St. George’s University Grad Goes On-Air to Set the Medical Record Straight

St. George’s University preps its graduates for a fulfilling medical career – and then some. Take 1983 St. George’s grad Dr. Bruce Bonanno, who recalls one anxious patient after another, all with unfounded health concerns that were delivered by the same menacing culprit: television.

That was the inspiration he needed to launch his “other” career as a medical broadcast journalist.

“Being in the Caribbean and away from home, many of us were reading American newspapers to keep informed, and there was such a rumor mill of false information,” Bonanno recalls. “News reports on TV and in the papers aren’t always telling the true story. Often, a reporter takes from a story what they think is the most important, but twists the message.”

Still, Bonanno’s primary job is a practicing physician with a medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. After its founding as an independent medical school in 1977, the University focused on preparing students such as Bonanno to meet the health care needs of people all over the world. Today, St. George’s University is known as a “mini UN” because its students and faculty hail from 90 countries worldwide. Plus:

  • St. George’s students routinely score as well – or better than – U.S/U.K counterparts on national exams that determine eligibility to practice medicine.
  • 99 percent of St. George’s eligible U.S. medical school grads obtain the residency of their choice in the United States.
  • About 25 percent of the University’s medical grads are named Chief Resident during their residencies.
  • SGU School of Medicine grads have practiced in virtually every specialty and sub-specialty across the United States and in 40 worldwide.

So how did Bonanno gain his media cred? He sharpened his chops with a non-paying slot as a medical consultant at News12 New Jersey.

It all paid off, because today, ten years after-the-fact, he’s the consultant and host of To Your Health, a 30-minute television newsmagazine that reaches 8.4 million households each month.

But Bonanno hasn’t neglected his emergency-room calling. For the past 21 years, he’s worked in various hospitals in New Jersey, New York,  Pennsylvania – and even on a cruise ship. In addition, he works with the Emergency Medical Associates (EMA) as an emergency doctor at New Jersey’s Bayshore Community Hospital, with an ER that serves more than 30,000 patients each year.

Bonanno’s “second career” has landed him another honor. By blending day-to-day medical knowledge and newfound media-savvy, he was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Medical Communicators (NAMC), a group that supports medical journalists and communicators who provide information to consumers.

St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, incorporates best global teaching practices, with clinical placements in top teaching hospitals and combined degrees in research, allied sciences, and public health. We have an international community and more than 6,200 graduates practicing in 40 nations worldwide.

Published 11/29/2006