Four-Year Doctor of Medicine Program

The program for the four-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree consists of a 157-week curriculum. Many students complete the program in four calendar years. Students who matriculate into the MD program in January complete four years of instruction over a four-and-a-half year period due to the scheduling of the clinical sciences portion of the program. The program is divided into 10 terms requiring five academic years of study.

During the first two years, which cover the basic sciences, students study on the True Blue campus in Grenada. Students are also given the option to enroll in the St. George’s University of Grenada School of Medicine/ Northumbria University Program, which offers the first year of basic sciences on the campus of Northumbria University in the United Kingdom.

During the last two clinical years, students move on to train at the University’s clinical centers and affiliated hospitals in the United States, the United Kingdom, and/or Grenada. Passing of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 is a prerequisite for placement in clinical centers and affiliated hospitals in the United States and commencing with the third year of medical school in the United States. Students are only permitted to enter core rotations in Florida after passing USMLE Step 1.

The Basic Sciences

The first two years of the Doctor of Medicine program involves training and instruction using an integrated organ systems-based curriculum. Year 1 of the Basic Sciences focuses on clinical integration of normal structure, function, and behavior as students learn about major organ systems, including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, endocrinology, reproduction, digestion and metabolism, and nervous system and behavioral sciences. Year 2 of the Basic Sciences curriculum builds a spiral element into the integrated curriculum by integrating abnormal structure, function, and behavior around the organ systems and threading basic sciences knowledge, clinical skills, ethics, and health promotion throughout the second year. Students thus spiral back through the organ systems covered in Year 1, adding layers of clinical knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors during Year 2. This review and reinforcement of topics in a more complex manner with increased level of difficulty allows for enhanced connections between prior knowledge and new content, advanced application, and increased proficiency and clinical competence. Lectures throughout the Basic Sciences are complemented by small-group discussion cases and assessment through interactive multiple-choice question sessions. In the final term of the Basic Sciences, students interact with patients through hospital and clinic visits.

The Clinical Years

The St. George’s University approach to clinical education provides students with the opportunity to learn medicine in some of the best and best-known hospitals in the world. Located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Grenada some of these hospitals have been designated by the University as clinical centers. A clinical center is a hospital or group of hospitals able to provide at least four of the five core rotations and offer sub-internships, primary care training, and elective rotations. The clinical centers allow students to complete all or part of their clinical training at one site, if they wish.

The clerkships at these hospitals conform to the curriculum, course descriptions, and educational goals of St. George’s University School of Medicine, and are monitored carefully through site visits and faculty meetings. All core rotations and sub-internships must be taken only in those hospitals with which the University has an active, written affiliation agreement, and in which there are appropriate St. George’s University clinical faculty members. Students are placed in hospitals with approved postgraduate training programs in the subjects to be studied. Any other hospital in which electives are taken must also have approved postgraduate programs in the areas of training offered.

In the Clinical Years, students are taught by more than 1,000 clinicians. In addition to clinical professors, the School of Medicine appoints a Director of Medical Education at every Clinical Center and affiliated hospital, and Clerkship Directors in each of the core clinical specialties studied there. Site visits from the Office of the Dean to affiliated hospitals occur regularly. This allows the School of Medicine administration to meet with students and faculty throughout the Clinical Years. Departmental meetings are held at least twice a year to maintain and improve the strength of the departmental structure and to support comparability of the curriculum, program delivery, evaluation, and testing procedures across clinical sites.

In the Clinical Years, students are taught by an educational method based on the practical experience found in hospitals and clinics under careful supervision by practicing physicians. The knowledge acquired in the Basic Sciences serves as a basis for the facts and concepts necessary to understand the practice of modern medicine. In the Clinical Years, students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to continue into postgraduate training. For all core rotations, the University has required web-based assignments and the hospitals offer small group teaching sessions, conferences, and lectures. Clinical skills introduced in Grenada now become a major component of students’ education. In the hospital, students are involved in the care of patients and develop diagnostic decision-making, history, physical examination, and test interpretation skills. Students learn to communicate with patients and their families, as well as other health care workers, and are expected to grow into their roles as professionals.

During the Clinical Years, we emphasize responsibility, maturity, and compassion as important attributes in the development of professional excellence. Students are expected to learn how to conduct themselves in the professional role of physician and are judged on their ability to take responsibility, relate to and work harmoniously with professional colleagues, exhibit maturity in conduct on the wards, and demonstrate the disposition of a mature and qualified physician.

Clinical Curriculum

The third year of the four-year medical program consists of 42 weeks of core rotations. These are structured experiences required of all students, regardless of where they train. The core rotations consist of 12 weeks of Medicine; 12 weeks of Surgery; and 6 weeks each of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics/Gynecology. These core rotations traditionally form the educational foundation for all medical students regardless of future specialty.

In addition to core rotations, SGU requires four to six weeks of family medicine. +All students must complete a fourweek subinternship, a four-week medicine elective, and 24-26 weeks of additional electives, in order to graduate.

Family Medicine (four to six weeks): This required rotation can be done out of network at any SGU affiliated hospital with an approved ACGME residency in Family Medicine. The Family Medicine rotation focuses on learning aspects of acute medical problems commonly seen in outpatient settings, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, psychiatric, and genitorurinary illnesses, as well as hypertension, diabetes, pain management, and common mild musculoskeletal injuries. Subsets of patients seen in this setting include the clinically healthy, the socioeconomically disadvantaged, the elderly, high medical utilizers, immigrants, and those with chronic or terminal diseases

A sub-internship continues the educational goals and objectives of the core rotation but at a higher level of responsibility. Sub-interns share patient responsibility and participate in regularly scheduled night and weekend calls. Sub-interns follow a limited number of patients very closely throughout the diagnostic workup and management. In this way, sub-internships prepare students for internships and first postgraduate years.

Electives are offered at the University’s Clinical Centers and affiliated hospitals. Additional electives are available at hospitals outside the University system, but these are subject to the review and approval of the Dean of the School of Medicine. Students who seek licensure in the United States should carefully note that the licensing boards of some states require that students take electives only at affiliated hospitals. This will also be true in other countries. The University requires that each clerkship (whether core or elective) be completed at a hospital with an approved postgraduate training program in that specialty. Since licensing regulations may vary from state to state, and from one year to the next, this matter must be considered as students devise elective programs. Each elective is usually at least four weeks long.

General Strategy: The principal objective of the elective program is to provide the best preparation for students’ career choices, while coordinating balanced yet broad clinical experiences. In recognition of the individual plans and needs of all students, choices of both subject matter and course location are made by students with advice from supervising clinical teachers and with the approval of the Dean.

Details about each of the core rotations are found under the departmental descriptions.