St. George’s University Students Record 96 Percent Pass Rate On USMLE 1 in 2015

St. George’s University students continue to make the grade on the first major step on the way to becoming a practicing physician in the US – the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1. SGU students taking the exam for the first time in 2015 registered a 96 percent pass rate, a mark achieved by students from 45 countries. These students recorded an impressive mean score of 224.

USMLE Chart 2011-2015

“We congratulate these students on their individual success as well as their efforts collectively,” said Dr. Stephen Weitzman, Dean of St. George’s University School of Medicine. “Their aptitude on the USMLE 1 is a testament to their commitment to their studies and their future. In addition, we applaud our faculty and staff, who take great pride in preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop into highly successful physicians.”

St. George’s University students from the United States and Canada who took the test for the first time posted a pass rate of 97 percent. The same category of test takers from US and Canadian medical schools registered a 96 percent pass rate, while students from US and Canadian osteopathic medical schools passed at a 93 percent clip.

The 2015 pass rate marked the fifth consecutive year that the University’s overall first-time pass rate on the exam surpassed 95 percent.

Designed to measure basic science knowledge, the USMLE Step 1 is comprised of more than 300 multiple-choice questions on topics ranging from the biology of cells and human development to the central nervous, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems, among others. A passing score on all three parts of the USMLE is required to practice medicine in the US.

Published on 4/27/16

Brandon University and St. George’s University Sign Education Agreement for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Students will have new options to get a degree in medicine or veterinary medicine, thanks to a new agreement between Brandon University (BU) and Saint George’s University.

(left to right) Brandon University President, Dr. Gervan Fearon, and Dr. P. Benjamin Robinson, Assistant Director of Admission – Canada, for St. George's University

(left to right) Brandon University President, Dr. Gervan Fearon, and Dr. P. Benjamin Robinson, Assistant Director of Admission – Canada, for St. George’s University


The two institutions today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow students to obtain medical or veterinary degrees at Saint George’s, in Grenada, after taking either a three- or four-year pre-professional science degree at BU.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students at Brandon University to broaden their cultural and geographic horizons while furthering their education,” said Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science Dr. Austin Gulliver. “There is very strong demand for physicians and veterinarians in Manitoba, and this agreement helps us educate Manitoba students to help meet that demand.”

Manitoba’s Labour Market Forecast predicts that there will be 1,300 job openings for physicians, dentists and veterinarians by 2021.

After two years at Saint George’s, medical students will take another two years in clinical rotation at affiliated hospitals in the Canada, the United States or the United Kingdom. Students of veterinary medicine will take three years at Saint George’s, followed by a year of clinical rotation at affiliated veterinary schools in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, or Ireland.

”We are very excited to be announcing this agreement with Brandon University,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University. “With the need for physicians and veterinarians on the rise in Canada – particularly in rural areas – we look forward to addressing this shortage by expanding the opportunities for BU students to receive a high-quality, international education here in Grenada.”

This new agreement builds on existing agreements that BU has for students to obtain a medical degree at the University of Manitoba, or a veterinary medicine degree at the University of Saskatchewan.

Brandon University President, Dr. GervanFearon, said that the new international agreement was a natural fit for the two institutions. “We are advancing our international activities at BU by increasing international student recruitment and providing our students with more opportunities for international experience,” Dr. Fearon said. “Today’s agreement reflects this broad internationalization theme at Brandon University.”

“In today’s world, it is important for students, citizens and universities to look globally for the best solutions,” he said. “Not only have we found a great partner in Saint George’s, but our partnership helps us supply solutions right here in Brandon and in Manitoba.”

Published on 4/21/16

St. George’s University Mourns Loss of Co-Founder Louis J. Modica

Louis Modica with SGU founders

It is with deep sadness that St. George’s University announces the passing of one of its founders, Louis J. Modica. Mr. Modica is the father of Chancellor Charles R. Modica, and a founding member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Modica was 92.

Mr. Modica shared his son’s vision of establishing an independent school of medicine in Grenada, and on July 23, 1976, they along with Patrick F. Adams and Edward McGowan formed the University’s first Board of Trustees. Their active involvement in the ensuing years assured its growth into an innovative and international center of higher education.

Louis ModicaMr. Modica’s guidance and support resulted in the principles that shape the University to this day, including its deep commitment to its host nation. For their contributions to St. George’s University, a newly constructed three-floor study hall on the True Blue campus was named Louis and Marion Modica Hall in their honor

Mr. Modica dedicated his life to developing real estate on Long Island, NY, most notably on its south shore, where he and his family lived since the 1950s. He was highly active in the Bay Shore community.

Mr. Modica is survived by his wife, Marion; children Charles, John, and Lorraine; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Visitation hours will be held at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home, 200 East Main Street, East Islip, NY, on Sunday, March 10 from 2-4:30 pm and 7-9:30 pm. A funeral mass will take place on Monday, April 11, at 10 am at St. Patrick Parish, 9 North Clinton Avenue, Bay Shore, NY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fund for the Orphans & Elderly in Grenada. Donations may be sent to University Support Services, C/O Jackie Alaimo, 3500 Sunrise Highway, Building 300, Great River, NY 11739.

Published on 4/6/16

St. George’s University and University Of Delaware Launch Medical, Veterinary Partnership

St. George’s University and the University of Delaware announced a new partnership which will enable qualified University of Delaware undergraduates to pursue advanced medical and veterinary degrees at St. George’s University in Grenada.

University of Delaware partnership hand shake

“We are thrilled to welcome the University of Delaware into our growing University community,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University. “By further expanding our network of partners, we are continuing to provide a pathway for students from around the world to pursue medical and veterinary education.”

Upon receiving their bachelor’s degree, qualified students from the University of Delaware will have the option to pursue a degree in medicine or veterinary medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada. Students in St. George’s School of Medicine will complete their first two years of medical study in Grenada and their final two years in U.S. or U.K. clerkship programs. Those in the veterinary school will spend three years in Grenada before completing their final clinical year elsewhere.

University of Delaware partnership campus

The University of Delaware joins a diverse group of over 15 colleges and universities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada that have partnered with St. George’s University. The University also has similar partnerships with Mahidol University International College in Thailand and schools in Bermuda, Grenada, Hong Kong, Guyana, and Uganda.

“This agreement further enhances our relationship with St. George’s University and will provide our students with the opportunity to continue their journey to becoming professionals in the fields of medicine and veterinary medicine,” said Lynn Okagaki, UD deputy provost for academic affairs.

“We are pleased today to announce that the University of Delaware has entered into an agreement with St. George’s University in the West Indies that will expand opportunities for qualified UD students to pursue a career in medicine or veterinary medicine,” said David Barlow, director of the Center Premedical/Health Profession Studies. “It is designed for students who are certain that they want to become physicians or veterinarians and who desire a program of study that blends the scientific aspect of these professions in a highly diverse international setting.”

Published on 3/28/16

Newly Matched SGU Students Prepared to Strengthen Canadian Health Care

St. George’s University has long provided a pipeline for Canadian students to return to their home country to practice, and 2016 was no exception. Through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), nine students matched with first-year residency positions in Canada and will begin their postgraduate training this summer.

SGU students will complete their postgraduate training in internal medicine, family medicine, and psychiatry at such programs as Queen’s University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Manitoba, the University of Ottawa, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Toronto, and Western University. A second match iteration will take place in April.

“We congratulate those students who were selected to launch their medical careers in beautiful Canada,” said St. George’s University President and CEO G. Richard Olds. “We firmly believe that program directors at these institutions will find that these future SGU graduates have the knowledge, skills, and bedside manner needed to shine from the moment they begin as first-year residents.”

Having earned his Master of Science from the University of Toronto, Jason Lam was delighted to match into U of T’s orthopaedic surgery program. He bolstered his credentials leading up to the match by completing electives in Canada, and worked closely with his Canadian clinical advisor to steer his way to his top-choice program.

“It was absolutely surreal,” Mr. Lam said. “Being able to return home and to train in a field I’m immensely passionate about is a dream come true.

“St. George’s University provided me with a wealth of resources to allow me to be prepared for both my exams and clinical training,” he added. “The diversity of my clinical experiences throughout medical school makes me feel very prepared for residency. SGU undoubtedly provides students with solid basic science education and superb clinical training, along with the opportunity to match into even competitive residency programs.”

Paul Howatt matched in family medicine at Western University, his top choice in the field. He enrolled at SGU through the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP), for which students spend the first year of their medical education at Northumbria University before one basic sciences year in Grenada and two more in clinical rotations.

“Attending SGU was an excellent opportunity for training to be a doctor, and it was particularly good at preparing me for the US board exams,” Mr. Howatt said. “I had a blast living in England for my first year, with fantastic teaching from the instructors.”

More than 1,200 Canadians have graduated from the School of Medicine since it opened in 1977, and over 600 Canadian students are currently enrolled at the University. SGU’s Canadian medical students taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination for first time in 2015 registered a 97 percent pass rate and highly competitive 228 mean score.

Published on 3/20/16

Keith B. Taylor Global Scholar Students Receive Higher Education Diploma in Medical Sciences from Northumbria University

The 2016 graduands of St. George’s University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) took the next step toward obtaining their medical degrees, receiving  their Higher Education Diploma in Medical Sciences from University of Northumbria (NU) on February 13.

KBTGSP academic congregation outside Chancellory

In addressing the students at Bourne Lecture Hall on SGU’s True Blue Campus, Professor Kath McCourt, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Elect of NU, admitted to being envious of the graduands and all of their first-time experiences as they begin their careers in medicine.  She stressed this ceremony was one of celebration of their hard work, the talent, and the determination they’ve shown during their studies.

“I believe your time with Northumbria University would have provided you with a firm foundation to build on, and I am confident it has shaped you as an individual, colored the choices you made, and opened your eyes to the difference you can make,” remarked Professor McCourt. “As you join our global community of 186,000 students in more than 167 countries worldwide, I hope it has shaped the career you would pursue and the life that you will live.”

Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost, St. George’s University called Dr. Keith B. Taylor a visionary, as he paid tribute to the man for whom the program was named. As Vice Chancellor, Dr. Taylor helped to transform the School of Medicine into a university with diversity of schools, programs, and students from all over the world.

KBTGSP academic congregation two students

“Unfortunately, Dr. Taylor passed away just two weeks before the charter class matriculated in January 2007, but I knew his vision for the program which bears his name and it must make him very pleased to know that all of you chose the KBT program,” recalled Dr. Pensick. “He also believed that, with the changes that were occurring in the world, the program you have undertaken would prepare you well for your careers as a physician.”

“Your firsthand experience as medical students in the wider sense of global health is unparalleled,” added Dr. Pensick. “The global community is going to be well served by your exposures to different health care systems, different cultures, and different ways in which the art of medicine is practiced. The skills you have learned will enable you to do a lot of good as you face the challenge of medicine in a changing world.”

Punctuating the momentous occasion, one by one the students crossed the stage and received their HE Diploma in recognition of successful completion of their first year of studies at the School of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University.

As part of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, St. George’s University School of Medicine offers an option for medical students to complete the first year of the Basic Medical Sciences program on the campus of Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. Upon successful completion, students then continue their second year of the medical program in Grenada and conclude their medical education with two years of clinical training in one of our affiliated hospitals in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, or Grenada.

Published on 3/8/16

SGU Partners With Medgar Evers College to Host Principals Forum

Over 60 secondary and primary school principals and educators attended a two-day forum held by St. George’s University in collaboration with Medgar Evers College (MEC) of the City University of New York and the Ministry of Education in Grenada, on January 28 and 29 at Allen Pensick Hall.

Principals forum with group

Spearheaded by Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of SGU, and Mr. Eugene Pursoo, Director of the International Affairs Center at MEC, the event was to provide Grenadian instructors an opportunity to empower and improve the quality of education on the island as a whole by inviting the school leaders to hear and interact with prominent individuals from North America in education.

“The forum was incredibly well received,” said Dr. Debbi Johnson, an Associate Professor in SGU’s Department of Educational Services. “The best part was that the the principals walked away with real information that they could use and a real desire to use it.”

Dr. Rudolph Crew, a nationally acclaimed educator whose career has spanned from the classroom to the chancellorship of America’s largest school district, New York City Public Schools, shared new and fresh ideas with the local educators about the role of education in the community and the role of community in education.

“Dr. Crew’s keynote address set the tone for the next two days of the forum,” Dr. Johnson said. “He explained the relationship between a community and education, and challenged the principals to think about the importance of what they were doing and come up with plans and strategies for meeting their goals and objectives.”

Principals forum speaker

In addition to Dr. Crew, the principals heard from Dr. Sheilah Paul, Dean, School of Education, MEC, who spoke on the topic of the unique educational challenges in the Caribbean. Ms. Jenelle Bullen and Ms. Tamara Stuart-Barry also covered the use of instructional supervision in the classroom, and SGU’s own Dr. Barbara Landon gave a presentation titled Becoming Brain Smart.

“Although Dr. Landon’s speech ran about 20 minutes into lunch, there was no desire to leave; not one person from the audience seemed to mind because they were all listening attentively and fully engaged,” said Dr. Daniel Flynn, Director of Faculty Development, SGU. “She addressed some deeply scientific information but in very accessible terms.”

“To see 55 or so principals actively engaged in worksheets lets us know they are excited about the information they’re getting and what they’re doing,” added Dr. Flynn “The forum has meaning and value to them and they were investing in this activity.”

At the end of day two, the educators were asked to create a Principal’s Wish List, where they discussed what they would like to see featured in future Principals Forums, what are some of the needs of the Grenadian educational community, and how SGU and its partners can better tailor future presentations to help them in tackling these challenges

Published on 3/8/16

Chancellor Charles Modica Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation

St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica was awarded The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation – Commander 2015 by the Government of Grenada at the 42nd Anniversary of Independence Celebrations at the National Stadium on
February 7.

Charles Modica Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order Nation

Conferred on Dr. Modica by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation is given to an individual who has rendered distinguished and outstanding service to Grenada.

“I am deeply humbled to have been awarded this honor and I thank the country of Grenada for opening its doors to a lifelong partnership with SGU,” said Chancellor Modica. “In the nearly 40 years since my co-founders and I started this University,  I am gratified to see how the University has grown to become an active and vital member of the community, something that could not have been possible without the people of Grenada embracing SGU and nurturing its development.”

Charles Modica Shaking Hands Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order Nation

Under Dr. Modica’s visionary leadership, SGU has solidified its reputation as one of the leading education centers in the region. The University offers degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, business, and science and features a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff from more than 140 countries. More than 15,000 professionals have graduated from St. George’s University, and with a staff of over 600, SGU is one of Grenada’s largest employers.

Chancellor Modica continues to serve as Ambassador-At-Large for Grenada, an honor bestowed on him in 2005 by Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. The Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell. Through the University, the Chancellor has worked diligently to promote tourism, trade, and investment activities for Grenada, as well as assisting the Government of Grenada in the ongoing development of the country.

Dr. Modica has a strong sense of civic responsibility and currently serves the Grenada Heart Foundation, the Vincentian Children’s Heart Fund, and Co-Chair of the Fund for the Orphans and Elderly of Grenada. The Chancellor earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Delaware Law School in 1975 and has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK, in 2009, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Barry University School of Law, Miami Shores, Florida, in 2000.

Published on 3/7/16

Scholars Celebrate at Mahidol

A dual degree affiliation agreement between one of Thailand’s leading universities, Mahidol University, and St George’s University in the Caribbean island of Grenada, has been marked by the award of scholarships, by St George’s University, to two Mahidol students.

Dean of Mahidol University International College, from left, Scholar Chandra Bahadu, Dean Phitaya Charupoonphol and Scholar Natnicha Noppornmongkul

Dean of Mahidol University International College, from left, Scholar Chandra Bahadu, Dean Phitaya Charupoonphol and Scholar Natnicha Noppornmongkul

The main scholarship has been given to Chandra Bahadu from Myanmar, who studied for his first degree in biological sciences at Mahidol University International College. With a scholarship valued at 75 percent (approximately US $190,000) of his total tuition fees,he will now be able to pursue his four year medical degree at St George’s University School of Medicine. A partial scholarship, valued at US$85,000, was also awarded to Natnicha Noppornmongkul, who will also study at St George’s University School of Medicine.

At the award ceremony at Mahidol, the Dean of Mahidol University International College, Phitaya Charupoonphol, said that St George’s University has “an enviable reputation for turning out international graduates who are successful in obtaining residency training placements in the US and UK. I am confident that, through their mutual efforts and commitment, our scholars will achieve much more as they continue to develop their studies.”

Dean Charupoonphol thanked the President and Chief Executive Officer of St George’s University, Dr G Richard Olds, as well as the Chancellor and Founder, Dr Charles R Modica, for their support for the scholarship awards.

“Through our affiliation agreement, our students need to complete three years of pre-medicine study before being accepted as first year medical students and eligible for a dual degree. This is an enormous and career developing opportunity,” he added.

In a special message, read for him by St George’s University representative Patrick Orr, Dr Olds said that he was proud St George’s University had teamed up with one of Thailand’s leading educational establishments.

“I am fully aware of the long and historic contribution that Mahidol has made to the medical profession in Thailand and the region,” he said. “We, at St George’s University, have pioneered the concept of international medical education and have graduated over 13,000 physicians into the global healthcare system. Out two new scholars will be very much at home on our diverse campus with representatives from all over the world.

“We have a philosophy at our university – that those who study with us, particularly those who benefit from our scholarship awards, should return to their countries of origin and bring home their skills, talents and commitment to their own medical professions. “Our congratulations to our two new scholars today.”

Published on 3/3/16

An Amazing Profession Spring 2016 DVM Class Begins Its Journey

The newest class of veterinary students at St. George’s University donned the emblematic White Coat and recited the Oath of Professional Commitment, signifying their entry into the profession of veterinary medicine on January 30.

SVM White Coat Spring 2016

“It’s an amazing and well-respected profession,” declared Dr. Jessica Harmon, DVM SGU ’13.  Dr. Harmon, this term’s emcee, welcomed and congratulated the incoming veterinary class.  “You made it,” she rejoiced, “but this is where the real work begins. This is the beginning of a long but very rewarding journey.”

Currently an associate at the McDavitt Veterinary Clinic in Zionsville, Indiana, Dr. Harmon credits her experience in Grenada as having shaped her successful career as a veterinarian. “The education I received at SGU went past knowledge,” she said. “It taught me to be a compassionate veterinarian and care for all of my patients.”

Attending his second School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony was Dr. G. Richard Olds, Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University and its first-ever President. “The White Coat Ceremony itself is relatively new, started by Columbia University in the early 1990s, with SGU being one of the first medical and veterinary schools to hold a White Coat Ceremony just three years later,” said Dr. Olds. “Symbolic of all health professions uniting in one health, the White Coat Ceremony is now almost universal. And so today, you too will go through the process of donning the white coat as you begin your health professional journey.”

As both a physician and a tropical disease specialist, Dr. Olds has spent most of his professional career working largely with veterinarians. “I know the importance of all the health care professionals who share in the unified theme of improving the health of our planet,” he stated.

Dr. Timothy Ogilvie , Dean of the SVM, shared four tips with the matriculating class that have served him well in his 41 years in the field of veterinary medicine. “Show up – because real change is made by those who show up and stick around. Keep up – don’t fall behind in your studies; this is a volume intensive program. Step up – colleagues, community members, and others will look to you for leadership. And lastly, cheer up – SGU is a great place and you’re going to have fun.” Dr. Ogilvie reminded the newly enrolled students, “You’re going to learn in an international environment, a cosmopolitan environment, and in a different culture. You have every opportunity to count your lucky stars and be cheerful.” He also took the opportunity to introduce his longtime friend and fellow Canadian, Dr. Trevor Ames, to deliver this year’s keynote address.

Twice a year for at least 10 years, Dr. Ames has been welcoming SGUSVM students to the University of Minnesota for their clinical year, where he currently serves as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Addressing the incoming students, Dr. Ames said,  “Today as you put on this coat you signify to those around you that you understand the professional, ethical, and social responsibilities of being a veterinarian.  “I would encourage you to not only think of today as your entry into veterinary school but also as your entry into the profession and begin practicing the ethical behavior and the responsible acts required of a graduate veterinarian.”

“The PAWS (Professional Attributes Workshop) training will not only help you succeed as a student but, after you graduate, those same traits will be just as important to your success as a veterinarian,” counseled Dr. Ames, “It’s as important as all of the facts and knowledge you will learn over the next four years.”

The School of Veterinary Medicine accepted its first class in August of 1999. In 2005, SGUSVM installed the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the DVM program was granted full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) for seven years. Graduates, who come from 27 countries, have been licensed to practice in 47 US states, and in 10 countries around the world including Canada, the UK, and South Africa.

Published on 2/4/16