St. George’s University Present at International Academy of Pathology Conference in Thailand

Drs. Shivayogi and Bharti Bhusnurmath, Co-Chairs of St. George’s University’s Department of Pathology, presented at the International Academy of Pathology (IAP) Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in October. IAP is the largest international organization for pathologists across the globe, and the conference will present multi-track content across the breadth of pathology, showcasing products, services, and technology through a scientific program and workshops presented by world-class speakers and experts in their field.

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The Bhusnurmaths presented on how to teach critical clinical reasoning through the pathology course. According to Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath, Dean of Academic Development at St. George’s University, “This topic is important for every physician because they need to have a scientific and logical basis for every step of their interaction with the patient to be good doctors.” He stated, “This includes reasoning as to what questions to ask when taking a patient’s history, what activities and laboratory investigations to do when examining a patient, how these will help make a clear diagnosis and manage the patient better.”

Additionally, they moderated a session titled “Frontiers in Pathology” at the meeting, presenting papers on designing teaching labs in pathology to encourage active learning in a clinical context and the use of concept maps in teaching pathology. Dr. Bhusnurmath estimated that SGU students have developed more than 100,000 concept maps over the past 12 years as part of the pathology course, allowing students to think critically and communicate effectively.

“SGU is probably the only medical school in the world where this activity is a mandatory part of the course,” he said. “The presentations at the IAP Conference aim to demonstrate how we teach clinical reasoning skills. It is a matter of pride for us to showcase the academic developments at St. George’s University to this vast international gathering.”

St. George’s University Faculty Present Strategies for Student Development at AMEE Conference in Milan

Three members of the St. George’s University faculty recently presented at the 2014 Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) conference in Milan, Italy, joining thousands of participants from 90 countries worldwide who shared their knowledge and expertise in education in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, and dentistry.

Dr. Nitsa Topale, Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Coordinator of the Individual Advancement/Program for Academic Success in the Department of Educational Services (DES), presented her research on how strategies used by high-achieving students can help new and underachieving students succeed, in her poster titled: “Standing Out From the Rest: How Do Wellness, Engagement, and Management of Cognitive Demands Contribute to the Success of our Best Students?”

“High-achieving students are indeed doing the very things student support professionals recommend,” said Dr. Topale. “They share a similar profile with respect to exercise, sleep, time management, stress level, lecture attendance, and their approach to learning and self-assessment. These students can be the link between what faculty and the literature indicate medical students should be doing to succeed, and what successful students are actually doing. They can serve as peer mentors and contribute to student success initiatives.”

One unique aspect of the AMEE conference is the fringe presentation. With varied formats, the 15-minute presentations provide new and provocative or idiosyncratic approaches to medical education with an emphasis on creativity, performance, and audience engagement. Dr. Robert Hage delivered one such presentation titled “Do as You Should Do and Forget What You Saw or Heard.”

Dr. Hage’s presentation dealt with how educators often display habits different to the ones they advise students to cultivate. “We teach students what they are supposed to do but soon afterward they may realize that we don’t do what we tell them to do,” he said. His presentation encouraged observing the habits of colleagues but doing so critically and being able to explain the reasons for one’s actions. It also emphasized the importance of observation and teaching students to be observant.

Dr. Bill Blunt presented a poster of research done along with Dr. Andre Havenga and Dr. Topale titled “Ten Approaches to Academic Development for the Basic Medical Sciences: Achieving Quality with Large Classes.” Developed after critical analysis of best practices by the Department of Education Services (DES) and other SGU departments, the team found that larger class sizes do not compromise learning when an entire university community adopts strategies to support student learning autonomy.

“The poster summarized the enormous range of ways in which SGU helps students,” said Dr. Blunt, Deputy Chair, Director of Faculty Development, and Professor at DES. “SGU has developed a unique student support program that focuses on developing students’ autonomy and resilience rather than support strategies that encourage dependency. Of course, our strategies do not aim to make it easy for students. There’s no easy way through medical school.”

The foundation of the SGU approach is to build the resilience and strength of students, putting the responsibility for learning back on the students. “In truth, students who don’t get to the point of being self-driven in medical school usually won’t make it through,” continued Dr. Blunt. “We work to ensure our students develop this skill early on rather than leaving them to learn it on their own.”

The 10 strategies highlighted through the research are geared to successfully engage and empower students to take control of their own learning through self management, problem solving, reflective thinking, and collaborative learning. Academic development strategies include providing adequate orientation for students, development of learning strategies for students in large classes, and expert academic advice and early intervention and remediation.

St. George’s University Hosts Coastal Tourism Conference

Urgent Action Needed to Adapt To Effects of Climate Change for the Caribbean

news sealy hughThe Caribbean’s beauty is unmatched, and each year the region attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. The tourism industry is at its core, which is why Caribbean leaders are making every effort to preserve it.

St. George’s University recently hosted the CTO-CREST Third Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, a conference covering topics such as sustainable financing for conservation, sustainable coastal tourism, eco-certification, marine recreation, marketing and branding, community engagement, and best practices for beach and shoreline protection. Presenters and participants from across the region painted a bleak picture if action isn’t taken: rising sea levels, increasing coral-melting acidification of the ocean, intensifying weather systems and storm surges, and other spinoff effects that could drastically affect the region’s tourism industry, the main source of income for many of the islands.

“Coming from the symposium, I hope that hoteliers and other tourism officials will gain a greater understanding of how to adapt to some of the inevitable impacts of climate change,” said Dr. Hugh Sealy, the Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Track in SGU’s Department of Public Health and Chair of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

“Hotel owners can help with proper design, doing things like wastewater treatment and recycling to protect the coral reefs, and lobbying their governments to begin to act. Governments need to begin planning immediately as it takes a considerable time to have coastal defenses designed, funded, and implemented.”

Dr. Sealy participated in a three-member panel of experts that also included SGU graduate Angus Friday, Grenada’s Ambassador to the United States and Mexico and to the Organization of American States (OAS, and Honorable Nicholas Steele, Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Business. The panel discussed the serious threat facing the islands, calling for urgent mitigation and preparation. In it, Dr. Sealy warned that “to have a reasonable chance of keeping warming below 1.5°C or even 2°C, the world has to rapidly decarbonize.”

Dr. Friday, MD SGU ‘91, encouraged the Caribbean to recognize, teach about, and harness the value of its biodiversity as a means of inspiring its nationals to preserve its natural resources, care for the environment, and reduce their carbon footprints.

“We are at the dawn of a new era; it is the first time human beings and human civilizations have started to change the very nature of the world we live in,” said Dr. Friday. “Following Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Grenadians became actively interested in climate change and real advocates for its mitigation. If a small island like Grenada can move in this direction, it gives me great hope that other economies can do the same.”

Mr. Steele spoke of several plans that Grenada has in the pipeline to promote conservation and renewable energy and encouraged nations to take seriously the threats posed by climate change and act urgently to mitigate them.

St. George’s University and Niagara Christian Community of Schools in Canada Announce Joint Partnership

University to offer Dual Degree BSc/MD Program for Premed Students

St. George’s University has joined with Niagara Christian Community of Schools (NCC), Fort Erie Ontario, Canada, to offer students an opportunity to obtain a BS/MD degree.  Through the partnership, qualified students are able to pursue a career in medicine at St. George’s University following successful completion of secondary education requirements at NCC.

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“This is our first affiliation with a secondary institution in Canada and we are pleased to be able to offer Canadian students another pathway to an MD degree at St. George’s,” said Charles Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University.  “We have more than 600 Canadian students currently enrolled and we look forward to welcoming students from NCC to our campus.”

Applicants admitted to this dual degree program complete their studies at NCC before proceeding to the seven year premedicine/medicine degree program track at St. George’s University.  Upon successful completion of the first year of the MD program at SGU, qualified student will have fulfilled the requirements for a BSc degree from St. George’s University and will then be eligible to complete the remaining three years of study at SGU leading to the MD degree.

“This partnership is a testament to the value both institutions place on helping students achieve their full potential,” said Scott Herron, President of NCC.  “For over 83 years NCC has been preparing students from the Niagara Region and around the world for post secondary success.  This agreement is yet another way we look beyond our students immediate educational needs and lay a strong foundation for their future career aspirations.”

In addition to the NCC partnership, St. George’s maintains partnerships in the United States and United Kingdom with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)/Albert Dorman Honors College St. Michael’s Medical CenterCaldwell UniversityFranklin Pierce UniversitySt. Thomas UniversityUniversity of the SciencesMonmouth University, Widener UniversityNorthumbria UniversityAbbey DLD Group of Colleges, and University of the West of England. The University has similar partnerships with schools in Bermuda, Grenada, Hong Kong, 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 Niagara Christian Community of Schools
Niagara Christian Community of Schools (NCC) was established in 1932 and is situated on the shores of the Niagara River in Fort Erie Ontario, Canada.  NCC is an international community of schools established to educate students with excellence in a family-like environment, equipping them to live the Christian lifestyle, and empowering them to make a difference in the world.  NCC offers full dormitory boarding and home stay options during the academic school year, summer programs and camps, as well as traditional day-student programs for middle and secondary school (grades 6-12). Since 1969, NCC has been blessed to have an international component to its enrollment and currently hosts students from 18 countries. This leads to an incredible diversity achieved on few secondary school campuses, and priceless opportunities for our students to understand cultures from all over the world.

New School of Veterinary Medicine Class Joins SGU Family


The Fall 2014 School of Veterinary Medicine class took its first steps in its educational journey at the St. George’s University White Coat Ceremony, donning freshly minted white coats, symbols of professionalism and high standards, and collectively reciting the Oath of Professional Commitment.

“St. George’s University will offer you more than a top-notch veterinary medical education,” said Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University. “You will meet people from all over the world and form lifelong friendships and professional bonds. You will become a family, and your experiences here will leave you with a greater respect and understanding of the people of the world.”

news svm fall acc 2014 2Master of Ceremonies Christina Fernandez, MD SGU ’07, recalled her educational journey — from her own White Coat Ceremony at St. George’s University to becoming the director of the University’s Small Animal Clinic.

“St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine continues to provide cutting-edge veterinary knowledge and technology while expanding its curriculum and adding new state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms,” she said.

The entering class also had the honor of hearing from Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean Emeritus and Immediate Past Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, as its keynote speaker. He shared with the students the ingredients necessary for a successful veterinary career: veterinary medical knowledge, technical skills, and life skills, including leadership and communication.

“Start challenging yourself to be the best doctor you can be,” he said. “Be sure to look beyond the traditional careers. The future of veterinary medicine is bright and your future is unlimited.”

For the second straight term, the White Coat Ceremony coincided with Beyond Spice Family Weekend at SGU. Students and their families were able to attend a weekend full of activities throughout campus and the island prior to the momentous White Coat Ceremony. In addition, the University’s Veterinary Surgical Laboratory was renamed Ray and Jan Sis Hall during a ceremony held outside the newly named building, which honored the Sis family’s leadership and vision during Dr. Sis’s 13-year tenure.

New KBTGSP Class Receives Global Perspective

A brand new class of prospective doctors officially began their medical education as part of St. George’s University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) in Newcastle, UK on August 15. The incoming students in the UK, who represent 12 countries, took their Oaths of Professional Conduct and donned white coats, symbolic of the professionalism and high standards of their calling, at the White Coat Ceremony held at Domain Hall on the campus of Northumbria University.

news kbtgsp class receives global perspective

The evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Gerard Corcoran, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute, Liverpool, gave a brilliant address in which he urged the students to be a part of achieving universal health care. “Universal healthcare is far from being achieved, but you have a chance to affect this.  Patient focused care is compassionate care, and how we care for our dying is a monitor of the quality of our health service and our society,” he said. “The relationship between a patient and a doctor is both strong and fragile. Become good listeners and good explainers.”

Dr. Yon Chong, SGUSOM MPH’11, the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, encouraged the students to take full advantage of the global experiences SGU offers. She shared about her own journey of medical education in which she embraced every global opportunity open to her, including a practicum in Tanzania, selectives in Honduras and trips to Copenhagen, Montreal and Jakarta with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).

Guest of Honor at the ceremony, Baroness Howells of St. David’s, OBE, President of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) and the only Grenadian in the House of Lords, also greeted the students. She exhorted them to “play a little and work very hard,” encouraging them to enjoy their host countries while making their home countries proud.

The Global Scholars are part of SGU School of Medicine’s incoming class for Fall 2014 who together represent 41 countries; they will study in the UK for one year before joining their classmates in Grenada for the completion of the basic sciences curriculum.

SGU Alumna Offering Pet Emergency Services

WWSB ABC 7 in Tampa caught up with Lesleigh Redavid, DVM SGU ’08, who weighed in on how to transport your pet to the vet in the event of an emergency.

The End of a Chapter, The Beginning of a Journey

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Graduates Class of 2014

St. George’s University conferred Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 119 graduates at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Friday, June 13.  The 2014 class represents nine countries who join over 13,000 St. George’s University graduates in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, and other professions and disciplines who have worked in over 50 countries around the world

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“Through your work in Grenada and in your own communities, you have demonstrated your understanding of the value of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and service,” said Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University. “Now we challenge you to live these values in your practice of veterinary medicine.”

“Always remember that your success carries with it the responsibility for ensuring the health and welfare of your patients,” urged Dr. Timothy Ogilvie, Dean of SVM. “I charge you to dispatch this duty with the utmost reliability and kindness.”

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In a special feature during the ceremony, St. George’s University’s highest honor,  the Distinguished  Service Award, was bestowed on Dr. Jay Humburg, former  professor in Large Animal Surgery in recognition of his outstanding contribution  to  the  University. Dr. Humburg joined SVM shortly after its charter  in  1999  and  has  been highly instrumental in the development of Large Animal Surgery over the years.

SGU Faculty to Present Symposium on Climate Change at 12th World Congress of Bioethics

news macpherson cherylLed by Dr. Cheryl CoxMacpherson, Chair of the Department of Bioethics, St. George’s University (SGU) will present a symposium on climate change at the 12th World Congress of Bioethics, slated for June 25-28, 2014 in Mexico City. This year’s Congress, themed ‘Bioethics in a Globalized World: Science, Society and Individual’,will engage bioethicists from diverse backgrounds and professions, and feature lectures from leading bioethicists and experts from related fields, poster and symposia presentations, satellite meetings, and other activities.

The St. George’s University team, which also includes Sean Philpott, an Adjunct Professor in bioethics at SGU who is based at Union Graduate College in New York,  Dale Jamieson, a Professor at New York University, and other speakers from Latin America and the Caribbean aim to publish proceedings from the symposium, themed ‘Global Bioethics and Climate Change: Science, Society and Individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean,’ in a peer-reviewed bioethics journal after the Congress.

“We aim to draw attention to ways in which bioethicists and other professionals can help to reduce the health harms of climate change,” said Dr. CoxMacpherson. “We need to engage in policy discussions and public dialogue to really get more people thinking and talking about what’s going to make a difference, so that we can arrive at solutions to balance the conflicts between various national goals and priorities.”

The Congress, held every two years, is organized by the International Association of Bioethics. The 2014 event will be the first ever held in Latin America.

“The Congress in Mexico will be a great experience,” said Manuel H. Ruiz de Chávez, President of the local organizing committee for the Congress, in a letter announcing the event. “It will represent an excellent opportunity to become aware of the developments in bioethics all around the world and to visit a vibrant, enjoyable, and colorful Mexico City with so much history and also many cultural and tourist attractions.”

St. George’s University Awards Inaugural NeuroResearch Excellence Award

NeuroResearch Student Group Founder Honored for Excellence in Neuroscience Research

St. George’s University fifth-term medical student Sunita Hingorani was recognized for her contribution to the founding and growth of the NeuroResearch Student Group, a contingent of SGU students dedicated to research in neuroscience. Thus, when it came time for Dr. Tuula Jalonen, Professor of Neuroscience at SGU, to award the inaugural NeuroResearch Excellence Award, Ms. Hungrani was an easy choice.

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“I wanted to recognize someone who shows excellence in neuroscience, in research and in their other studies, someone who is motivated, has good ideas, and shows leadership and enthusiasm for research,” said Dr. Jalonen, who serves as Ms. Hingorani’s academic advisor. “Sunita is all these things. She kept the group together and pushed and motivated her peers to keep working. I really felt she was the perfect person for this first award, and I can already see other excellent researchers coming up within the group.”

NeuroResearch has grown from a membership of five in 2012 to more than 30 students, all with a thirst and passion for research and neuroscience. Students who join the group devise their own research project or join one of several ongoing projects. The group’s goal is to conduct research significant to neuroscience and with potential benefit for the Grenadian community.

Thus far, the group has researched the use of Propofol by physicians, neuropathic pain in sickle cell disease, awareness of Alzheimer’s disease in Grenada, the prevalence and mechanisms of HTLV-1 infection, migraine, depression in schoolchildren, ‘neurophobia’ among medical students, and diabetes and NMDA receptor activity in cells. Through the support of Dr. Marios Loukas, SGU’s Dean of Medical Research, NeuroResearch has acquired a patch clamp for the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, which will assist them in their research in the upcoming semester.

“The research we do is so relevant,” said Ms. Hingorani.  “I find myself connecting most of my classes to neuroscience.  The research we conducted has  helped me remember more of what I was learning in class.  I’m sure that my experience in NeuroResearch has prepared me to be open to new ideas in my future career.”.”

Members of NeuroResearch Student Group have presented at two SGU Research Day events and at the One Health, One Medicine conference. In July, Dr. Jalonen will also present a poster on a mathematical model of HTLV-1 at the Federation of European Neuroscience Forum in Milan. Even though Ms. Hingorani is leaving Grenada for her clinical rotations, her hope is to remain involved in NeuroResearch as much as possible.