By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Chartered in 1976 by Chancellor Charles Modica, St. George's School of Medicine was unique from its inception. It has opened the door to future physicians, many of whom were highly qualified yet could not gain entrance to schools in the United States, due to entrance quotas. It has a multicultural approach with many students from the U.S., Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Europe and Grenada. Its curriculum, a cross between the U.S. and British models, emphasizes the British system in the final clinical oral bedside examinations.
By all external standardized measurements, St.George’s School of Medicine has succeeded in its mission: 93% of its students have passed the USMLE, (tests that all foreign medical students must take before continued training in the U.S.), and 99% of eligible U.S. graduates obtain residency training positions in the states.
Under the leadership of Chancellor Modica, Dr. Keith Taylor, the Oxford trained Vice-Chancellor who has taught at Stanford and Dean of Enrollment Planning Margaret Lambert, Grenada has become an international school of medicine, attracting visiting government officials and physicians to lecture. This past year, 120 eminent professors in various fields came to share their expertise, enabling St, George's to fulfill its mission of educating future physicians from all over the world so that they could return to help their fellow countrymen.
Although azure waters lap at its sandy shores, students now numbering 1800, study diligently on the modern campus with 42 buildings providing state of the art laboratories, classrooms and dormitories. To encourage and enable students of other Caribbean islands to study medicine, there is a special tuition available.
A boon to the local economy, the medical school employs over 200 Grenada residents, regularly donates money to hospitals and charities, and via its students, contributes consumer dollars to local business. Most of the art and science faculty are local Grenadians.
In its vision for the present, St. George's has just opened a new School of Arts and Sciences with a full-time and part-time program for 150 students most of whom are working Grenadians. The vision for the future is to expand the graduate school and the School of Arts and Sciences, expand the research institute as well as opportunities for students to attend conferences around the world and encourage Grenadians from abroad to apply for jobs within the university infrastructure.