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

Wilson joins the Great Falls Clinic Surgery Department 4/13/16

Charles R. Wilson, MD SGU ’03, FACS, a board certified surgeon, joined the Great Falls Clinic. Wilson has more than seven years of experience in general surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He brings additional expertise in advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. G. Richard Olds Addresses America’s Imminent “Million-Doctor Shortage” on MarketWatch 4/1/16

Without those doctors, our medical system is “putting out forest fires — just treating the patients when they get really sick,” said Dr. Richard Olds, the chief executive officer of the Caribbean medical school St. George’s University, who is attempting to use his institution’s resources to help alleviate the shortage.

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

Have Primary care physicians gone the way of the dinosaur? 3/10/16

“It is true that there is a shortage of primary care physicians, and it is looming to be even greater,” said Dr. Fred Jacobs, executive vice president of St. George’s University in Grenada and chair of its Department of Medicine.

New York needs foreign medical schools’ students 3/9/16

Within 10 years, the United States will be short 31,000 primary-care physicians. U.S. medical schools bear some responsibility for that shortage: Two-thirds of their graduates become specialists.

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

New Gastroenterologist Brings Specialized Skill to Albany Med’s Digestive Disease Center 3/5/16

Sven Hida, MD SGU ’03, a gastroenterologist with specialized training and knowledge of advanced interventional endoscopy, has joined Albany Medical Center’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Hida recently performed the hospital’s first peroralendoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure, an incision-less surgery that corrects swallowing and digestive disorders.