St. George’s University has long demonstrated a commitment to scientific research. In a fervent and continuous effort to fulfill its mission to advance health care and environmental development worldwide, research has played a key role in its academic curriculum. With the establishement of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) on the True Blue campus in 1994, SGU secured itself a place to carry out short and long-term, multidisciplnary research and education programs in fields which include public health, tropical medicine, epidemiology, anthropology, microbiology, conservation ecology, marine biology and other topics relevant to tropical climates and developing nations.
St. George’s University’s most recent research-driven endeavor is the Medical Student Research Institute (MSRI), an innovative web based project skillfully constructed and promoted to further establish research as an integral component of the School of Medicine academic program. According to Dr. Stephen Weitzman, Dean, St. George’s University School of Medicine, “The MSRI grew out of a conviction that research is necessary for progress in understanding of health and disease and for improving patient care.”
As a centralized source for all basic science and clinical research, the MSRI is designed to serve many purposes. The MSRI will facilitate collaborations between qualifying medical students and faculty members to conduct research within their chosen specialties and share resources between SGUSOM and its multiple clinical facilities. The online capabilities of the MSRI will offer a virtual environment within which ideas can be shared, scholarly activity can be tracked and promoted, and resources can be provided to assist students and faculty in their efforts to publish scholarly research.
Furthermore, the MSRI will offer medical students who have demonstrated academic excellence the opportunity to begin a four-year clinical journey which will lead to a Doctor of Medicine degree with Distinction in Research. In order to enroll in the MSRI MD with Distinction in Research, students must apply during terms 2 through 5 and maintain a GPA of 3.7 or greater. The select group of students will be limited to 50 students per year. They will be involved in basic, clinical, translational, or social science research throughout medical school under the guidance and mentorship of expert faculty. Similarly, a Research Member track is available to students who have completed term 5 with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
The MSRI Selection Committee encourages all interested students to learn more about these opportunities and the latest SGU research projects on the MSRI website located on the My SGU website. The Committee encourages faculty members who are actively performing research to register with the MSRI. The success of the MSRI depends upon their willingness to participate as a virtual mentor to students from across the globe.