A friendly face in SOM and SAS: Faculty spotlight on Dr. Cristofre Martin

St. George’s University professor, Dr. Cristofre Martin, is often one of the first faculty members that new undergraduate general biology students and new MD students get to know.

Because many general biology students go on to be admitted to the School of Medicine—in his dual roles as chair of the Department of Biology, Ecology and Conservation in the School of Arts and Sciences and as a professor of biochemistry in the School of Medicine—Dr. Martin is a constant for them as they take the next step in their professional journeys.

“By being involved in both schools I am able to mentor undergraduate students who aspire to become doctors by guiding them in their program and defining the requirements and expectations they need to meet to be admitted into the medical program,” said Dr. Martin.

Dr. Martin believes that when students recognize him from their undergraduate studies during their first week of med school, it’s an equally proud moment for both professor and student.

“It’s kind of a ‘See Dr. Martin! I made it!’ moment for them,” he shared. “And for me, it’s a wonderful experience seeing students who start out in SAS still fresh from their high school studies, maturing as undergraduate students, then beginning their training as MDs, and often later receiving messages from them when they become practicing physicians.”

 

“I get excited about teaching in my field and try to transmit that enthusiasm to my students.”

 

A Proud Moment

Dr. Martin began his academic training in zoology at the University of Manitoba in Canada. His interests evolved as the new field of molecular biology emerged, and, as he stated, he “saw the future.” The rest of his training and early career research was then dedicated to molecular medicine, genetics, and developmental biology. This combination of training led him to SGU in 2005 and eventually to his dual role at the University.

Recently, Dr. Martin played a pivotal role in the accreditation for SGU’s BSc (Honors) in Marine, Wildlife and Conservation Biology by the Royal Society of Biology.

It wasn’t a simple, or short, process to receive the accreditation. According to Dr. Martin, it took two years of faculty working tirelessly to develop the evidence for the program. Most of the work took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the department not only working toward success in the effort to receive accreditation, but also adjusting to the transition to online teaching. But the hard work was well worth it.

“It was an incredible team-building experience and it helped faculty see the important contributions that each of them makes for our students,” Dr. Martin said. “It brought us all together with a single goal. All these challenges did not distract faculty from our accreditation mission, and I am so proud of them for their commitment to our students.”

When the department finally received word of its success, it triggered an incredible burst of energy throughout all those who worked hard to achieve the result.

“This accreditation established our department as a Center of Excellence in the field of conservation biology,” said Dr. Martin. “Equally rewarding was calling a meeting with our Marine, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology students to inform them their degree is now accredited. Our students can now be confident that the training they are getting is of the highest standard and will help them reach their career goals.”

 The department, of course, isn’t stopping there. They hope this accreditation will bring more students to the program, including international students seeking a degree in the fields of marine and conservation biology. Dr. Martin also said the department’s next big project is working to develop a MSc in Marine, Wildlife and Conservation Biology that will allow students to continue their education.

“It will give students the opportunity to utilize the skills they learned in their undergraduate training to conduct meaningful scientific research that aims to address questions that are so important for small island development nations such as climate change, natural resource management, and environmental conservation,” added Dr. Martin.

A Found Passion

While this administrative process led to immense pride for Dr. Martin, his true passion is teaching.

“I get excited about teaching in my field and try to transmit that enthusiasm to my students. I do this by expressing my passion in the classroom and holding the student’s attention by being fun in class, and sometimes a bit crazy,” he said.

This passion may come from witnessing what Dr. Martin described as the “transformative power of St. George’s University,” which lives within the students he teaches.

“For many of our undergraduate students, they are the first generation of their family to receive a university education,” said Dr. Martin. “Over the 16 years I have been at SGU, I have witnessed how this has transformed the landscape in Grenada.   Our graduates are now working in government ministries, regional NGOs, tourism industries, education, and various research groups. These graduates of SGU will be forming the decisions on the future of the region and especially Grenada.”

 

 

— Sarah Stoss

Related Reading

A Doctor’s View Podcast: Alum shares his medical school experience

There are many questions surrounding international medical schools and what attending one means for a grad’s career outlook. Joshua Ramjist, MD ’11, knows something about that. He is a St. George’s University alum who developed his medical career in four different countries—the UK as part of the SGU/Northumbria University Program, in Grenada to complete his medical education, then on to the US for residency, and two research years in his native Canada.

To share his journey and provide answers to common questions regarding international medical school, Dr. Ramjist joined Dr. Paul Polyvios on the podcast A Doctor’s View in the episode titled “Studying medicine at an international university and working in the USA” to provide insight on his experience at St. George’s University and detail his career that followed.

As for Dr. Ramjist’s advice to those who hope to follow a path similar to his, he said: “It’s not for everyone. But for individuals who are open minded and really are excited to have this experience and are looking for a little bit of variability in their life, it’s one of the greatest experiences I’ve had.”

 

 

Related Reading

Victory! After Two-Year Hiatus, SOM College Olympics Returns

After a two-year hiatus, St. George’s University School of Medicine Olympics returned last weekend. Students and faculty of each of the nine Colleges competed in a battle of physical endurance to win the title of “Olympic Champions.”

The event took place on the True Blue campus playing field, where students and faculty competed in games that included friendly competition in volleyball, dodgeball, an obstacle course, 100-meter race, 400-meter relay, three-legged and wheelbarrow races, and the highly anticipated tug-of-war. The day also featured a half-time show performance by SGU’s cheerleading squad and ended in a prize giving ceremony announcing this year’s Olympic Champions.

 

 

“The SOM College Olympics’ primary purpose is to bring together students, staff, and faculty to participate in a day of healthy competition,” said Dr. Vivek Nuguri, Curie College director and clinical instructor within the Department of Pathology. “Additionally, it fulfills another major objective of helping the students relax amid their challenging schedules. It also helps inculcate a feeling of fraternity and togetherness among the students and faculty and helps improve campus wellness.”

The triumphant team was decided by winning the evening’s most popular event—the tug-of-war. Rivals Galen and Blackwell Colleges met in the final rounds, but it was the Galen team that emerged victorious this year. With the additional 50 points earned from winning the tug-of-war, Galen College was able to secure the lead at 286 points, followed by Fleming College with 217 points, and Blackwell College placing third with 211 points.

“This win means so much to me personally,” shared Chukwuebuka Udokporo, SOM Term 5 student and Galen College member.

“This is my last semester here at SGU, so I’m really happy I got to participate in the games before I leave the island,” Mr. Udokporo said. “The memory of this experience is something I get to take back with me to the United States when I do my clinical rotations. When I arrived on the field today, I didn’t know anybody outside of my college but over the course of the day I got to meet new people and form friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.”

The SOM College system was created in 2018 and named after influential physicians and scientists in history—consisting of Blackwell, Galen, Taylor, McIndoe, Peabody, Curie, Fleming, Metrodora, and Hippocrates Colleges. The mission of the system is to create an intimate learning environment in which students are consistently supported (both socially and academically) as they develop the knowledge, skills, compassion, and integrity required to be a practicing physician while adjusting to life in Grenada.

During the competition’s inaugural event in 2019, it was the Curie College team that was victorious, despite entering the Olympic games as underdogs. The event was then canceled for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. Staff and faculty were eager to restart the games this year.

“Each College represents an academic family that supports the wellness of students and fosters the academic, personal, and professional development of its membership,” said Dr. Lucy Clunes, SGU’s dean of students, and a proud member of Galen College. “The SOM College Olympics and other intercollegiate social events and competitions were created to nurture that feeling of school spirit by providing an opportunity for the campus community to both compete—and get out there and have some fun.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

 

Related Reading 

SOM Student Check-In: Carley Greco, Third-Year Clinical Student

Quick Stats:
Hometown: Kings Park, NY
Expected graduation: May 2023
Career aspirations: Emergency medicine
Current hospital: O’Connor Hospital

St. George’s University medical student Carley Greco is taking in all the opportunities that the University has to offer.

A third-year student with aspirations to go into emergency medicine, Ms. Greco, who is originally from New York, is currently completing her core clinical rotations in California. She has so far finished three clerkships—internal medicine, surgery, and OB/GYN—and is currently completing her pediatrics rotation at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose.

SGU News spoke with Ms. Greco about her experience in clinicals so far and how it is helping her to solidify her chosen specialty leading up to residency applications for the 2023 NRMP Match.

SGU: You are not from California, yet you requested to be placed there for your core rotations, why is that?

Carley Greco: I was interested in completing rotations in California to see hospitals in different parts of the country and with different patient populations. I also wanted to see if I enjoyed living and working in California prior to residency applications to determine if I would want to apply to positions on the West Coast.

SGU: How would you describe your experience at O’Connor Hospital?

Carley Greco: The experience has been positive. The hospital does not have residents in every specialty, only in family medicine, which gives students a chance to work directly with the attending physicians and see their clinical decision making firsthand. Throughout each rotation we switch doctors every three to four weeks, so I’ve gotten to see a mix of the sub-specialties within each specialty.

For example, during my IM rotation I rotated through nephrology, pulmonary, and interventional cardiology, in addition to seeing patients on the hospitalist service. It was very interesting for me to see all the different paths available to those who go into internal medicine.

SGU: What has been your favorite rotation so far and why?

Carley Greco: I’d have to say my favorite rotation thus far would be surgery! I worked with cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, and orthopedic surgery, and was able to scrub in on multiple procedures including a lung resection, hip replacements, shoulder replacements, knee replacements, ACL and meniscus repairs, and multiple revascularization procedures! My favorite experience was learning hands on how to whip stitch an ACL allograft.

SGU: What did it feel like that first time you scrubbed in for a surgery?

Carley Greco: The first surgery I scrubbed in for was a partial lung resection on a young man with a lung nodule. I was both extremely excited and extremely nervous. I made sure to eat a good breakfast and drink plenty of water the night before, so I was ready to go. It was the coolest experience to be a part of the surgical team, scrubbing at the same sink with the surgeon, holding retractors, suctioning, and aiming the laparoscope camera so the surgeon could see.

The surgery ended up being more complicated than expected, she ended up converting to open surgery rather than laparoscopic, and it took over six hours! I was so impressed by the surgeon and her ability to remain totally focused on the task at hand for the entire surgery.

SGU: How would you describe the faculty as it pertains to your training?

Carley Greco: It is nice to be able to see the various styles and strengths of each physician, and to benefit from each of their teaching styles. All of the doctors enjoy teaching and giving us hands-on experience where applicable.

SGU: What are your career aspirations/Match specialty hopes?

Carley Greco: I plan on applying to both emergency medicine/internal medicine combo programs, as well as purely emergency medicine. I think EM/IM would give me excellent insight to all sides of patient care from the ER through to admission and help me provide better care for my patients on either the EM or IM side. This would also give me a path to the ICU if I chose to go that route.

I know I would be equally as happy in an EM residency. I love the fast-paced environment and variety of medical knowledge needed in the emergency room and think I will end up in the ER either way!

SGU: What topics/issues are you passionate about in medicine?

Carley Greco: I did my masters in compassionate care, medical ethics, and medical humanities. Something that I found myself very invested in was end-of-life care. We typically think that these end-of-life decisions are only relevant in the sick and elderly, however tragedies can happen at any age and leave people unable to make decision for themselves. As a physician I hope to encourage and empower patients to educate themselves on measures they may or may not want taken when their quality of life is no longer what they wish it were.

SGU: What piece of advice do you have for med students just beginning their clerkships?

Carley Greco: Take a deep breath and relax! It’s okay if you feel like you know nothing and don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Everyone had to start somewhere, and the majority of doctors are very understanding that you are just starting out with clinical experience.

Listen to what you are being taught so you get it right next time.

Be on time, be flexible, and offer to help wherever and however you can, and they will see that you are eager to learn and be a part of the team.

 

 

 

 

— Laurie Chartorynsky

 

 

Related Reading

SGU grad secures ultrasound units to aid Grenada’s fight against breast cancer

In the fight against breast cancer, access to resources is key; specifically, resources that contribute to early detection. Dr. Randy Becker, MD ’00, and current medical director at Crossroads Imaging Center of Advanced Radiology, in Ellicott City, MD, and clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, knows firsthand how important early detection is.

This is particularly the case on the island of Grenada, where during his visits through St. George’s University’s Physician Humanitarian Network (PHuN), he noticed a higher-than-normal percentage of patients with more advanced disease, oftentimes an indirect result of limited breast screening programs and access. To help alleviate this shortage, Dr. Becker worked with his imaging partner Hologic, to secure two portable breast ultrasound units. The donated imaging units will be used at Grenada General Hospital and Princess Alice Hospital.

“Improving access to women’s healthcare and screening services in Grenada is an important health initiative for the country. As a radiologist, I know that early detection often means better long-term outcomes for the country’s mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts. That is why making this donation means so much to me,” said Dr. Becker.

These handheld units are particularly useful for patients with dense breast tissue, which makes it more difficult to detect suspicious abnormalities and is more commonly seen in Black women. The units, which come complete with the latest software, will aid breast surgeons and interventional radiologists in real-time management of complex breast lesions.

“We continue to work collaboratively with our alumni to strengthen the delivery of healthcare in Grenada,” said Brendon LaGrenade, vice provost of institutional advancement at SGU. “Through Dr. Becker’s unceasing efforts, he has secured this donation as we continue to work on acquiring a mammography machine. We do believe these machines can be a vital interim resource in our fight against breast cancer.”

Hologic’s multiyear partnership with the nonprofit organization, Black Women’s Health Imperative, prompted Dr. Becker to submit a grant proposal for a comprehensive women’s imaging service package last year.

“One of the goals of the initiative was to increase screening and access to African American women in the United States, often in underserved areas,” Dr. Becker said. “I also learned that one of the more lethal forms of breast cancer, Triple Negative (TNBC), is most prevalent in West Africa, which is the founder population of not just most African Americans, but also of almost all Grenadians. However, with equal and appropriate screening programs we can reduce race- or ethnicity-associated breast cancer disparities such as what we see with TNBC.”

He views this donation as only the first step in delivering better women’s imaging care and services for the patients in Grenada. Said Dr. Becker: “Our goal of securing a mammography unit with biopsy capabilities to complete a comprehensive radiology service for the entire Grenadian community is what we hope will be the next step.”

Sarah Stoss

Related Reading

Cardiologist from Grenada Pioneers Robotic Procedure in Outpatient Setting

Grenadian national Adam Bierzynski, MD ’11, is making waves in the field of interventional cardiology through the use of robotics in outpatient settings.

As an interventional cardiologist on staff at several hospitals in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area, Dr. Bierzynski performs complex heart procedures on patients in need. In 2020, he was among the team who performed the first-ever outpatient robotic percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) at an ambulatory surgery center.

Dr. Bierzynski spoke to SGU News about why the procedure was groundbreaking, the potential life-saving capabilities of robotics within the field of cardiology, his experience at St. George’s University, and how his medical training set him up for success.

SGU: Did you always want to become a doctor?

Dr. Bierzynski: I wanted to be a doctor for most of my life. My grandfather was the chief medical officer of Grenada for a time, and I was always interested in the sciences and being able to apply knowledge to helping and healing.

SGU: What appealed to you about the field of interventional cardiology?  

Dr. Bierzynski: Cardiology piqued my interest most throughout my clinical rotations. Once within cardiology training, the allure of interventional cardiology was too much to ignore. The ability to place a stent in someone’s artery who is having a heart attack and have them walk out as early as the next day with almost no damage done is truly one of the most rewarding feelings in medicine. The field is also always evolving with new techniques and procedures, so it is difficult for it to ever become mundane.

SGU: Where did you do your training?

Dr. Bierzynski: After being raised and completing high school in Grenada, I attended the University of Ottawa for my undergraduate studies before returning to Grenada to attend SGU. I graduated in 2011 and was fortunate enough to start my internship and residency in internal medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. I was accepted into the general cardiology fellowship program at Lenox Hill Hospital Heart and Vascular, then did a further subspecialty in interventional cardiology at the same institution, completing my long haul of training in June 2018.

 

“Being able to do something that hasn’t been done before was definitely the highlight of my career. My training really helped me to be confident in my ability to execute the procedure safely and address any complications that may arise.”

 

SGU: In 2020, you performed the first-ever outpatient robotic percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) at an ambulatory surgery center. Could you explain what this is and why a patient would need this?

Dr. Bierzynski: The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. A “heart attack” is when those arteries are blocked and blood flow to the heart muscle stops and that muscle dies. A PCI is the placement of a stent into the coronary artery that opens the blockage and allows for blood to flow through the artery once again. Typically, this is done in a hospital and the performing doctor is standing at the operating table wearing heavy lead shielding to protect from radiation that is used to perform the imaging. A robotic PCI utilizes a mechanical arm that advances the wires, balloons, and stents that we use during the procedure in order to open the blocked arteries. I am able to sit in the adjacent control room and control the robot to perform the procedure instead of having to stand at the procedure table next to the radiation generator.  This has only ever been done inside a hospital until recently.

SGU: What was that experience like for you?

Dr. Bierzynski: Being able to do something that hasn’t been done before was definitely the highlight of my career. My training really helped me to be confident in my ability to execute the procedure safely and address any complications that may arise. Fortunately, that first procedure couldn’t have gone better, and the patient was discharged home hours later. I have continued to perform this procedure robotically whenever feasible.

It is likely that robotic PCI will become more and more commonplace and performing it in the outpatient setting will also become routine, and it will always be awesome for me to look back and think, “but I did it first!”

Adam Bierzynski, MD ’11, is making waves in the field of interventional cardiology through the use of robotics in outpatient settings.

SGU: Why is this an important advancement in cardiac medicine, especially during the COVID pandemic?

Dr. Bierzynski: Cardiology is a fast, ever-changing field. The things we routinely do now were considered impossible or impractical 10-15 years ago.

This was a timely innovation during the pandemic. By performing it as an outpatient at a surgical center, patients could be assured that there were no COVID patients at the facility so that they were at minimal risk. This was important as people were postponing life-saving care, especially early on in the pandemic, due to their desire to avoid exposure to a potentially life-threatening disease. Also, it allowed the performing doctor to minimize his exposure to the patient as well.

SGU: Looking forward, what is the potential for this technology within cardiology?

Dr. Bierzynski: There are many areas within the US that do not have interventional cardiologists nearby. When someone is having a heart attack they are losing heart muscle with every second. Being able to open their artery as quickly as possible makes all the difference to that individual’s life and also their quality of life. In those places where there is no access to providers capable of these interventions, it is possible that there can be staff trained in setting up and initiating the robot, while an interventional cardiologist performs the required intervention from a remote workstation.

On a global level, there are many countries that do not have an interventional cardiologist present to perform the required procedure in those suffering from an acute heart attack. Potentially, one operator could provide coverage to multiple hospitals, or different countries remotely without having to leave his own room.

In addition, interventional cardiologists have high rates of disability from orthopedic injuries due to long careers wearing heavy lead shielding while performing complex procedures.  Using the robot allows the operator to perform the same procedure while sitting down, relieving all the strain on the back and neck that interventional cardiologists have to suffer daily. It also reduces the radiation that we expose ourselves to by an estimated 50 percent and allows for more accurate measurement and stent placement which is better for the patient.

SGU: Describe your SGU experience, especially as someone from Grenada?

Dr. Bierzynski: Attending SGU was a fantastic experience. The campus is state-of-the-art, and uniquely breathtaking in its location. Coupled with a diverse student body and accessible faculty, I can truly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SGU and would recommend it to anyone considering applying.

As a Grenadian, it was surprising how even though you felt at home, it was simultaneously like being in a different country. I had attended university overseas so I was comfortable with the change, but I was aware of the difference you feel when on campus. So even for those who feel they want to have a university experience elsewhere, I can assure you that you are exposed enough to different experiences that you do not feel stifled.

SGU: What insights do you have for other Caribbean students who may be considering medical school?  

Dr. Bierzynski: I sat in the lecture halls at SGU like everyone else, and heard from professors about when we will be doing residency or fellowship, and eventually practice as physicians, and I think everyone at some point has the same thought: “Can and will this really happen for me?” Rest assured, SGU graduates—including those from the Caribbean—can get the residency they want, the specialty they want, and become excellent physicians in their chosen field—if you work hard enough.

 

 

— Ray-Donna Peters and Laurie Chartorynsky

 

Related Reading

SGU Physician Humanitarian Network Returns to Grenada

 

Eager to once again be able to give back to the school and island that gave him his start in medicine, cardiologist Anthony Tramontano, MD ’99, recently returned to the island to help restart the St. George’s University Physician Humanitarian Network (SGU PHuN) Adult Cardiology Program—offering essential cardiovascular services to the people of Grenada free of charge.

“Knowing the great need for cardiology services on the island, I was anxious to return to my regular visits to the clinic,” said Dr. Tramontano, chair of medicine and medical director of cardiology at Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake, NY. “My start in medicine was here at SGU and Grenada will always hold a special place in my heart. It is an honor to serve the patients here and offer what care I can, whether it be a one-time appointment in the Cardiology Clinic or continued care each time I return.”

As the first visiting cardiologist to return since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tramontano’s days were filled with attending to patients at both the clinic in Grand Anse and the Grenada General Hospital, in addition to providing medical education to the physician population.

 

“My start in medicine was here at SGU and Grenada will always hold a special place in my heart. It is an honor to serve the patients here and offer what care I can, whether it be a one-time appointment in the Cardiology Clinic or continued care each time I return.”

 

“Dr. Tramontano’s visit was not only timely for patients, but his lectures and ward rounds at the hospital were extremely well-received by the physicians and staff,” praised Dr. Dolland Noel, associate dean of clinical studies at SGU, director of medical education and head of internal medicine at the General Hospital. “He saw the many cases we have here in Grenada that need specialist attention, and he was ready and prepared to provide cost-free cardiology care to the island’s citizens.”

Now in its 15th year, the adult cardiology program, originally coordinated by Johansen Sylvester, MD ’00, continues to provide much-needed heart care services to the Grenadian people. Visiting alumni—many of whom have traveled to the island multiple times to offer their services through the program—administer patient consultations, cardiac testing, pacemaker implantations, angioplasties, echocardiograms, and referrals for those needing advanced care. SGU PHuN has provided millions of dollars in service to the Grenadian community, resulting in countless lives saved.

Other School of Medicine alumni who have also pledged their time and expertise to the SGU PHuN program include OB/GYN Philip Lahrmann, MD ’81, nephrologist Dr. Lisa Radix, MD ’97, Grenadian-born endocrinologist Dwight Matthias, MD ’92, and associate alumni and ophthalmologist Dr. Fred Lambrou.

“We at SGU are always happy to have our graduates return to assist our island home,” stated Brendon La Grenade, vice provost for institutional advancement. “The importance of our alumni was always evident, and the pandemic has only made it more apparent. I am grateful to Dr. Tramontano, and all of our alums, who give back to Grenada in so many ways.”

Dr. Anthony Tramontano, MD ’99, returns to Grenada to help restart the SGU Physician Humanitarian Network adult cardiology program, where he offered essential cardiovascular services to the people of Grenada, free of charge.

 

– Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading

SGU Featured in Forbes.com Article on High-Demand Medical Specialties

The United States is facing demand for more doctors across dozens of specialties. As a new article in Forbes.com outlines — “Five Medical Specialties That Need More Doctors” — internationally trained physicians will play an outsized role in meeting that growing need.

As author and admissions counselor Kristen Moon of Moon Prep writes, “Interestingly, graduates of international medical schools, including St. George’s, make up a disproportionate share of the doctors practicing in some of the specialties where demand will be greatest in the years to come. About one-fourth of doctors practicing in the United States today graduated from an international medical school..

As Dr. G. Richard Olds, the president of St. George’s University on the Caribbean island of Grenada, told Moon Prep, “Future doctors want to know where they can do the most good … We love helping students find their passion — and meet critical medical needs.”

Some specialties that face particularly concerning shortages are critical care, geriatrics, endocrinology, infectious disease, and psychiatry. This spring, SGU graduates matched into residencies in these specialties across the country.

For a full list of SGU’s 2022 residency matches, visit our website here.

St. George’s University Awards 110 Incoming Students with Scholarships

This spring, St. George’s University announced it has awarded merit-based scholarships to 110 incoming medical school students. 

Fourteen new students earned the Chancellor’s Circle Legacy of Excellence Scholarship, which provides $94,500 in tuition assistance. The recipients hail from several U.S. states and Canadian provinces as well as Jamaica. 

Another 96 students received the Legacy of Excellence Scholarship. They also come from a variety of U.S. states and countries, including Canada, South Korea, Australia, and more. They’ll each receive a minimum of $65,000 in assistance. 

All the recipients demonstrated academic excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate studies.  

“We’re excited to see what the future holds for our Legacy of Excellence Scholars,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “At SGU, we strive to make medical school affordable and accessible, so that we can help educate the doctors the United States needs to address its looming physician shortage.” 

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States could face a shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034. St. George’s University is committed to enabling its students to begin post-residency careers in the United States and Canada, particularly in underserved communities.  

Since St. George’s University launched the Legacy of Excellence Scholarship program, hundreds of scholarship recipients have gone on to become successful physicians. Seventy-five percent of all entering four-year medical students received SGU scholarships in the 2020-2021 academic year, according to the latest available data.  

“It fills me with pride to see our former students practicing medicine where they’re needed most,” Olds said. 

Related Reading

St. George’s University Announces Admission Partnership with Essex County College and Caldwell University

St. George’s University has announced a new partnership that will provide eligible students from Essex County College and Caldwell University streamlined admission to St. George’s University School of Medicine.

Accepted students will complete two years at Essex County College and one year at Caldwell University before pursuing a four-year medical degree at St. George’s.

“We are thrilled to establish the first-ever 2+1+4 partnership for high-achieving students at Essex County College and Caldwell University,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the depth of the U.S. doctor shortage. Partnerships like this one will help close that gap by making the path to medicine more accessible for aspiring physicians.”

Students in the 2+1+4 program must successfully complete their first two years of undergraduate study at Essex County College with an associate’s degree in biology. Then they must complete one year of undergraduate study at Caldwell University. After that, they’ll move on to the four-year medical degree program at St. George’s University. They’ll also have the opportunity to spend their first year of medicine at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, which maintains a special partnership with St. George’s University.

Caldwell University

In order to remain eligible for the program, students must maintain a 3.4 grade point average while enrolled at Essex County College and at Caldwell. They must also register a competitive score on the MCAT.

Students accepted to the 2+1+4 program will receive a $10,000 scholarship upon matriculating at St. George’s University. They will receive their Bachelor of Science degree from Caldwell upon successfully completing the first year of the SGU’s MD program.

“We’re extremely excited about this new partnership,” said Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, president of Essex County College. “We’re pleased to be able to help our students who aspire to careers in medicine make their dreams a reality at St. George’s University. Essex County College’s curriculum will help ensure students receive a solid foundation as they continue on the path toward becoming medical doctors.”

“Caldwell University is thrilled to partner with St. George’s University and Essex County College to offer students the opportunity to pursue medicine with exposure to medical professionals from around the world,” said Caldwell President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. “This collaboration will provide our high achieving students who are passionate about making a difference in healthcare, and who may face economic challenges, with the chance to earn both their undergraduate and medical degrees through a global lens.”

Related Reading