Mother’s Cancer Battle Motivates SGU Grad to Become Breast Surgeon

Joseph Di Como, MD '14A doctor delivered the news—cancer, an aggressive form. Joseph Di Como’s mother, a cornerstone of the family, would have to undergo surgery and many months of treatment.

Her struggle changed the course of his life forever. More than 15 years later, now a doctor, Joseph Di Como, MD ’14, is providing important care and instilling hope in patients as a breast surgical oncology fellow at Brown University, Women and Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island.

“Although I enjoyed all of my clinical rotations, surgery was the one that called to me the most, and even though I enjoyed every subspecialty of surgery, I felt that breast surgical oncology would give me the most personal satisfaction,” he said.

He was just a sophomore in high school when his mother learned that she had inflammatory breast cancer. The diagnosis blindsided the family. His mother was healthy, still young, and there was no family history of cancer.

“It was extremely difficult, as a young kid in high school, to juggle between school, extracurricular activities, and coming home to that situation every day,” Dr. Di Como said. “We were all optimistic at first, but as her health continually worsened and we learned more about what was going on during the different stages of the disease, it was very difficult for everybody.”

Antonina Di Como battled the disease for 16 months before passing away in November 2003 at age 44. Her death was the turning point for Dr. Di Como. He went from being an average student to a superior one—and his career path was clear.

“After that, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, specifically to treat cancer,” Dr. Di Como said. “I tried to keep an open mind throughout medical school, but I knew what I wanted to treat.”

Now fully immersed in cancer care, he works toward achieving positive results for patients in Rhode Island. Dr. Di Como operates on patients with both benign and malignant conditions, using the most up-to-date surgical techniques. He marvels at how these techniques are rapidly evolving and how treatment has become tailored for patients based on the biologics of a tumor. As a fellow, he preps patients for surgery or any extra imaging or testing they may need, and also co-coordinates a weekly tumor board, for which he and another oncology fellow present all new cancer patients or those with any benign masses or conditions for further workups.

“Different tumors behave differently, and different factors will direct how we tailor the therapy,” said Dr. Di Como. “It will depend on everything from a patient’s hormone receptor status and their reaction to chemotherapy to his or her age, medical comorbidities, and where they are in life. There’s no one cure that fits all.”

 

“A doctor’s job shouldn’t just be treating and curing disease; it’s about improving the life of a patient through empathy and compassion.”

Joseph Di Como, MD

 

In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Di Como is committed to conducting research to help progress oncology even further. Current projects include the use of radiofrequency identification (RFID) to tag breast cancers for surgical excision, in comparison to the standard use of wire localization in breast tumors, whereby wires mark lesion locations prior to surgery. Also, with the help of new technology, he conducts intraoperative angiograms using a florescent green marker to identify vessels in the patient’s breast prior to doing a mastectomy with reconstruction.

“By doing this procedure, our hope is to preserve these vessels to see if that has any impact on tissue viability and flap viability,” he said. “Having a flap that isn’t getting enough blood flow is one of the biggest and most detrimental complications a patient can have, so we’re trying new ways to avoid that, in order to help these patients that are undergoing reconstruction right after surgery.”

Each day, he is reminded of his family’s own encounter with breast cancer. It has changed him as a person and as a doctor, and has indirectly assisted the patients that he treats.

“I know how it feels to be on the family side of these diagnoses,” Dr. Di Como said. “Even if the prognosis is poor, it’s very important that, even if you cannot cure the patient, that we find a way to make everybody feel comfortable. A doctor’s job shouldn’t just be treating and curing disease; it’s about improving the life of a patient through empathy and compassion, to try to do everything you can to make the rest of their time here as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. Patients and their families are appreciative as long as they know that somebody cares, that somebody is on their side.”

He describes it as a “vital, sacred experience that cannot be underestimated.” With the care his own mother received, Dr. Di Como witnessed the kind of difference it can make for a family, and the experience has helped shape the rest of his life—and the lives of those he treats.

“Before she passed, I told my mom that I was going to be a doctor,” he said, “and I’m proud to say that I am.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

For more SGU coverage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, check out Cancer Scare Inspires Grad To Become Oncologist At Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Clinician, Teacher, Researcher: Silicon Valley Gastroenterologist Kept “On His Toes”

Andrew Roorda, MD ' 04, gastroenterologist

Gastroenterologist Andrew K. Roorda, MD ’04, is thrilled when he holds an endoscope in his hands. He is likely helping a patient suffering from any number of symptoms affecting his or her digestive tract. From a person who has food stuck in his esophagus, to those who are bleeding or managing chronic illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Dr. Roorda encounters patients with a wide variety of ailments.

“What’s nice about gastroenterology is you can be in the endoscopy suite in the morning, the emergency room during your lunch hour, and assessing patients in the office in the afternoon,” he said. “I love the multiple settings of my job.”

Originally from San Francisco, Dr. Roorda has been practicing in the Silicon Valley since 2012 and is affiliated with three Northern California hospitals—El Camino Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, and Stanford University Medical Center. He also performs outpatient endoscopy at the Silicon Valley Surgery Center.

Thanks to advancements in technology, the field is evolving to become more interventional, allowing Dr. Roorda and his peers to diagnose and treat more complex cases.

“Technology is helping the field in many ways,” Dr. Roorda said. “Both endoscopes, such as the newer high-definition ones, those with a wider field of view, as well as their endoscopic accessories are in a constant state of development. Artificial intelligence is on the horizon in many fields, including endoscopy, and we anticipate that it will be used to help us identify polyps during colonoscopy. The more options we have in our endoscopic toolbox, the more we are able to offer our patients during their procedures.”

EARLY BEGINNINGS

Dr. Roorda credits his early interest in becoming a doctor after reading Erich Segal’s “Doctors” during a summer vacation. The book follows a group of fictional characters through their training at Harvard Medical School, and it gave Dr. Roorda an in-depth look into what medical school is like. “I saw how almost super-human those characters were and thought this would be something really cool to do,” he said.

In college, Dr. Roorda got his first chance to be a superhero himself when he helped stopped a person from committing suicide. Seeing how he could contribute to saving someone’s life moved him. “We were there to help somebody who really needed it and we changed the outcome,” he said. “While doctors don’t get to do that every day, there are definitely times that I still get to feel that way.”

While he didn’t immediately set off to medical school. Dr. Roorda graduated from the University of California San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in history and considered becoming a history professor. But his interest in medicine was never far from his mind. Going to SGU “was initially a leap of the faith, but I got over that very quickly,” Dr. Roorda said. “When I got down to Grenada, I started to see the caliber of students who were there and began to learn more of the success stories, so I knew things were going to work out.”

“St. George’s made me resilient,” he added. “In your clinical years, you get to go to a lot of different hospitals. It taught me how to adapt quickly to new settings which helped me to be flexible during rotations in my residency and fellowship.”

Dr. Roorda, who is 6’6″, originally wanted to be a surgeon. However, his height posed a problem when standing for long periods of time during operations. He became interested in gastroenterology after realizing he still could do plenty of procedures that were shorter in duration.

SECURING A RESIDENCY IN A COMPETITIVE SPECIALTY

Obtaining a residency or fellowship in a competitive specialty like gastroenterology is not easy. Students who take the extra step to make themselves stand out will likely be more successful in securing a position, recommends Dr. Roorda.

For GI, it was identifying mentors who conducted research. “I was very fortunate—I learned how to write papers and I presented the research as posters at conferences. That stood out on my resume.”

Dr. Roorda completed his internal medicine residency at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, CA. He then went on to become a clinical fellow in gastroenterology at West Virginia School of Medicine in Morgantown, WV.

Dr. Roorda has published research in scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Diseases of the Esophagus, and Practical Gastroenterology. In between seeing patients, he also teaches at Stanford University School of Medicine as an adjunct clinical assistant professor in the school’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Sharing his knowledge with aspiring doctors is important to Dr. Roorda.

“The science cannot really advance unless people are teaching it to a new generation of trainees,” he said. “I love the exchange of knowledge and in the process I learn new things myself. The trainees ask questions that keep you on your toes.”

– Laurie Chartorynsky

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.

Cancer Scare Inspires Grad to Become Oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Working as a breast medical oncologist at world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Julia Brockway-Marchello, MD ’12, has returned to where her journey toward a career in medicine began. As a child she was diagnosed with cancer in one of her salivary glands. Successful surgery at MSKCC to remove the tumor, and her positive experience there and during follow-up radiation treatments in Boston inspired her to become a doctor.

“I decided early on that I wanted to take care of patients like me,” said Dr. Brockway. After completing pre-med studies and earning her undergraduate degree in community health at Brown University, Dr. Brockway’s first job out of college was as a research study assistant within the Breast Surgery Service at MSKCC, her first encounter with breast cancer which solidified her specialty of choice.

As an assistant attending physician with MSKCC’s breast medicine service, including at its newest Long Island location, the St. George’s University graduate visits with patients at all different stages of diagnosis. Some are coming in for a second opinion, some have been referred by their surgeons for chemotherapy and other treatments, while others are seeking eligibility for clinical trials.

“From the moment a person is told they have cancer, their life will never be the same,” said Dr. Brockway, 35, who adds that her own experience with cancer gives her a unique perspective when treating patients. “A critical part of my job is to ensure that my patients and their caregivers feel supported and confident, from the time of diagnosis through treatment and beyond.”

“Sometimes the answer is no treatment, and when we can no longer treat the cancer, we focus on managing symptoms,” acknowledged Dr. Brockway, who is still adjusting to the weight of responsibility felt with terminal patients. “Those are the hardest conversations, but thankfully I had strong training in palliative care during my hematology/oncology fellowship. Patients really appreciate seeing empathy, compassion, and that you’re in it with them as a doctor and as a person.”

As a breast oncologist, having strong support from colleagues and staff, remaining grounded, and having outlets to channel various emotions following difficult days is paramount.

“I feel grateful for the opportunity to do this work and to care for patients, but also to be able to go home to my family, to be able to do the things I love with the people I love,” including her husband and 2-year-old son, she said.

 

“A critical part of my job is to ensure that my patients and their caregivers feel supported and confident, from the time of diagnosis through treatment and beyond.”

Julia Brockway-Marchello, MD

 

Learning skills to effectively and compassionately communicate with patients is a core part of fellowship training, according to Adriana K. Malone, MD, director of the Mount Sinai Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship Program.

“It’s a crucial aspect for oncologists in training because we use these skills each day with our patients and also throughout our careers,” Dr. Malone said.

“What I think distinguishes Julia from other trainees is how exceptionally caring and empathetic she is,” she said. “Also, it is very important for an oncologist to have strong communication skills and Julia is a skilled communicator who is really gifted at being able to build a rapport with both patients and families. Additionally, Julia is extremely hard working and always considers how to improve the patient care experience.”

But the job isn’t always so gloomy. Advances in cancer detection and treatment, including new approaches to chemotherapy and managing side effects, means that most days Dr. Brockway can tell a patient that, while he or she has cancer, it is curable. Advancements such as genomic testing for early-stage estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer to determine whether a patient would benefit from chemotherapy in addition to anti-estrogen therapy, identifying tumor mutations and tailoring a patient’s treatment, and immunotherapy for metastatic breast cancer treatment, can all help improve patient survivorship rate.

“That’s really when the job is the most rewarding—to be able to say that cancer is treatable and we’re going to get through this,” she said.

One of the most common questions she and her colleagues hear—“Am I going to lose my hair?”—can even be addressed through cold cap therapy, a process that freezes the hair follicles to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy.

Julia Brockway-Marchello, MD, Breast Oncologist

In between seeing patients, studying for her board exams, and spending time with family, Dr. Brockway finds the time to give back. This spring, she ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon as part of MSKCC’s running program, Fred’s Team, where members don the iconic orange tops and participate in athletic events worldwide to raise money for cancer research. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness this month, she completed a second half marathon in her hometown of Staten Island, NY.

Dr. Brockway credits her strong medical training, including her first year of med school in the United Kingdom as part of St. George’s University of Grenada School of Medicine/Northumbria University Four and Five-Year MD Program (formerly the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program), for getting her to where she is today. Following her internal medicine residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Dr. Brockway continued her studies as a hematology and oncology fellow at Mount Sinai before starting at MSKCC this past August—allowing her to come full circle.

“Coming back to work at Memorial Sloan Kettering was always a hope and a dream for me,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place to work and being here feels like being part of a family committed to a common purpose. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Julia Brockway-Marchello, MD, Breast Oncologist

– Laurie Chartorynsky

US Navy Inspires SGU Students During Visit to Grenada

The US Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, while on a five-month deployment to Central and South America and the Caribbean, stopped in Grenada last month as part of the US Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. During their visit, US service members and medical professionals toured St. George’s University’s True Blue campus, and met with SGU students, faculty, and staff to showcase the ship’s medical capabilities and answer questions about life as a physician aboard the Comfort.

“Trying to give long-term care to patients when you only see them for 20 minutes is very tricky,” said Captain Jill Emerick, a 27-year Navy veteran and pediatric endocrinologist. “I joined this mission to learn more about humanitarian medicine and to give back—however, I got back much more than I expected. It’s been amazing interacting with the host nations’ physicians and medical students and learning how things are done in different countries. We were happy to answer all of the students’ questions and felt like we were really making an impact on their future medical careers.

“The most rewarding part of the mission has been in providing patient education,” she added. “It has allowed us to help fill in some of the gaps that there might be in their current health care setting.”

The Comfort’s current team consists of more than 900 personnel, including medical specialists from the military, non-governmental organization volunteers and personnel from partner nations. The 12-country mission includes stops to Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti. So far, the Comfort has had over 40,000 outpatient encounters and performed more than 850 surgeries during the Enduring Promise 2019 initiative.

“I enjoyed meeting the crew and hearing their thoughts on being a doctor in the Navy,” said Matthew Carvey, a second-year medical student and president of the Emergency Medicine Club. “I wanted to learn about their camaraderie and how well they work alongside each other after being cooped up together for months at a time. I deeply respect and admire people in the Navy for lending their time and expertise to these missions. I also think that, after I become a physician, possibly joining them one day would be a great experience.”

Originally the SS Rose City, built in 1976 as a San Clemente Class oil tanker, the USNS Comfort was converted into a hospital ship in 1987. Today, the Comfort is equipped with 1,000 beds, a full-service laboratory and pharmacy, and can provide clinical support such as, casualty transportation, decontamination, oxygen production and portable water production. Its medical site capabilities include pediatrics, cardiology, optometry, dental medicine, physical therapy, and preventive medicine.

“SGU is grateful to the crew members of the USNS Comfort for their candor in sharing the pros and cons of being a physician in the US Navy,” said Dr. Anna Cyrus-Murden, deputy chair of SGU’s Department of Clinical Skills. “Those in attendance all seemed to value the experience, especially the students. Their visit has not only impacted some students’ choice of specialties but has also piqued some of their interests in now serving in the Navy as well.”

Since 2007, personnel involved in USNS Comfort deployments have treated more than 488,000 patients, performed over 5,500 surgeries, completed more than 100 engineering projects, and conducted countless other assistance activities. Their visit to Grenada reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to friendship, partnership, and solidarity with partner nations.

-Ray-Donna Peters

SGU Alum’s Passion for Family Medicine Leads to AAFP Directorship

Advocacy seems to come naturally for Andrew J.P. Carroll, MD ’96, founder, owner, and medical director of Atembis LLC, an integrated medical-behavioral family medicine practice in Chandler, AZ. As a St. George’s University student in the early ‘90s, he had his first foray into advocacy by representing the University to ask the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) to allow the school to host the organization’s first offshore chapter and ultimately secured a charter.

Nearly 30 years later, having been elected to sit on the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for 2019-2020, Dr. Carroll will be able to channel his talents as part of a group tasked with advocating on behalf of more than 134,000 family physicians and medical students across the United States. The appointment is a culmination of his experience in practicing family medicine for more than 20 years as well as his passion and dedication to primary care.

“The grassroots family physician hasn’t been heard loud enough,” Dr. Carroll said in a phone interview. “I want to be that loud voice.”

Dr. Carroll started campaigning for the AAFP board position in 2018. He was elected during the AAFP annual Congress of Delegates which took place on September 25 in Philadelphia, PA. Among topics that are close to his heart: the nation’s shortage of primary care physicians. Dr. Carroll attributes the issue to a financial dichotomy between high debt acquired by students during medical school and the low compensation typically received when practicing primary care, which deters students from entering the field and instead choosing higher-paying medical specialties.

“A lot of physicians have ideas for solutions, but we don’t have a voice,” Dr. Carroll said. “The AAFP affords us that position. It’s important to have someone at the table who is actively speaking on everyone’s behalf. That’s the reason I did it.”

Dr. Carroll has been actively involved in supporting family practitioners in his state. In 2010, he was elected to represent the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians (AzAFP) at the AAFP’s annual Congress of Delegates—the organization’s governing body. He has also served the chapter in various executive positions including its past president (2014-2015) and remains today as a Board Member.

“When I first met Andrew almost 14 years ago, I knew immediately that he would be a leader,” said Laura Dearing, executive vice president of Arizona Academy of Family Physicians. “Dr. Carroll has always been giving of his time with our Board, to testify at the state legislature, and to promote leadership within the young physician community. His quick wit and empathetic nature have made him a superstar in the family medicine community in Arizona and in the US. Any state chapter executive would be honored to work with him because he is respectful, smart, funny, and most of all, nice.”

Dr. Bill Thrift, a professional colleague of Carroll’s through the AzAFP and a family physician in Prescott, AZ, said Dr. Carroll’s progressive way of treating patients while running a successful private practice will be a big asset to the AAFP.

“He is right in the thick of it and so his perspective comes from the front lines—that’s a good thing,” Dr. Thrift said. “We are more than proud of Andrew and we know that he is going to not only represent Arizona physicians well but represent America’s physicians well.”

On a local level, Dr. Carroll has owned and grown into an integrated care practice since 2003, offering services ranging from chronic disease management, behavioral treatment, and wellness consultations to interventional procedures and pediatric care among others, all in one place. In addition to traditional payer patients, he also cares for uninsured patients, those without a private or employer health plan, and those who are not eligible for federal or state insurance benefits by providing cost-conscientious care and arranging for diagnostic studies to be done at or near cost.

“If someone is having low-risk chest pain, I want to be his first call, not a cardiologist,” Dr. Carroll said. “It could be gas, it could be indigestion, it could be rib pain, etc., instead of a heart attack. We need to get back to the point in primary care where we have proven our worth to patients and they make us their first stop when something is wrong. We can only do that if we’re easily accessible. The current payment system does not allow for this.”

“The skill set we have as family doctors is suited for rural communities, but I am in the middle of a city,” he added. “People who choose us like to say, ‘hey, that’s my doctor.’ It’s about giving them a small-town feel and touch as the community’s physician—which is really what we are.”

– Laurie Chartorynsky

SGU Establishes New Alumni Association in Botswana

SGU launches new Botswanna Alumni Association

St. George’s University has announced the establishment of a new SGU Alumni Association in Botswana—the first such association in Africa, in a country where one in every five practicing physicians is a graduate of SGU.

The association provides a platform for personal and professional development and aims to strengthen the ties between alumni, the community, and the University through outreach and regional events.

The establishment of the Botswana alumni chapter was announced by Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of SGU and Robert Alig, vice president of alumni affairs, at a special launch event on September 21 at the Avani Resort in Gaborone.

“The new chapter in Botswana will offer our graduates here the chance to connect with their fellow alumni in the country, and hundreds more in Africa and beyond,” said Alig. “We are thrilled to be launching this chapter which will assist graduates of SGU by strengthening personal and professional networks and laying the foundations for new ones.”

 

Earlier the same day, Dr. Olds led a workshop on “How to Get Into a Top Medical School,” as part of the Inspired Horizons international careers fair in Gaborone. Dr. Olds shared experiences and insights from his career in medicine and medical education, and spoke with prospective Botswanan medical students about applying to SGU.

“We believe the best way to give our students a truly global medical education is to foster a community of global scholars, who will go on to work as physicians and medical professionals all around the world,” said Dr. Olds.

Dr. Orapeleng Phuswane-Katse, a 2011 graduate of SGU from Mochudi, Botswana, now works as medical officer in at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone and is doing her residency in public health medicine. She welcomed the announcement of the new alumni chapter in Botswana.

“SGU gave me the opportunity to study in the Caribbean and undertake clinical rotations in the UK,” she said. “It was always my intention to return to practice in Botswana, and this new alumni association will be an especially valuable platform for connecting graduates working throughout the country and demonstrating SGU’s commitment to producing skilled, capable doctors through training and career development opportunities.”

In August, SGU and the Inspired Horizons Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further education development for Botswanan students and facilitate opportunities for cooperation between both parties.

Scholars From Botswana, Where 1 in 5 Doctors Graduated From SGU, Begin Medical Studies in Grenada

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

Three students from Botswana have taken their first steps towards a career in medicine at St. George’s University (SGU), the leading international medical school in the Caribbean, after being awarded full-tuition scholarships to study on the four-year MD program.

Wathata Onalethata Ntwayapelo, Lungowe Kabasiya, and Chevula C. Munaani arrived last month, in the latest example of St. George’s long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Health and Education and the Government of Botswana, which offers full-tuition scholarships to qualified students to pursue medical degrees.

Approximately one in every five practicing doctors in Botswana is a graduate of SGU—a remarkable demonstration of SGU’s commitment to training qualified global physicians to work across the world in areas of need. SGU is now the second largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce, and a further one in every five physicians in Trinidad and Tobago are also SGU graduates, underlining the exceptional range of career opportunities for qualified doctors trained in Grenada.

“At St. George’s University, our international student body has always been our greatest asset and building the capacity of young doctors in training to address global health challenges is part of our philosophy as a medical school,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University.

“We recognize that there are two aspects to this: helping ambitious and qualified students who may not otherwise have access to a leading medical education to study with us in Grenada, but also acting as a provider of doctors for those places of need, helping to address shortages in healthcare provision and combating health inequality,” Dr. Olds said. “Few countries exemplify that better than Botswana, and we are tremendously proud of our joint achievements in this area.”

Added Dr. Olds: “We’re pleased to welcome Wathata Onalethata Ntwayapelo, Lungowe Kabasiya, and Chevula C. Munaani to our True Blue campus and look forward to helping guide them on their path to a career in medicine.”

SGU President Featured in San Francisco Chronicle

California’s doctor shortage is acute, with the situation poised to get worse. In an opinion piece appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University, shared why California needs more internationally educated doctors.

“International graduates are perfectly suited to meet the healthcare needs of historically medically underserved Californians,” Dr. Olds wrote. “Low-income Californians deserve access to high-quality care. The state needs more doctors to supply that care. International medical graduates can be those doctors.”

 

SGU Vice Chancellor Featured On RealClearEducation.com

An op/ed piece by Dr. Richard Liebowitz (right), vice chancellor of St. George’s University, recently appeared on realcleareducation.com. In it, he explained the crucial role that international medical schools play in training highly qualified students that eventually become much-needed physicians in the United States.

“The odds of gaining admission to U.S. medical schools are growing longer,” Dr. Liebowitz wrote. “But bright young Americans don’t have to give up their dreams of becoming doctors. They can turn to top-notch international medical schools. Their future patients will surely thank them.”