacancies in underserved areas that are in serious need of more doctors,” said University Chancellor Charles Modica.. “We at St. George’s are very happy to support them so that they will serve others in the future.”

The University offers a wide variety of institutional scholarships to recognize academic excellence. It has awarded over $100 million dollars in scholarships to more than 5,000 students over the years.

Published on 9/7/16

School of Medicine Class of 2020 Takes Oath at Fall 2016 White Coat Ceremony

The St. George’s University School of Medicine’s Class of 2020 took another step toward their future profession by taking part in the school’s 40th White Coat Ceremony on August 26. The students donned their newly minted white coats, emblems of the authority and professionalism of their chosen field, and collectively recited the Oath of Professional Commitment.

som white coat cereomy august 2016

University President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. G. Richard Olds delivered a touching keynote address, during which he shared anecdotes and lessons from his medical career. In one instance, he learned that a physician must always act in the patient’s best interest, no matter the perception. “When all is said and done, no matter how unpopular, no matter how you might appear, you have to do what is best for your patient,” said Dr. Olds.

For lesson two, he stressed to the students that being a doctor means more than diagnosing illness and recommending treatments. It sometimes means being a friend to your patient who really needs one.

His final lesson was about not letting emotional attachment obstruct recognizing what the patient truly wants. Dr. Olds spoke of a time when he battled to prolong his father’s life in the face of an increasingly complicated medical history. The father, however, wished to be allowed to pass quietly, surrounded by his loved ones.

“There is a tendency to try to do what you think the patient wants, or what you would do in the circumstance, and to forget that you have to listen to the patient and try to do what the patient wants with life,” he said. “The faculty will teach you what you need to know about how the body works, how it goes wrong in disease, how to make a diagnosis, and what is the best way to treat conditions, but it is your patients who will teach you the art of medicine. You have to be open to it, you have to listen to it, and you have to learn from the hard lessons, from the mistakes that you will make in the management of your patients. If you do that, you will all become great physicians.”

The festivities was emceed by Glenn Nanney, MD SGU ’14, a third-year physical medicine and rehabilitation resident at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The White Coat Ceremony was first established at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993 and has since been adopted by most medical schools. This important ritual, which symbolizes a student’s induction into the medical profession, was embraced by St. George’s University’s School of Medicine in 1996.

By Davette St. Louis

Published on 9/1/16