St. George’s University and Monmouth University Join to Offer Pre-Medical and Veterinary Students Combined BS/MD or BS/DVM Degrees

A new agreement between Monmouth University and St. George’s University will provide more doctors and veterinarians in the state of New Jersey, according to school officials.

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“St. George’s University joined forces with Monmouth University so that we can both positively address the physician and veterinarian shortage and help the state of New Jersey educate and train well-qualified professionals truly prepared to practice 21st century health care,” said Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s. “These new students will join the over 1,500 New Jersey students and graduates who matriculated at St. George’s since we were founded 35 years ago.”

“Monmouth University is very pleased to partner with St. George’s to provide pathways for our students to move seamlessly from BS degree programs into MD or DVM programs,” noted Michael A. Palladino, Dean of the School of Science at Monmouth University.

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With today’s joint announcement, St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, and Monmouth in West Long Branch, New Jersey, introduce combined BS/MD and BS/DVM degrees. Students admitted to this combined degree program complete their undergraduate degree in biology or health sciences at Monmouth University in four years, and upon meeting established admission criteria, progress into St. George’s University School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine. Qualified medical students will be eligible to complete the first two years of study in Grenada and the final two of this combined program in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States or the United Kingdom. Qualified veterinary students will be eligible to complete the first three years of veterinary study in Grenada and their final clinical year at affiliated veterinary schools in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Ireland.

In addition to the Monmouth partnership, St. George’s maintains partnerships in the United States with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)/Albert Dorman Honors College, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Caldwell College, Franklin Pierce University, University of the Sciences, and Widener University. The University has similar partnerships with schools in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana, and Uganda.

About St. George’s University
St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the island of Grenada, in the West Indies, to its programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, science, and business. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University’s over 13,000 graduates include physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities and repeatedly recognized as the best in the region.

About Monmouth University
Monmouth University is a leading private institution that offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University provides students with a highly personalized education that builds the knowledge and confidence of tomorrow’s leaders. Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University’s magnificent and historic campus is approximately one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia and is within walking distance of the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Mary Jo Johnstone, MD SGU ’08 Always on call: Day in the life of an early morning ER

FOX News followed our own Mary Jo Johnstone, MD SGU ’08, during her shift in the emergency room at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY.

St. George’s University School of Medicine Graduates Nearly 1,000 New MDs

On Saturday, June 15, St. George’s University conferred Doctor of Medicine degrees to nearly 1,000 MD students at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. The 2013 class is the largest in University history with graduates from around the world representing 34 countries.

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“This ceremony is a symbol of confidence that you are now equipped for the world into which you are entering,” St. George’s University Provost Allen Pensick said in his address. “You must consider the term commencement, which speaks of the beginning of a journey, rather than the end. We have equipped you with the basic skills for you to continue learning, and continue learning we all must, to keep pace with the changing world around us.”

With the graduation of the 2013 class, St. George’s retains the distinction of placing more doctors in US PGY-1 residencies than any other medical school in the world for the third year in a row. Since its inception in 1976, St. George’s University has produced more than 11,000 doctors from 133 countries who have practiced in all 50 states in the US and in over 50 countries around the world.

The University honored Mary Sansone, founder and organizer of the Congress of Italian American Organizations (CIAO), with a Medal of Merit at the ceremony for her years of non-profit work and community service. Along with CIAO, Ms. Sansone founded Community Understanding for Racial and Ethnic Equality, or CURE, an organization geared toward promoting racial harmony and human rights. St. George’s also acknowledged Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, a member of the St. George’s University Board of Trustees and the president of Barry University (FL) for nearly a quarter century, with an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters.

From Lab to Field: SGU Alumnus Takes Bold Innovation into the Developing World

In size, the 10-millimeter copper device created by St. George’s University alumnus Ahmad Firas Khalid and two colleagues may not seem like much. In impact, however, it may dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.

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Dr. Khalid’s creation will allow rural water sources, such as this one in Kenya, to provide clean water for the masses.

The 2009 graduate and Drs. Padma Venkat and Caroline Kisia were the recipients of a $100,000 CDN Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) Proof-of-Concept Grant for the development of a low-cost water purifying copper device that has been proven to kill deadly water-borne pathogens.

“More than one billion people lack access to improved water supply, which is a basic human right,” said Dr. Khalid, who with Drs. Venkat and Kisia are also students in the International Masters for Health Leadership (IMHL) program at McGill University, Canada. “The absence of purified water causes infectious diarrhea resulting in up to 2.2 million deaths per year in children under age 5, and while it is a particularly dire situation in India and Africa, it’s a global issue in need of a sustainable solution. This could be the solution we’ve been looking for to save millions of lives.”

The device, which will be field-tested in rural Kenya and India, is placed into a container of water and purifies its contents within 24 hours. According to Dr. Khalid, “it costs less than $10 US to manufacturer; it is safe, effective; easy to use, requires no electricity, and lasts a lifetime.”

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Dr. Khalid, together with Drs. Venkat, director of the Institute for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) in Bangalore, India, and Kisia, director of Action Africa, a non-governmental organization in Kenya, has 18 months to implement and prove the sustainability of the project. Once successful, they will then be offered a $1 million CDN ‘Transition-to-Scale,’ grant. Their hope is to develop a business model that manufactures and supplies copper devices on a global scale.

As the project manager, Dr. Khalid stated, “It is no longer enough for physicians to be involved in research, but what is really important is implementing the medical advances that people are in need of. I am grateful to St. George’s University for instilling in me that research is a continuous and critical process.”

As the first recipient of St. George’s University’s Student Humanitarian Award in 2007, Dr. Khalid recalled making a commitment to help underprivileged people throughout the world. “The world-class education I received from SGU opened many doors for me that I never thought was possible. My medical journey took me from Grenada to St. Vincent, to London, UK, and now I’m in Canada,” he said, “Because of this, I was able to appreciate medicine and its global impact. SGU has provided a remarkable opportunity for my career and was the stepping stone to where I am today.”

Upon graduating in 2009, Dr. Khalid, who is originally from Jordan, went to teach medical practice in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and did his clinical rotations in London. Currently he is a medical professor at Ottawa, Ontario Canada and worked with the World Health Organization on maternal-fetal health programmes in Geneva.

Twelve SOM Graduates Awarded Distinction in Research

Twelve St. George’s University School of Medicine students were recognized for making a significant contribution to research during their MD studies at this year’s 2013 SOM commencement ceremony. The students, who have all published their research in at least two peer-reviewed journals, were given the designation of “Distinction in Research” and wore a blue and gold, double-strand honor cord on graduation day.

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“This award demonstrates the increasing emphasis and commitment SGU places on research and scholarly activity during the students’ medical training,” said Dr. Calum Macpherson, director of research at SGU.

At SGU, students can become involved in research projects in both the basic sciences and during their clinical program. The Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) research institute is on campus with the goal of advancing health and environmental development through research and education programs. The Medical Student Research Institute (MSRI) was launched in 2009 to aid MD clinical student research and has facilitated the production of hundreds of papers.

The recipients of this year’s Distinction in Research Award are: Yasir Al-Khalili, Sharath Bellary, Justin Chen, Sameer Chopra, Mark Diamond, Brian Housman, Paul Hulsberg, Michael M. Aziz, Amir M. Kalani Yazd, Monica Midha, John Pearson, and Lorena Polo.

SGU Clinical Students Experience Unique International Elective

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Shania Flagg and Mary Ann Son have had experiences with the diversity of medicine. Through their experience in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program in the UK and in Grenada, and their clinical rotations throughout the US, they had grown accustomed to visiting with patients and working with colleagues from around the world.

But this was different.

Launched in February, Flagg and Son were the first students to embark on a unique one-month elective at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) University in Karad, Maharashtra, India. It is the first elective available in India to SGU’s fourth-year medical students, and provides even more intensive hands-on clinical experience.

For Flagg, the India elective punctuated her global health experience, which she feels has broadened her perspective and her capabilities as a doctor.

“An experience like the one I had India really strengthens you as a doctor and builds your character,” she said. “Doing this elective is the epitome of what a global medical scholar should be doing.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is on board as well, encouraging medical students to experience international medicine through its Global Health Learning Opportunities initiative, a pilot program to facilitate clinical, global health, and research elective rotations globally for final year medical students. Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath, dean of academic affairs at SGU, hopes that future students will seize the opportunity. Students have had the opportunity to do electives at Princess Marina Hospital in Gabarone, Botswana , and now India. Dr. Bhusnarmath hopes that more international electives will be developed at St. George’s University.

“We are already ahead of the curve,” he said. “Having international experience is the top priority. If you talk to anyone in the medical field, they want students who can handle patients from various backgrounds because there are immigrants from all over the world in the US. It’s very important to have that global exposure.”

SGU has many international selectives in various countries, including Kenya, Thailand, India, the Czech Republic, and Sweden, which are basic science experiences giving students a look at international medicine. The elective in India is one of the first, formal international clinical rotations. Dr. Bharti Bhusnurmath, professor of pathology and director of the medical pathology diagnostic lab at SGU, began the search for such an opportunity more than three years ago. KIMS University has an established residency program necessary for it to be an SGU-approved rotation, a large and diverse student and patient population, and a strong faculty – all of which made it the perfect fit.

Flagg, a fourth-year medical student rotating in New York City, joined Son, a fourth-year OB/GYN, as the first SGU students to enroll in the elective. The KIMS staff encouraged Flagg to partake in facets of medical care she found particularly interesting, including participating in as many surgeries as she could. In addition to the hands-on experience, Flagg benefited from working with international faculty and treating individuals from a different culture.

“There aren’t as many resources in India as there are in the US, and that forced you to be really creative,” Flagg said. “It was great to see how they deliver quality health care without relying on the same amount of tools that we have here in the US.”

Flagg completed her Doctor of Medicine in April and will report to her family medicine residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital – SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY, in June. She studied at Northumbria University in the UK as part of the KBTGSP and traveled throughout Europe in her spare time. She also studied in Grenada, spent the one month in India, and completed her rotations at three different hospitals in New York City.

“From when I first started medical school until now, I feel like I have evolved so much,” she said.

Son immersed herself in the community’s efforts related to preventive medicine and women’s health. She also wanted to gain more hands-on surgical experience, and with a steady flow of patients at the clinic, she estimated that she saw more vaginal hysterectomies performed during her one-month rotation in India than all her other rotations combined.

“It was great to go out into the world and see how they were making health a priority, even with their limited resources,” Son said.

After rotating in New York, Michigan, Florida and Illinois in her third and fourth years, the India selective was Son’s final rotation before earning her MD. She begins her OB/GYN residency at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Michigan in June.

“The experience in India was really enriching,” said Son. “I’ll never forget it.”

Dr. Gerry Rayman Shares Ideas that could Limit Diabetic Leg Amputations

Is enough being done to prevent and reduce diabetic amputations in Grenada? At a graduate seminar held at St. George’s University, Dr. Gerry Rayman, a consultant physician and Head of Service at the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, UK, spoke on the topic “a national programme to reduce the variation in amputations in the UK.” In his lecture, Dr. Rayman outlined measures shown to significantly reduce the number of diabetic amputation cases. Although geared towards developed countries, many of the measures outlined by Dr. Rayman can be adapted to help alleviate the incidence of amputations due to complications of diabetes in Grenada.

Dr. Rayman refers to diabetic complications of the foot as foot attack to demonstrate the severity of the condition, presenting research showing the high mortality rate of foot ulcers, 50 percent over five years. “This is not just an amputation. This condition kills… Lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer have a lower rate of mortality, yet most of the investment is focused on these.”

According to Dr. Rayman, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands have significantly reduced their rates of amputations which he attributes to their structured delivery of services for the diabetic foot. “The key elements to reducing amputations are screening, education, proper care pathways and immediate access to medical care for those with foot attack,” he said. “Most amputations are preceded by foot ulcers, most of which are preventable. If we can prevent the foot ulcer, we can prevent the amputation.” He advocates a structured nationwide program involving multiple disciplines within the medical profession to arrest this problem.

As national clinical lead for inpatient care, Dr. Rayman responded to lapses in the treatment and prevention of foot attack in patients in UK hospitals by developing the Ipswich Touch Test along with his colleagues at Ipswich in 2009. The test switched responsibility for screening from junior doctors to the nurses and removed the need for high tech equipment to detect neuropathy or loss of sensation in the feet. The simple and highly effective test increased screening for neuropathy and foot lesions to nearly 100 percent in hospitals resulting in dramatic decreases in amputations. The test can also be conducted at home by the family members of diabetic patients; Dr. Rayman recommends doing this at least once per year.

The Ipswich Touch Test is also virtually free to implement. Dr. Rayman commented: “I marvel that health care systems should persist in wasting large sums on the disasters arising from poorly managed diabetic foot problems but little or none on integrating care to prevent these in the first place.”The economic toll of diabetic foot complications in the UK is nearly three quarters of a billion.

Recently, sparked by a talk by Dr. Rayman in 2012, St. George’s University student group Public Health Student Association (PHSA) introduced and promoted the Touch the Toes Test. If this test is adopted in Grenada’s hospitals and homes along with proper education and vigilant care, the nation can also reduce amputations and their personal and economic burden.

Developing 21st Century Medicine St. George’s University 19th Geoffrey Bourne Memorial Lecture

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Medicine doesn’t stand still. Medical knowledge doubles every five years; the practices and procedures are constantly changing to meet current standards and expectations. The world is changing rapidly, and medical outlooks and practices must change continually.

Sir Duff, Chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom, spoke on the topic – Developing 21st Century Medicine. In his three-part presentation he highlighted the development of modern medicines as an ever changing model.

Following the 18th century evolution of medicine from observation, which yielded disease clarification, contagion theory, the value of exercise, and the relationship between nutrition and health; to comparative clinical trials and experimental biology in the modern era, there has been an increase in the demand and cost of health care. He stated, “Today we have an increasing demand for healthcare which we have been able to meet with supply, but at a cost that is now unsustainable for most countries.” He further explained, “There have been immense successes, but we’ve been victims of our own successes because we have created an economic health care catastrophe of ever-increasing demand met with an ever-increasing supply.”

Sir Duff articulated that the solution to this problem is to identify the new era of efficacies through the development of new medicines with a high benefit to risk ratio. He stated, “We need to show that the benefits of the medicine to the patients outweigh the risks,” And this can be done, “by stratifying populations and moving towards personalized medicine.” He noted that while we may be several decades away from personalizing medicine, we’re already stratifying populations for its development. He further ventured into the classical model of developing medicine and the need for a more adaptive clinical trial, including the use of some of the most powerful and promising bio-technology.

Honoring the visionary legacy of the late Geoffrey H. Bourne, Sir Gordon Duff stated, “The first-in- human trial is the gateway between biological research and clinical medicine and we must think about it carefully.” This provided the foundation for the third part of his presentation which focused on good prescribing practices.

Sir Gordon Duff is currently the chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an agency within the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices are effective and acceptably safe.

He has been Lord Florey Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Sheffield since 1991. From 2000-2009 he was Chairman of the National Biological Standards Board and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory group for Emergencies since 2009. He was knighted in 2007 for services to public health.

St. George’s University Announces Partnership with Tung Wah College in Hong Kong

St. George’s University and Tung Wah College (TWC) in Hong Kong S.A.R., China, have signed a memorandum of understanding that opens the door for graduates of TWC’s Bachelor of Medical Science or Bachelor of Health Science programs to enter graduate programs at SGU.

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Tung Wah College’s Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) program was established in January 2013, with majors that include basic medical sciences, forensic science, medical laboratory science, radiation therapy, and veterinary health studies. St. George’s University and TWC will work together to create a semester-based exchange program that will enhance students’ international learning experience.

“St. George’s University is pleased to have partnered with Tung Wah College and we look forward to welcoming medical students from this college to Grenada in the near future,” said St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica. “Tung Wah College is dedicated to providing its students with a tremendous platform for their careers, and we are excited about playing a role in developing these individuals into outstanding, well-rounded doctors.”

In addition to students, faculty members from each institution will be invited to the other for their own enhancement, including in teaching, training, and research.

The relationship further strengthens a pipeline from Hong Kong to St. George’s University School of Medicine. Three Hong Kong students are currently attending SGU, and six have gone on to earn their MDs from the University.

Established in 2010, Tung Wah College is a subsidiary of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, offering students a wide range of health care and medical sciences programs. Through them, TWC’s mission is provide high-quality education while also instilling in its students a sense of social responsibility. Tung Wah College is accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ).

St. George’s University Medical Student Prospering after Leaving Home at Age 15

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There were times that Therese Jeter had hopped a train with no particular destination in mind. She’d run away from home at age 15, living off the street and without boundaries for a while.

Even while exploring the world, Jeter never lost her desire to gain an education. Now a third-termer at St. George’s University School of Medicine, “Tee,” as she is nicknamed, has quite a clear path in mind, and she believes she has found the right institution to take her there.

“I can’t imagine going to med school in any other place,” Jeter said. “This is the perfect setup for me. I love the material so much that all I want is more time, just so I can learn it better and learn more. When you work 15-17 hours a day at your job, it really helps to love your job. My job is studying and I love it. It reassures me that I’m in the right place.”

Jeter came to SGU in January 2012 from the University of Central Florida (UCF), from which she earned a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and microbiology, graduating magna cum laude. However, the aspiring doctor has come a long way since leaving her family’s Connecticut home.

“I don’t even know why I wanted to leave home so badly,” she said. “I think I was just in search of something different, some kind of freedom.”

It began a four-year stretch in which Jeter bounced from place to place, state to state. She embarked on cross-country expeditions that took her to 47 states, met countless people from all walks of life, and saw areas of the US that most people never get to see.

However, in the mid-1990s and with an eye on the future, she obtained her General Education Development (GED) certificate and years later enrolled at Daytona State College to pursue an Associate of Arts in Science. She graduated summa cum laude from DSC and it paved her way to UCF.

“The more I got into science , the more I realized how much I enjoyed learning and that I was really good at it,” she said.

Jeter thrived at UCF, and upon being accepted to St. George’s University, she leapt at the opportunity to explore the world even further, while earning a premium international medical education. She matriculated in January 2012 and is working toward becoming a cardiovascular surgeon or pediatrician.

Through SGU, she took advantage of a three-week selective in Prague, Czech Republic, last summer, where she dived further into her fields of choice, doing rotations in cardiovascular surgery and pediatric neurology. She recalls a trip through the European countryside by train, traveling to more than fifteen countries. She had been on long journeys by train before, traveling cross country on numerous occasions back in the States, but this journey was different. It was the first time that she had ridden on the inside of a train.

“Looking out the windows, seeing the world, I loved that I could sit back and appreciate what’s around me,” Jeter said. “People say you should stop and smell the roses and I make sure that I do.”

She’s taken advantage of numerous other opportunities available at SGU. Jeter is a Footsteps Buddy, helping first-term students acclimate to school and life in the Caribbean, has joined the Grenada Triathlon Association, and ran the Grenada Half Marathon in November. Jeter’s interests are as diverse as her experiences. She is SCUBA-certified, was president of the Women’s Rugby Club at UCF, played flute, bassoon, and bass clarinet for the Naples Concert Band, and has logged more than 1,500 skydives, as a member of the United States Parachute Association.

Jeter is drawn to working with individuals who are less fortunate. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the co-founder and director of food for Rock For Hunger, an Orlando-area not-for-profit organization that cooks for 150 needy people weekly. Since 2007, Jeter has been a counselor at Camp Boggy Creek, a summer camp for children with terminal illnesses or chronic conditions.

“All the things that I’ve picked up along the way molded me into the person I am today … there’s a reason I had all those experiences,” Jeter said. “I have the drive to put my experiences to use, to excel in medical school and to become a surgeon. I will be able to relate extremely well with my patients. Between what I’ve done, the places I’ve been, and the different people I’ve interacted with, all these experiences I’ve collected will enable me to be a better doctor.”