Dr. Sean Levchuck, SGUSOM ’89, celebrates birthday of girl for whom he performed a lifesaving heart operation

By Filipino Reporter

Six-year-old Suzzane Castillo of Tres Martires, Cavite, Philippines, has something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving Day after her childhood fantasy to be able to run along with her friends will finally be fulfilled.

Suzzane recently underwent a successful life-saving operation to repair a congenital heart defect at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center in Roslyn, N.Y., through the Gift of Life of Great Neck, N.Y. that has been saving ailing children from around the world.

Dr. Sean Levchuck, chairman of the hospital’s pediatric cardiology and one of the leading experts in the field, donated his services when he performed the procedure.


Become a Clinical Tutor and Become Part of the Success that is St. George’s

Clinical Tutor Opportunities in Basic Sciences at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada

This exciting opportunity for young medical doctors from around the world—who plan to work toward obtaining postgraduate residency programs in North America and the UK—provides recent graduates with a chance to improve basic sciences knowledge while earning income as a clinical tutor on the beautiful island of Grenada in the Caribbean.

The Clinical Tutor Teaching and Research Fellowship Program involves mentoring small group sessions in the teaching labs and assisting in developing test items. Various courses like pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, anatomy, histology, neurosciences, physiology, biochemistry, bioethics, and clinical skills use clinical tutors in their program..

Currently more than 100 clinical tutors are participating in this program and more than 100 have already have moved on to residency programs in the US, UK and other countries after excelling in the required exams. Recruitment for these positions is ongoing, with start dates in January and August. The salary structure is very competitive.

Requirements include graduation from a recognized medical school/college; two years of clinical experience under supervision, including a rotating internship of one year; good communication skills in English; registration at your local medical council; and three professional references.

Apply today for a clinical tutor position at St. Georges University School of Medicine, an international leader in the field of medical education.

To apply or for additional details, please contact Faculty Recruitment Officer Ms. Terrie Rodrigues at trodrigues@sgu.edu or Director Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath at sbhusnurmath@sgu.edu.

SGU Tops US Performance on USMLE Step 1

In 2010, SGU’s US and Canadian medical students surpassed medical school students in the US and Canada with a 94% first time pass rate on the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1. In fact, overall, SGU first time USMLE takers – students who were from 49 different countries – equaled the first time pass rate of 92% in the US and Canada for 2010.

“We are thrilled to be able to report this result,” said Chancellor Charles Modica of St. George’s University. “St. George’s has always had a strong commitment to teaching and learning – and this result only serves to reinforce our focus on training excellent doctors for the US, Canada, and the world.”

Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning considers St. George’s unique Department of Educational Services a cornerstone of the success SGU students have seen when taking the USMLE. “SGU’s success with student support services is borne out in the results we have achieved,” remarked Dean Lambert. “Our faculty is committed to excellence in teaching, both in Grenada and at our Global Scholars Program in the UK, and our commitment to student success supports our mission as an institution of teaching excellence.”

news usmle 2011

*Excludes SGU
1. St. George’s University, Office of Enrolment Planning
2. United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) website as published in 2010 National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Annual Report

SGU Welcomes Fall 2011 School of Medicine Class in Grenada and the UK

news 2011 fall som wcc 2

St. George’s University welcomed students to the School of Medicine Class of 2015 at its White Coat Ceremonies where 647 entering students in Grenada and 68 entering students at Northumbria University in the UK were cheered on by proud family members. Students were welcomed to the profession and to the University by faculty, staff, students and dignitaries. The students welcomed at Northumbria join SGU as part of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program and will spend their first year of basic sciences at Northumbria University before joining their classmates in Grenada.

At both ceremonies the students donned white coats which symbolize their entry into the medical profession and their commitment to upholding the duties and trust associated with practicing medicine and medical training—a commitment they reaffirmed with the recitation of the Oath of Professional Commitment at the ceremony.

Delivering an inspiring keynote address at the Grenada ceremony, Iona Heath, MD, CBE, MRCP, PRCGP, spoke on courage and joy, and how both are significant aspects of practicing medicine. Sharing insightful anecdotes from her own professional history, Dr. Heath counseled incoming students on having the courage to come close enough to patients that they feel seen and heard, to trust patients’ accounts of their own experience, to doubt the known, to tolerate uncertainty, and to be an advocate for patients. She also listed the joy and privilege of relating to the whole of humanity, listening to accounts of amazing courage and endurance, being able to make a difference in the life of her patients, having colleagues and friends around the world, and the joy which comes from the sheer intensity of the profession. In closing she wished the students success and “the courage that I have sometimes lacked and the joy that I have found and more”.

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Andrew James Johnson, MB BCh, FRCP delivered the keynote address at the Northumbria ceremony where he drew a unique parallel between the medical profession and theatre. Using the example of Shakespeare to demonstrate the communication needs between doctor and patient, Mr. Johnson imparted wisdom to the incoming students on the importance of avoiding jargon and using words that can be easily understood by patients. He also stressed the importance of reading between the lines when discussing health care with patients, relaying on body language and demeanor to understand a patients’ deeper anxieties. In closing he noted: ‘The smile as the patient leaves is the medical equivalent of the cheer of the audience in a theatre…. Medicine is a mix of art and science – communication is the art that makes science worth it for all!”

St. George’s University welcomes the incoming School of Medicine class in Grenada and at Northumbria and congratulates them on their first step in this noble career.

New Oncologist Joins Claxton-Hepburn’s Winter Cancer Center

Claxton-Hepburn News

Husband and wife SGU graduates, Oncologist Dr. Himani Singh and Internist Dr. Parthajeet Chowdhuri, have recently joined Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, New York.

Dr. Singh received a Bachelor of Science Degree with Distinction from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Upon earning her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 2005, Dr. Singh completed her residency in internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital, affiliated with Yale University, in Norwalk, CT. She then went on to Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, where she completed her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Singh has joined the hospital’s Richard E. Winter Cancer Center.

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Dr. Chowdhuri received a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from the University of California in Los Angeles, CA. In 2006, he earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. Upon completing his clinical clerkship in New York’s Brooklyn Hospital Center, Dr. Chowdhuri went onto become Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at Norwalk Hospital, affiliated with Yale University School of Medicine, in Norwalk, CT.

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We congratulate both graduates on their new positions at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, and wish them the best in all their future endeavors!

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Welcomes New Internist

Independent Press

St. George’s University graduate, Daniel E. Hermann, MD ’99, MPH, will be listed among “New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Docs” in an upcoming issue of New Jersey Family magazine along with five of his colleagues from the Summit Medical Group.

“Watching how compassionate doctors were with my father and knowing how they helped him made me want to do the same for other people,” explains Dr. Hermann on why he was inspired to pursue medicine.  “I wanted to be a pediatrician so that I could help kids get better from or manage their illnesses as quickly and easily as possible.” His dedication to helping children protect, maintain, and improve their health is what earned his the distinction as “New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Docs.”

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SGU Medical Student Represents Grenada at Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show

news jaycees caribbean queen show

Nakitta Noel, a student at St. George’s University, School of Medicine (SGUSOM) is representing Grenada at the 2011 Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show. She will join her fellow classmates at SGUSOM’s Fall 2011 White Coat Ceremony, in reciting the Oath of Professional Commitment and donning white coats that will symbolize their entry into the School of Medicine. When asked about her future as a physician, she stated, “My aim then is to dutifully perform my task as a general practitioner and provide the best health care in my capability. I seek to adjust the health sector in my country for the betterment of my Grenadian people because I love the country and its people…”

She went on the say, “I am committed to my 4 years in medical school and my career as a Medical Doctor (M.D.). My motivation, my hunger for success and my passion for the medical industry will carry me through.” She credits having the value of the importance of hard work being instilled in her at childhood with playing a role in her ambition and focus.

As the reigning Miss Grenada Carnival Queen 2010, Nakitta was given the opportunity to represent Grenada at this competition. The Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show is being held in Antigua and participants are expected from nine other countries across the Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.

We wish Nakitta best of luck and are certain that she will continue do herself and country proud.

St. George’s University Raises More Than $28,000 USD for the Grenada General Hospital

SGU raises $28000 Nintento wii olympics 2011

Earlier this year St. George’s University students raised over $14,000 USD during the second annual Nintendo® Wii Olympics hosted by student organizations, Urban Humanitarian Project (UHP) and Iota Epsilon Alpha International Honor Medical Society (IEA). The University’s Chancellor Charles R. Modica generously matched the efforts of the student body, allowing for a total donation of $28,344 USD to the Grenada General Hospital.

More than 80 volunteers came together and transformed the normally academically-intense Keith B. Taylor Hall into a video game arena, where 24 teams competed for a Wii Olympics grand prize—a 40-person boat cruise sponsored by First Impressions Ltd. Teams in the main tournament competed on six different games from Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Mario Kart. Aside from the main tournament, there were mini tournaments which comprised of Halo Reach, Street fighter, Call of Duty, Rock Band, and FIFA 2011 among others. Prizes were also awarded to winners of the mini tournaments. Apart from the gaming, the night was filled with music, raffle prizes, and refreshments for visitors and gamers.

students playing nintento wii olympics 2011“The success of the events highlights the desire of our student body—in particular, the leadership of UHP—in enhancing the lives of people in need,” stated Assistant Dean of Graduate Students Dr. Feisal Brahim. Dr. Brahim, along with Dean of Students Dr. C.V. Rao, supported the students as faculty advisor. All SGU student organizations were invited to participate in the fundraiser in addition to faculty, administration, and tutors. Two dozen student organizations came together to raise the bulk of the proceeds with local businesses in Grenada also showing their support by contributing nearly $2,000 USD to the cause.

The Wii Olympics, as part of the Grenada Health Project, began with a mission of providing Grenada General Hospital with additional diagnostic and treatment equipment to increase overall health for the island’s population. Given the hospitals long-standing and close relationship with the University, students believe it is imperative to provide the hospital with much needed tools and equipment that will help provide healthcare service to the local population. Therefore, proceeds from the first Olympics went to Pakistan relief efforts; however, the UHP decided that for the foreseeable future, funds raised at its events would be earmarked for the Grenada General Hospital.

About the Urban Humanitarian Project 
The UHP is registered as a non-profit organization in NY, and it gives the opportunity for St. George’s University students to participate while in their clinical years in the Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York tri-state area. Future plans for the student organization include establishing branches of UHP in other cities in the USA and Canada.

SGU Honors Nearly 800 New Medical Doctors

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On Saturday, June 11, 2011 it was with a sense of pride and accomplishment that nearly 800 medical students, drawn from 30 different countries, graduated as part of St. George’s University School of Medicine Commencement Ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City, NY. This year’s commencement ceremony was particularly special as it marked the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) charter class graduation. The 54 charter class students started the program in January 2007 and completed the first year of basic sciences at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

Distinguished guest and Assistant Dean of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, Dr. David Holmes, BSc (Hons), PhD, CSci, FIBMS, was honored with St. George’s University Medal of Merit by the Chancellor Modica during the ceremony. The medal was presented in recognition of Dr. Holmes’ contribution and tireless efforts towards the collaboration between St. George’s and Northumbria University and the development of the KBTGSP.

In his introductory remarks, Provost Dr. Allen Pensick, PhD provided wise and encouraging words, “You will be stretched in many different directions through your career and you must rely on your core values to guide you.” Chancellor Charles R. Modica, JD followed Dr. Pensick by asking the graduates to stand up and applaud their families and friends in order to demonstrate their appreciation for all the support offered by the guests in attending the day’s event as well as supporting their dream to become a physician. He also reminded the graduating class of the importance of the commencement ceremony. “This moment celebrates the commitment you have made to medicine. Your dedication is commendable, and we are confident you can make a positive impact in your local communities and in a global context.”

Her Excellency Dr. Dessima Williams, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations, also extended her congratulations to the School of Medicine Class of 2011, which included seven Grenadian graduates. She challenged them to make health care strong with their entry into the professional world. Additionally, she highlighted efforts by the United Nations to eradicate AIDS by 2020 through “zero new infections, zero stigma and zero Aids-related deaths”—a goal revealed at the United Nations Aids Summit held the same week.

The 44th School of Medicine Commencement Ceremony concluded upon closing remarks from the Dean of the School of Medicine Dean Stephen Weitzman, MD. Graduates, along with their families and friends, took the opportunity to mingle with peers, faculty, and administration during an hour-long reception that followed.

St. George’s University is extremely proud of its newest alumni who will now join the ranks of the University’s more than 9,000 medical graduates licensed in all 50 states and practicing in more than 45 countries around the world. With a 98 percent residency placement rate, the graduates will continue their professional development in highly competitive residencies in surgery, radiology, orthopedics, emergency medicine, etc.

Father and Daughter SGU Alumni Launch Ophthalmology Clinic in Grenada

news father daughter sgu alumni

A father-daughter team, comprised of Orazio Giliberti, SGUSOM ’82 and Francesca Giliberti, SGUSOM ’10, launched an Ophthalmology Clinic this spring in Grenada. Their two-day visit marked the opening of the clinic which will work in conjunction with the University’s Adult Visiting Cardiology Program to provide medical services to both the University and local Grenadian community. The clinic runs as part of the Ophthalmic Division of St. George’s Clinical Sciences Department.

The father-daughter team was happy to report that many students and graduates of the University expressed interest in the program and volunteered to be included on the rotation schedule to staff the clinic. “We are happy to be able to provide ophthalmic care for the island residents and can do so only because our students— who are now graduates, doctors, and attendants— have specialties in many areas of medicine,” explained Dr. Orazio Giliberti, the first St. George’s graduate to specialize in ophthalmic care.

On opening day the father and daughter duo conducted complete eye examinations on more than 20 people and diagnosing and treating cases of glaucoma and cataracts. Clinic patients benefited from medical advice, medication, and in some instances, a special 24-hour treatment to alleviate eye pressure. Drs. Orazio and Francesca Giliberti also met with local ophthalmologists to showcase the equipment and facilities available at the Ophthalmological Clinic and with Honorary Anne Peters, Grenada’s Minister of Health, to discuss possible collaboration with the Government of Grenada in the future.

Overall, the clinic proved to be successful with a strong turnout and positive reviews from patients. Dr. Orazio Giliberti expressed his hope for the future of the clinic. “It is my vision to have a presence on the island and have an ophthalmic clinic co-existing with other sub-specialties.”

After graduating St. George’s, Dr. Giliberti returned to Grenada in 1986 to open the University’s first eye clinic on the Grand Anse Campus. Since that time he has continued to engage in charitable work and host clinics on the island while in his current role as Associate Dean of Clinical Studies and the Director of Ophthalmology at St. George’s University. In addition to his private practice in Totowa, New Jersey, Dr. Orazio Giliberti is the Chairman of Seton Hall University. His daughter, Dr. Francesca Giliberti credits her father as the major inspiration in her life. She plans to follow in her fathers footsteps and is currently pursuing a specialization in ophthalmic care.