Streams

Clerkships at New York City Hospitals

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thanks to a new contract, students from a Caribbean-based medical school will receive clinical training at some of New York City's public hospitals. But the new deal could mean fewer clerkship positions for students from medical schools in New York. Charles Modica, Chancellor of St.George's University and Dr. Michael Reichgott of Albert Einstein Medical School, talk about the anatomy of the deal.

Guests:

Charles Modica and Dr. Michael Reichgott
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Comments [182]

Vincent N. from Minnesota

The interviewer was so biased! Dr. Reichgott was a moron who knew very little about SGU and very iggnorant! Kodos to SGU for holding their ground.

Mar. 28 2011 02:03 PM
Dr Alan Bradley Sparkes MD from Wales UK

I have attended medical schools in the UK, US and St. George's Medical School Grenada. I have also taught at St Georges.
1. St. George's students are without doubt on a par with the best in the world. Don't take my word, look at the facts
2. St. George's students work harder than the other 2 groups, take my word for it
3. If you go to many third world countries you will find St. George's doctors practicing and teaching medicine
4. I do know that the medical establishment in many countries, has at least for the last 30 years, stated that there will be too many doctors, there is still a shortage. We should all be putting the patient first.
5. Privilege has always been part of the educational system but thanks to pioneers like Dr Charles Modica, the Chancellor of St. George's Medical School, the talented but otherwise underprivileged have achieved their goal and patients have benefitted

Dec. 27 2010 12:26 PM
SGU student from California

Perhaps the critiques that were given in 2008 were true at one point, yet they could not be more false today. Having just finished my two years in Grenada, I am about to begin studying for my Step 1 exam and I could not disagree more with the claim that SGU is a "scam". Granted there are faults that the school has, and there are things that need to be changed, but name me one school that does not have these similar problems? By going to a Caribbean medical school, each SGU student attends with the understanding that the education that we receive at SGU will be inherently different than what we would get at a US medical school- in many cases there wasn't regular faculty that taught the classes (i.e. there were several visiting professors) and there are foreign clinical tutors. But who is to say that this is necessarily worse?? I am 110% confident that the education that I received at SGU will and has prepared me for the boards. Even if some students have skated by on exams by only studying older ones, the real test lies in the Step 1 exam. Kaplan and Falcon review test courses will only take a student so far. There is a reason why this exam exists- it levels all medical students to the same playing field.

As an FMG, we are fully aware of the hurdles that we have to jump over. If you go to SGU thinking that you will get the same treatment as a US medical student, you are completely wrong. In many cases our curriculum is more rigorous and intense than several US schools and I pride myself on successfully completing it. If you truly want to get an idea of the most current opinions of the students at SGU then valuemd.com/st-georges-university-school-medicine/ is the best place to look. There are real students there giving feedback everyday, as opposed to many of the naysayers here who seem to only repeat rumors from a time long past.

Dec. 20 2010 02:04 PM
SGU Student from New York

Reading some of the comments posted here, it seems there are a few people angry about their experiences at SGU, the quality of education at SGU, or their lack of success when trying to match into a residency. The fact of the matter is that every school has its faults and yes, many of the things stated below about SGU are true. But as long as if you work hard, like any medical students does... you'll have no problem getting through the 4 years and obtaining a residency of your choice. It seems that anyone struggling to do this either slacked off, did extremely poorly on their boards from lack of studying, or were horrible interviewers. Can't really blame these things on SGU. Truthfully, the only thing I find fault in SGU is that they accept a small amount of students every year who really have no business being doctors, like "David from NJ from New Jersey". I hope you're getting your MBA soon.

Yes I've taken out huge loans to pay 100% for my tuition at SGU, but I would've done that anywhere. And who cares if it's a pyramid scheme or a business scam "Buyer Beware from NYC"? Just take advantage of what SGU is offering, learn as much as you can during your clinical rotations, earn your damn MD degree, match into a residency, and become a doctor. Stop crying and blaming SGU for your faults and failures and start blaming yourselves for not working as hard. If you did work your butt off and still came up short, then I'm sorry. You were never supposed to be in medical school and you can then only blame SGU for accepting you and giving you false hope.

I was rejected to every single medical school in New York state. But SGU gave me a chance. I worked hard and studied like I've never studied before and now I'm well on my way to obtaining a residency with over 30 interviews.

Dec. 18 2010 10:05 AM
Matt from New Jersey

The truth of the matter is this: Yeshiva University (Albert Einstein's parent) has lost an absolutely enormous amount of money in Madoff (10s and 100s of millions). Einstein is struggling to recover, and it's in direct competition with SGU for these spots. I find it a little bit hard to believe that Reichgott's comments are unaffected by this.

Further, students from SGU are more likely to enter into primary care than those from Einstein, and that's just a fact. Even a cursory look at the school websites can show this.

Students in clerkships (3rd, 4th years of medical school) are by no means performing a service to their host hospitals. They take up time from the residents, require supervision, and provide nominal help to the hospitals at very best. I find it, frankly, a little bit amazing that the HHC, in financial troubles as it is, would allow institutions like Columbia, NYU, or even Einstein, to get away with wiping on their feet on the city. These schools, high-brow as they are, seem to assume that their colors and stripes would somehow rub off on the HHC hospitals! More astute investing and better management is in order here.

Reichgott, in his position as a Dean of Graduate Medical Education, seems to forget that even some of Einstein's daughter institutions (I can think of plenty) are composed almost entirely of foreign medical graduates.

The debate seems to have more to do with elitism and snobbery than anything else.

Dec. 17 2010 05:28 PM
Doctor in training from USA

Great insight into New York's role in medical education for all students no matter where they attend school. There is room for everyone.

Dec. 16 2010 11:27 PM
Caribbean Fellow

This is a good example of why professions should not be allowed to decide on accreditation issues for schools that will produce future competitors. An glaring conflict of interest exists. No wonder we have a doctor shortage.

Dec. 16 2010 10:47 PM
Daniel Herman from Washington DC

I am a friend of dr. charls modica and I hope this all was resolved. and there are no more issues like this because I think there is anopgh room for hospitals in the city and if not the could go to hospitals on long island.
email me at danielsdogwalking@gmail.com

Aug. 20 2010 01:04 PM
desperate from US from Florida

I am currently enrolled at a Caribbean school, because I met with discrimination at my US school, for which I had no money to fight. I have great US debt from there that is not dischargeable under bankruptcy. I am unable now to complete my Caribbean training, because I am NOT rich! The doctors in my US school allowed discrimination to halt my medical future, leaving me with great debt -- and no US med school will consider another medical school's students when the original school won't recommend them.I Doctors wrote letters on my behalf, but no medical school will get involved to see if discrimination has occurred.

Jul. 21 2009 12:54 PM
chupacabra breeder

someone should release the chupacabra to eat dr. reichgoat

Jun. 19 2009 10:33 PM
Frank

For more information about St George's University School of Medicine you can go here http://sgu.edu/som/index.html

May. 06 2009 01:40 PM
David from NJ from New Jersey

So my advice to all prospective students is this; Do not apply to any off-shore medical school if you want to practice medicine in the USA. Unless of course, if your parents have an extra $250,000 stashed up somewhere to throw away. Keep trying every year until you get into a US Medical school (Allopathic or Osteopathic). Remember that DO's and MD's are considered the same and demand the same respect and wages at any hospital across the US. Even becoming a PA (Physician Assistant) in the US is better in terms of job prospects and jumping less hurdles when comparing to receiving a MD degree from an off-shore medical school with a IMG (International Medical Graduate) designation attached to your CV.

Apr. 08 2009 04:29 AM
David from NJ from New Jersey

There is a substantial number of SGU students like myself that graduate from SGU by passing the boards and owing a huge $200,000+ loan to pay back and not securing a residency position. Basically, my MD degree looks good on paper and that's about it. The school does not do much to help you secure a residency. You are pretty much on your own after you graduate. I am very frustrated that this has happened to me and a lot of other students that i know. SGU does not mention this at all. All you hear is sugar coated stories of students that secured residency spots because their mom or dad is a staff physician or program director that helped them get through the back door.

Let's do some math here. Every year, the school admits about 760 students (380 students per term on average). If you count the number of students that secure residency spots at any given year, it is less than 55% of this amount.
So the question is, what happened to the rest of the 45% of the students that did not secure residency positions? Most have to settle for a family practice residency the following year if they get lucky, while others seek alternate careers and move on with life while carrying a huge loan that they are unable to pay, unless if you have rich parents.
Most students that have gone through the medical school experience are afraid to speak up the truth about this school as they are afraid of the consequences and repercussions of such actions.

Apr. 08 2009 04:12 AM
David from NJ from New Jersey


Regarding the medical education at SGU, The education you receive is really not worth the investment. As a medical student at SGU, I gave-up going to lectures after my first year and self studied in my dorm room and passed all my courses. Thanks to Kaplan, I was better prepared to do well on my USMLE step 1&2 and CK. Now, I have applied for residency for over 2 years now and spent countless dollars on application fees and have not being able to secure a spot in internal medicine. So if i do not secure a residency this year, i will go on to do my MBA and join WallStreet.

Apr. 08 2009 04:11 AM
David from NJ from New Jersey

I completely and whole heartily agree with Buyer Beware from NYC. SGU is indeed a big scam and have survived all these years due to the brilliant marketing campaign that they run. This school is nothing but a lucrative business preying on the hope and dreams of students that failed to gain successful admission to US medical schools. Now with the US economy in recession, the school looks even more attractive to all these desperate "want to be physicians".
Most of the graduate programs and undergraduate programs at SGU are not accredited or recognized in the USA. For example, the MSc program, PhD program and the MPH program are not accredited or recognized in the US. SGU has devised a clever scheme to attract students into these programs with the hopes of providing admission to students that don't qualify for direct admission to their medical program. This is another clever way the school milks more money from students. In fact, the real beneficiary of these programs are the local Grenadian Citizens. Students from the US, Canada, and other countries pay high tuition fees so that the local Grenadian students can get a Free or Subsidized education at the expense of the US or foreign student.

Apr. 08 2009 03:27 AM
Buyer Beware from NYC

Shawna N from Canada is stating the truth about SGU. More students need to speak up about the scam. When we are silent, they will print their lies as truth. Tell everyone that ask you about SGU the truth - so that innocent people will not be victimized anymore. Speak the truth. SGU exploits students for economic gain.

Mar. 24 2009 04:50 AM
Buyer Beware from NYC

I know there are some graduates who get the good residency, but most of those have to do with connections, not SGU. Not everyone who put in the real work, is able to find a residency slot after graduation. Many graduates have to re-apply over and over again, some just give up because they don't have the financial resources to keep applying again. My heart goes out to them. I know that they deserve better. The school doesn't want to help either. They don't want to have anything to do with students who don't have residency. Graduates who do manage to get residency, work in sweat shop conditions at malignant programs, under unethical standard of care that God forbid they or their loved ones will ever have to be a victim to.

So let's keep it real - SGU does not match up with American medical schools in any way. They don't have the checks and balances for ethical conduct or quality education. It's a business and that's it. Once a student consolidate their loan, SGU sell it to Wall Street and get all of their money (and more) upfront.

You know it is a scam if you have to mortgage you life away, in order to teach yourself medicine. There is no justification for the cost of SGU. Only the people at the top of the pyramid will benefit. The rest will all be paying for it. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Mar. 23 2009 09:54 PM
Buyer Beware from NYC

One more note: all the comments that was posted - from the tone of it, I can tell that it is damage control by SGU. The first few comments are authentic but not the rest. This is a classic SGU move. They jump on one fact or misinformation and twist it to their advantage. To create a red herring. They had the same people write positive things about SGU during the 2004 hurricane that wiped through Grenada. Did you know that they told the students to wait on the island until their flights can be arranged, while all the faculty and staff evacuated days before? Basically the students were left waiting by themselves without realizing how precarious their situation was during the hurricane. Classic SGU manuveur - giving students a false sense of security.

As far as the education that students receive, this is what I will say - you can be a strong student but you will not be able to reach your potential without good guidance. I feel that everything that I know about medicine, I had to teach myself, SGU did not give me my education - I gave myself the education. So when someone in the medical field asks me about my medical school education, I say to them - "Ask me what I know and I will tell you, don't ask me about SGU".

Mar. 23 2009 09:53 PM
Buyer Beware from NYC

I was a serious pre-med, I did not major in home economics and decided frivolously that I wanted to go to med school. SGU would admit people who they think they would be able to come up with the money. If they think that they can milk your dream of become a doctor, they will accept you into the class. SGU is a very lucrative enterprise that makes its money by turning your dream into a money making business for themselves. They prey on your hopes and dreams.

Factory enterprises such as SGU don't provide authentic or quality education. SGU is a corrupt institution. Many before me have told me that the anatomy professor sleeps with students and even underage girls on the island. Many students told me that when they went to discuss with the dean that the coursework is poorly taught, they were told to go home if they don't like it. Many recent alumni have told me that during their time on the island, the school accepted more students than they can handle that people were sitting in the aisle and on the floor during the lectures. SGU matriculates twice a year and they keep on increasing the class size, knowing full well that a significant number of students will not make it to 3rd year. The size of the class by the end of the second year is reduced tremendously. The physical space available for the last term on the island is half of the physical space available for the first term. SGU never intend to nurture most of the students to become doctors. It's a pyramid scheme. A few do well and they sell those stories to all. For all those looking into SGU - Buyer Beware! You may be making sacrifices and funding for the education of students at the top of the pyramid, while you have to bare the burden of the financial cost.

Mar. 23 2009 09:53 PM
Buyer Beware from NYC

The clerkships are of low quality and the hospitals don't really want to accept SGU students into their residency program afterwards, they prefer the VISA foreign medical graduate from India. Some may accept a token few so that they can continue getting their money from SGU but at the end of the day, the students don't get the quality of education that they paid for and deserve.
As a student, all I want is the opportunity to apply myself but I know about the corrupt things that the attendings and program directors do to students. When the students expressed that they are not getting the teaching that they need, the attendings will brush them off and even shout them down. The hospital is ill equip to teach. SGU knows this. In my opinion, the only people who are happy with the education at SGU are the owners of the school, students who are oblivious of the reality of life post-graduation and the students who don't care about the quality of their learning - they will just go through the motion of clerkships and get the degree - however meaningless.

Mar. 23 2009 09:52 PM
Buyer Beware from NYC

I can say from first hand experience that SGU is a pyramid scam. The tuition is excessive and the school is basically printing their own money by putting students into debts that they will never be able to pay off. SGU used to advertise on their website that their graduates go into specialties - even radiation oncology and cardiothoracic surgery. Primary care is not the top choice of the students there. Students who enter the field are under the impression that they are able to be as competitive as US medical graduate. Program directors see SGU as just another off-shore medical school. I know this because my inquiries and interviews at many programs made me realize that all the time that I am in school, it was an elaborate sell.

Mar. 23 2009 09:52 PM
Joe from New York, NY

I completely disagree with Shawnna from Canada. I went to SGU and did not graduate too long ago and don't know most of what she's talking about (what's MC Daddy?). Maybe things have changed? Some of what she describes happens in undergrad schools among highly competitive pre-medical studnets and among most medical students in US schools where they try to figure out what's going to be asked on the test and do focused studying. Basic sciences are taught extremely well by the faculty at SGU who have been doing this for a long time and by guest faculty who are among the best in the world, many who are the authors of the textbook. The school provides excellent clinical opportunities later and in the end puts out a good product. I'm sure if Shwanna did well at SGU, she's gone on to do big things.

Jan. 22 2009 05:31 PM
Joe from New York, NY

Many of those who commented below went down a path less chosen, to medical school in the beautiful island of Grenada. Having gone on to residency, chief residency, fellowship, etc. like many alumni who have walked the same steps I did, I would do it all over again considering the excellent training I received and the doors that were opened up.

Coming from a lower-middle class background like many of my classmates, I still believe every penny I took out in loans was worth it because it went to a school that reinvests in its campus, its students, and in the island of Grenada. Having gone onto teach students from students from some of the best schools in NYC including AECOM, SGU students are just as good if not better, definitely harder working and more motivated. My classmates were from top US undergraduate schools, aced the USMLE's and have gone on highly competitive residencies and fellowships. I have met many stellar alumni who have filled the continued void in the number of US physicians, filled by us and physicians from all over the globe. Many of my classmates went on to fill the big gap in primary care in the US.

Historically, we've filled the slots which were left over in inner-city hospitals where US students did not want to go and even the HHC agreement would be continuation of that except it got publicity thanks to the outcry by the US deans. Disgruntled US deans have to start reinvesting in their students as well to stay on par with their competition. As Chancellor Modica said, priority would still be given to US students (I've never heard of a US student not getting a rotation spot at their affiliate hospital). AAMC should increase the number of medical school spots to match the residency spots but then this would eliminated the excellent international students from SGU and the rest of the world whom I've had the honor of training with...a big loss to the US health care system.

Jan. 22 2009 05:15 PM
meager dude. from CA

Dr. Reichgott makes MANY statments that are not true! Just to name a few...SGU students are not wealthy, they get loans, you fool. Many of them compete VERY well with US grads. SGU is, however, over crowded and the class size is way too large. HHC realizes that the SGU pool of students is quality and brings decent doctors to practice in areas where doctors may not normaly want to go. SGU students do often go into primary care and there is a shortage of Doctors and therefore are needed. For 36 years US med schools have been saying they would increase enrollment and they have not. By the way, amazingly Modica is right about the SGU MCAT scores, they are slightly below the avergae for US med schools.

Jan. 06 2009 11:40 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

2. SGU DEPEND HEAVILY ON THIER "GOLDEN BOYS & GIRLS", THE SO CALLED IEA STUDENTS. THE SUCCESS STORIES OF THESE STUDENTS BEYOND SGU IS WHAT MAKES THE SCHOOL LOOK GOOD. AS AN IEA STUDENT, YOU ARE TREATED LIKE ROYALTY HERE, AS THE SURVIVAL AND REPUTATION OF THIS INSTITUTION DEPEND ON THESE KIDS. IEA STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS AND PRIVILLAGES TO CAMPUS RESOURCES THAT THE AVERAGE MED STUDENT DOES NOT HAVE. THESE IEA STUDENTS ARE HARDWORKING AND BRILLIANT. THEY HAVE MISSED THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO US MED SCHOOLS FOR WHATEVER REASON.
SGU AGGRESSIVELY RECRUITS THESE “STUDENT AMBASSADORS” BY OFFERING SCHOLASHIPS ETC. THESE STUDENTS WILL PERFORM BRILLIANTLY REGADRLESS OF WHAT SCHOOL THEY ATTEND, AND THEIR SUCCESS IS NOT A REFLECTION ON THE QUALITY EDUCATION RECEIVED AT SGU.

YES, DR. REICHGOTT’S ARGUMENT IS QUITE VALID, IF HHC CAN BE BOUGHT OUT IN CASH FOR CLINICAL TRAINING SPOTS, WHICH CARIBBEAN MEDICAL SCHOOL IS NEXT TO DO THE SAME? WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT? BUY RESIDENCY SPOTS? HOW FAR CAN THIS BE TOLERATED? WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE STUDENTS COMING FROM THE NEW US ALLOPATHIC AND OSTEOPATHIC SCHOOLS BUILT IN THE US? LIKE TOURO COLLEGE IN HARLEM?

I THINK WE ARE HEADING TOWARDS A BIG COLLISION COURSE IF THE POLICY MAKERS DO NOT TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THIS PROBLEM.

Sep. 19 2008 08:37 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

10. EVERYTHING ON THE ISLAND ON GRENADA IS OVER-PRICED. THE LOCALS ARE MAKING A KILLING DRAINING THE STUDENTS FINANCIAL RESOURCES BY CHARGING HIGH RENT ON OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING. THE PRICE OF GROCERIES, FOOD AND BASIC NECESSITIES ARE HIGHER THAN ANY US CITY. THE COST OF ATTENDANCE AT SGU IS ESTIMATED TO BE AROUND 225K-250K FOR 4 YEARS, BASED ON 2008 TUITON FEES AND LIVING EXPENSES.

THEN WHAT MAKES SGU LOOK SO GREAT? AND HOW CAN YOU VALIDATE ALL THEIR SUCCESS STORIES ONE MAY ASK?

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE QUESTION;

1. SGU RUNS A GREAT MARKETING CAMPAIGN; REMEMBER IT IS A BUSINESS ENTERPIRSE. THEY HAVE A FLASHY WEBSITE WITH MODERN BUILDINGS IN A BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN SETTING.

Sep. 19 2008 08:37 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

ALL YOU GET IS YOUR SCANTRON ANSWER SHEET AND THE ANSWER KEY. THIS ONLY TELLS THE STUDENT THAT THE SCANTRON MACHINE WORKS FINE!

THE MICROBIOLOGY COURSE IS NO BETTER AND IS THE SAME ORDEAL.

8. THEN COMES 5TH TERM. SINCE 5TH TERMERS AT SGU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO ST.VINCENT ANYMORE, ALL CLASSES ARE NOW HELD AT THE GRENADA CAMPUS. PHARMACOLOGY AND PATHOPHYSIOLOGY ARE TAUGHT MOSTLY BY CUBAN & GERMAN DOCTORS WITH HEAVY ACCENTS. SGU STUDENTS THAT HAVE SURVIVIED THIS FAR DO NOT ATTEND LECTURES MOST OF THE TIME AND STUDY WITH FRIENDS AND INCREASINGLY RELY ON THEIR SECRET WEAPON; "THE MC DADDY CDS" THAT CONTAIN OLD EXAMS AND QUESTIONS THAT ARE LIKELY GOING TO BE ON THE TEST.

9. NOW COMES THE DREADFUL ORDEAL OF HAVING TO STUDY FOR USMLE STEP1. THIS IS WHERE KAPLAN OR OTHER TEST PREP COURSES COME TO THE RESCUE.
YOU WILL LEARN TEST TAKING SKILLS AND EXPOSE YOURSELF TO 2ND, 3RD, AND 4TH ORDER QUESTIONS AND EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE BASE, AND IMPROVE YOUR ANALYTICAL THINKING SKILLS.

Sep. 19 2008 08:36 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

CONFIRMED FACTS ABOUT SGU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A MEDICAL STUDENT HERE.
8. IN 4TH TERM, STDENTS LOOK FORWARD THE HARROWING EXPERIENCE OF DEALING WITH THE PATHOLOGY COURSE AND THE DEPARTMENT JESTERS THAT RUN IT. TWO TERMS OF PATHOLOGY ARE TAUGHT IN ONE TERM (PATHOLOGY ON CRACK AS THEY CALL IT), AND THIS IS WHERE MC DADDY CDS COME TO THE RESCUE. THE PATH SLIDES ARE THE SAME, AND THE QUESTIONS BASED ON THESE SLIDES HAVE BEEN THE SAME FOR AS LONG AS THE DEPARTMENT HAS EXISTED. THE DEPARTMENT CHAIR, ONLY TEACHES FOR 2 WEEKS DURING THE ENTIRE COURSE, AS HE HAS "OTHER OBLIGATIONS" WORKING WITH LOCAL HOSPITALS AS A PATHOLOGIST. THE COURSE IS PRIMARILY TAUGHT BY FOREIGN DOCTORS STUDYING FOR THE BOARD EXAMS TRYING TO GET A SHOT AT RESIDENCY AND EMPLOYMENT IN THE USA.

THE EXAMS ARE ALL SEQUESTED AND YOU NEVER GET TO CHALLENGE THE QUESTIONS OR THE GRADES YOU RECEIVED

Sep. 19 2008 08:35 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

CONFIRMED FACTS ABOUT SGU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A MEDICAL STUDENT HERE.
7. 3RD TERM IS ALL ABOUT DEALING WITH VISITING PROFESSORS THAT TEACH FOR 2-3 WEEKS AND DISAPPEAR. EVERYTHING FROM MEDICAL ETHICS TO PSYCHOLOGY IS TAUGHT IN A NUTSHELL.

Sep. 19 2008 08:34 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

CONFIRMED FACTS ABOUT SGU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A MEDICAL STUDENT HERE
6. 1ST TERM OF MED SCHOOL IS USUALLY THE BEST EXPERIENCE AT SGU. THE PROFESSORS ARE GOOD, AND ARE WILLING TO HELP, AND THE LAB FACILITIES ARE DECENT. HOWEVER, SGU HAS LOST SOME OF THEIR BEST FACULTY MEMBERS AND THIS EXPERIENCE MAY BE DIFFERENT NOW.

7. 3RD TERM IS ALL ABOUT DEALING WITH VISITING PROFESSORS THAT TEACH FOR 2-3 WEEKS AND DISAPPEAR. EVERYTHING FROM MEDICAL ETHICS TO PSYCHOLOGY IS TAUGHT IN A NUTSHELL.

Sep. 19 2008 08:32 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

CONFIRMED FACTS ABOUT SGU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A MEDICAL STUDENT HERE.
1. THE QUALITY OF TEACHING DECLINES EXPONENTIALLY AS A STUDENT PROGRESSES FROM TERM 1 TO TERMS 2, 3, 4, & 5 BEFORE THEY LEAVE GRENADA TO THE US TO STUDY FOR USMLE STEP1 AND DO CLINICAL ROTATIONS.
2. STUDENTS DEPEND MORE ON SELF STUDY IN THEIR DORMS THAN ATTENDING LECTURES. THE LECTURE ROOMS ARE OVER CROWDED WITH STUDENTS SITTING ON THE LECTURE HALL FLOOR.
STUDENTS INCREASINGLY DEPEND ON INSIDE INFORMATION FROM UPPER TERMERS ON WHAT IS GOING TO BE ON THE EXAMS, RATHER THAN STUDY TO UNDERSTAND THE SUBJECT MATERIAL.
3. ALL EXAM QUESTIONS ARE SELECTED FROM A TEST BANK THAT IS AS OLD AS SGU. STUDENTS THAT HAVE ACCESS TO MC DADDY CDS (A.K.A. THE SURVIVAL CDS FOR MED SCHOOL AT SGU) AND INSIDE INFORMATION ON EXAM QUESTIONS CHEAT THEIR WAY THROUGH MED SCHOOL AT SGU.
4. THE PROFESSORS ARE MOSTLY FOREIGN AND ARE NOT VERY PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH. MOST OF THEM ARE FROM INDIA, GERMANY, CARIBBEAN AND CUBA AND HAVE HEAVY ACCENTS. AS A MED STUDENT YOU ARE HAVING A HARD TIME TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THERY ARE SAYING MOST OF THE TIME.
5. All EXAMS ARE SEQUESTED AT SGU MEANING, YOU CANNOT SIT DOWN AND HAVE A LOOK AND CHALLENGE THE EXAM QUESTIONS WITH YOUR PROFESSORS.
IN YOUR 2ND TERM OF MED SCHOOL, YOU GET A PROGRESS REPORT WITH HAPPY FACES OR SAD FACES ON YOUR EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE. THEREFORE, AS A MED STUDENT YOU CAN NEVER LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES MADE ON YOUR EXAMINATIONS.

Sep. 19 2008 08:30 PM
Shawnna N from Canada

I AGREE WITH A LOT OF IMPORTANT POINTS BROUGHT UP BY DR. Reichgott OF ALBERT EINSTIEN MED SCHOOL. LET'S FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT THESE OFF-SHORE MEDICAL SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY THE MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN THE CARIBBEAN. THESE SCHOOLS INCLUDING ST. GEORGES UNIVERSITY (SGU) SIMPLY EXISTS TO MAKE MONEY. IT IS A HUGE BUSINESS ENTERPRISE. OTHER SCHOOLS IN THE CARIBBEAN ARE COPYING THE SGU “SUCCESS MODEL” AND MUSHROOMING ALL OVER THE CARIBBEAN. SCHOOLS THAT HAVE EXISTED THE LONGEST FOR OVER 30 YEARS LIKE SGU, ROSS, AND AUC, HAVE A BETTER REPUTATION THAN THE NEWER UNHEARD OF MED SCHOOLS BLOOMING ALL OVER THE CARIBBEAN.
GIVE IT ANOTHER 10-15 YEARS, ALL THESE NEW SCHOOLS THAT ARE OPENING UP EVERYWHERE IN THE CARIBBEAN WITH BE AS GOOD AS SGU OR EVEN BETTER.

YES, OFF-SHORE MED SCHOOLS ARE ALL ABOUT MONEY AND IS AN UNDENIABLE FACT. STUDENTS THAT COME TO THESE CARIBBEAN MED SCHOOLS INCLUDING SGU ARE KIDS OF RICH PARENTS, STUDENTS THAT TAKE MASSIVE PRIVATE LOANS, STUDENTS THAT TAKE MASSIVE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS, AND STUDENTS THAT SELL EVERYTHING THEY HAVE TO PAY UNREASONABLY HIGH TUITION COSTS AND LIVING EXPENSES IN THESE SCHOOLS IN ORDER TO “REALIZE THEIR DREAM”.
IS THE MONEY SPENT ON THESE SCHOOLS REALLY WORTH IT ONE MIGHT ASK? THE ANSWER IS NO.
DO YOU GET A QUALITY EDUCATION IN THESE SCHOOLS? THE ANSWER IS NO.

Sep. 19 2008 08:29 PM
FH from Bronx

The comments from the AECOM professor is funny. I am a SGUSOM graduate at AECOM and part of my responsibilites include resident and medical student education. While the dean resorts to attacking medical students and their education, Ill spend my time constructively earning my salary and educating AECOMs students. Im not the only SGUSOM or FMG here. And we are all doing exceptionally well. I would be interested to know the deans thoughts on Sackler Medical students who are foreign trained and get med students rotating spots at AECOM. Isnt SAackler depriving AECOM students of precious spots?

Sep. 15 2008 08:13 PM
kris from Lynbrook

This idea that student rotations are comprimising US students is ridiculous. The reason healthcare in NYC is deteriorating has everything to do with poor reimbursement for teaching hospitals, which is why these deans are so nervous. Not many people want to work in city hospitals in which work conditions are so poor, that physicians and med students transport their own patients from one floor to another because staff is unreliable. If the public knew/understood the lengths physicians at these very hospitals go to, to ensure their patients are cared for their would be an outcry over that, instead of this non-issue.

Sep. 15 2008 08:04 PM
kris from Lynbrook

In many ways the experience makes for better trained physicians. First, students are trained in a truly international environment with foreign governments from the entire globe awarding scholarships to SGUSOM for their students. Second, students are trained by some of the best instructors from across the globe. There is a core faculty and then many visiting faculty to teach their areas of expertise who come from around the globe (Harvard/Cambridge/UCLA/Toronto etc) Some faculty include those who have written the textbooks used in US medical schools. Students also have the chance to train in many different health systems and develop a true world view of healthcare. Prague, the UK, Caribbean and US are just some of the systems students work in. Students exposed to UK rotations are some of the best doctors when it comes to physical diagnosis without ordering lab tests. Tuition is as high as some expensive med schools in the US, but the education is worth it.

Sep. 15 2008 08:04 PM
kris from Lynbrook

The SGUSOM pass rate on teh USMLE has surpassed graduates of US schools in some years and is comparative to US schools in others. Graduates have excelled in many areas. So the argument that the degree is bought is ridiculous.

Sep. 15 2008 08:03 PM
Kristin from Connecticut, US/Grenada, WI

(Start from bottom to top- apparently they don't like long winded comments :))

Sep. 02 2008 10:33 PM
Kristin from Connecticut, US/Grenada, WI

As a student at St. George's University, I have several comments about this conversation. First of all, the argument that students who attend SGU are weathly is absolutely ludicrous. Over 80% of us have taken student loans upwards of $200,000 for the total of our education. We have sacrificed family, friends, and the convenience of the United States to follow our dreams to the ends of the earth, quite literally. Secondly, to say that students are at SGU because their grades were not good enough for a US school is also a complete falsity. Not only did I choose the hardest major in my undergraduate university, I completed an research thesis for the honors program studying the neurocytoarchitecture of the cochlear nucleus in primates. If that sounds stupid to you- then you should probably look up neuro-cytoarchitecture. But further than that- my grades and MCAT score were WAY higher than the averages for several schools including some of the more "prestigous" institutions. But because of politics, or limited space, or whatever they want to call it- many students are happily enjoying their Starbucks and Walmarts, while I am learning about an entire new culture- and for that I am forever grateful.

Sep. 02 2008 10:19 PM
Kristin from Connecticut, US/Grenada, WI

Not only are we smart- we are the most motivated group of students you will ever meet. It takes an incredible drive to pack up your life into two suitcases and move to an island that most people have never even heard of. But when we're here- we're in medical school. We're not chilling on the beach sipping martinis. We're in the dissection lab, the library, and the lecture halls running on two hours of sleep, guzzling coffee like it's water- just like any other medical student- and when we get to the states for our clinicals- we are more prepared than some US students- because we are required to "prove" ourselves as competent physicians. There will forever be a stigma attached to our degrees- but we don't care. We're doctors because we want to heal the sick and keep the healthy well- not because we want to flaunt our diplomas at the family barbeque.

Sep. 02 2008 10:19 PM
Kristin from Connecticut, US/Grenada, WI

Most of us WILL go into primary care- especially in underserved areas- you want to know why? Because we've seen it. We've seen people walking around with amputated limbs because they didn't know how to control their diabetes. We've seen people who have never even had their blood pressure checked. We've gone to orphanages filled with children who rely on us students to teach them everything from dental hygeine to why it's important to eat vegetables.

Sep. 02 2008 10:18 PM
Kristin from Connecticut, US/Grenada, WI

And because of this- we SGU students- who so many people turn their noses up to- are more likely to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. We're more likely to go to the inner cities and backwoods of America because we've seen what lack of medical care can do to someone. We haven't read it in a book- we've taken care of these patients first hand. So if you don't want us being trained in NYC hospitals- then all I can say is it's your loss. We are a group of intelligent, motivated, dedicated, and driven students who are going to make incredible doctors because we're smart and we're willing to go the extra mile- or 3,000 miles- to become the best physicians we can be. I'll see you in New York City...

Sep. 02 2008 10:18 PM
R T from NY

Part III

As for US schools competing against SGU in terms of money...SGU and other Carribean schools are taking advantage of low socioeconomic status of Carribean host countries meaning it can afford to dish out so much money to US hospitals because overhead is so low compared to US schools. To put things into perspective for those that do not know anything about Grenada and other Carribean schools...people that live in Grenada are poor (majority). Good deal of people there make less than 300.00 US dollars per month.

Think about this folks...why do american companies go out of country just to open up a factory in other poor countries? The low overhead. Med school is no different....low overhead. US school charging 40k in tuition is in no condition to compete against SGU charging 40K when it is located in poor country such as Grenada.

Aug. 20 2008 08:11 PM
R T from NY

Part II

Dr. M talks about how US schools are complaining about SGU taking away from monopoly that US schools have established, but what about SGU MONOPOLIZING spots for off shore schools? SGU has been trying very hard to establish itself because other US schools considered SGU subpar. Dr. M, wouldn't you have liked support from other US Schools when SGU was struggling? Wouldn't you have liked a break here and there? So why would you try to take away from other fellow Carribean schools? Why not give them a break? Why not give them some support? US schools are Giants compared to SGU, and SGU is a giant compared to other Carribean schools...why not give them a hand? SGU does not have monopoly on good students...there are other good students in other Carribean schools whom will make great doctors...if you are truely dedicated to providing good doctors to United States of America, how about you let USMLE take care of picking out good doctors instead of you rooting out the "competition" and thus other less fortunate potential good doctors that have had bad luck of going to other Carribean schools?

Aug. 20 2008 08:10 PM
R T from NY

Part I

I am third year SGU student

SGU is a school that is not too different from other schools in that it is money hungry institution.

It is no different from other schools in that it looks out for number one...itself.

D. R was complaining about SGU taking away from US school/students...what about being fair to other off shore schools?

Just because SGU is better than other off shore schools does that give SGU rights to prevent other schools from participating in the clinicals? If Dr. R is going to complain about fairness, he should be defending everyone...not just US schools.

People make choices depending on what life throws at them, and not everyone is lucky enough to get everything handed to them on a platter. There are good students and good future doctors in every medical schools out there, not just US schools and not just SGU students, as Dr. M like to think.

Aug. 20 2008 08:10 PM
kk from MD

I think the main argument is do the qualified applicants get into a medical school. I will tell you from my experience, NO. MD for example only has one state school. I was over the average in both MCAT scores and GPA but did not get in? System failure, also there might be hidden cultural biases, people are afraid to say, that if you are not a minority (Af. American) or a Caucasion, all others are discriminated against. So at least SGU gave me a chance to live my dream. Almost all students get stafford loans and self finance their education and are not rich, rather motivated to pursue their dream. IF the american schools can stop the discrimination then maybe the qualified rather than non deserving students can get in!!!

Aug. 14 2008 04:09 PM
Roy McDaniel from Miami, FL

Very perceptive comments and questions...my experience with SGU graduates and current students, in addition to U. Miami and U. FL med students, shows the desire and intelligence of SGU med students to be equal to or greater than their counterparts; Step 1 test scores prove this to be true academically, and feedback from nursing staff and hospital residents shows the desire to be an M.D. levels the playing field by the time you're a 3rd year doing clinicals. I say more power to those med students who will do whatever is necessary to achieve their life goals in medicine.
Roy T. McDaniel, Jr., Esq.
Miami, FL

Aug. 11 2008 09:37 PM
hans from pennsylvania

I just wanted to put the issue of st george's studnets being second tier and rich.

as a graduate of st gerorge's, i am currently on faculty at an ivy league hospital. And there are others here from st georges, teachers of US medical students and residents.

many of my classmates are a little older than the traditional US med students. like myself, we worked for a few years making a middle class living prior to attending med school. We did not have rich parents or were making six figure salaries

Aug. 11 2008 06:10 PM
Andrew from Buffalo, NY


When asked, directors of US residency programs commented that when the cost of education is too great for pay and US citizens cannot afford to pursue medicine as a career, they are happy to "import" perfectly qualified doctors that come without the debt burden of US citizens. Other countries train their students and doctors for free. They are able to come to the US and work for less, and still have money to send home to their families.

As a graduate of SGU I have had many great experiences. I survived a class 5 hurricane and was able to learn how to provide health care to the needy in it's aftermath. I have changed careers from working in Finance and had the opportunity to still pursue medical training. US schools make that very difficult for "non-traditional" students.

Aug. 11 2008 12:11 PM
Andrew from Buffalo, NY

I am a graduate of St. George's University. I am not rich, I did not have lower than average grades. I am now working in my residency in Buffalo, Ny.

I think there are a few issues that the US schools try to sell, but are just propaganda that is easily mixed because of the sheer number of non-US based medical schools.

US schools are not doing enough to increase their numbers to combat the lack of doctors in the US. Also the fact that these US trained doctors will go into primary care. Dr. Reichgott used some creative english and only refers to US Citizen Foreign Trained doctors to change the statistics of his statments. When he says that very few foreign doctors go to primary care, he is wrong. For the 2005-2006 year St. George's graduates matched into residencies in Int. Med (41%), Fam Med (11%), Gen Pr. (1%), Peds (11%). These numbers are percentages but you also need to understand the numbers involved. SGU graduates somewhere around 600+ students each year, where Einstein has approx. 180 per year.

Aug. 11 2008 12:11 PM
Leo Paraskevopoulos from Grenada

I had a 3.8 gpa and a 29 Mcat score, which is on par with my peers at sgu and higher then many USA medical students entering marks. Students do not choose to go to SGU because their marks are low, we go there because it is an amazing school which trains its physicians probably better then many low tier american medical schools. Also SGU in Grenada is the most beautiful campus in the entire world, and a perfect place to study away from many city distractions. To compare SGU with any other offshore medical school is simply ridiculous.

Aug. 11 2008 04:36 AM
RK from California

There's a LOT of mudslinging going around. Like my fellow classmates, I would dare to say that SGU students are not equal to US grads, they are better.

About the mudslinging:
1. Over 95% of SGU students are on Financial Aid, (US Federal as well as Private Loans).

2. Our MCAT scores and GPAs are comparable to ANY US Med Student, if not better.

3. SGU students ROUTINELY score in the high 90s on all of their USMLE exams.

4. Diversity at SGU is a completely different thing from a US school. Only a student who went to an undergrad school in the US (like myself or 70% of my classmates) could know the difference.

5. Someone once told me: Harvard and Yale make Administrators, UCLA and UCSF make Researchers, and SGU makes physicians.

6. Albert Einstein and NYU should be THANKING SGU for taking care of the cost of healthcare in NYC. (God knows that THEY don't put up the funds).

Aug. 10 2008 10:37 PM
JMC from Grenada

In one week I had a Dermatologist tell me to "go into the field of Dermatology if you want the good lifestyle" and a Physician Assistant at an Orthopedic Office tell me "Dermatology is where the money is at because they have Congress in their pockets." If Dr. Reichgott is claiming that the cost of education is deflecting prospective students from going into underserved specialities such as primary care, then why not send his tirade to the real underlying issue.

Aug. 10 2008 04:45 PM
john from NY

there is strong correlation between MCATs and how well med students can perfom in a med SCHOOL.

but, where is the correlation between scores of USMLE step 1 and becoming "good" doctors???

none...

i don`t want my doctor to be just diagnostic machine...

having passed the USMLE to work in the US hospitals, I don`t really see the point of arguing why offshore med students are less qualified than american students.

I welcome any physician who know how to treat patients. for that matter, i don`t care if you grauduated from Harvard or SGU.

my family doc is from SGU, and I trust her.

Aug. 10 2008 03:08 PM
Anita Rajkumar from Grenada

Furthermore, my eldest brother went to SGU as well, and scored 98th percentile on USMLE step 1 and 97th percentile on the USMLE step 2. I only speak for one but I know that he works just as hard as any medical student around the world. What puts him over the top is that he strived to be his best while leaving the comforts of home behind...not many are so brave. He's a success story, oh and by the way, he's also a Diagnostic Radiologist, quite a difficult residency to achieve, especially being a CANADIAN student in a US hospital. Don't question the education taught by SGU, it is quality as any school in the United states and Canada. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth either, especially when a shortage exists all over North America, which should be the primary concern, not buying clerkships.

Aug. 09 2008 10:29 PM
Anita Rajkumar from Grenada

MCAT scores are on par with the US schools from SGU and are just as competetive. SGU also looks at the whole profile of the applicant rather than 2 numbers. Also, I will NEVER EVER use information such as how long it will take a book to land on the ground if thrown at a 10 degree angle at 5 m/s. As a current SGU medical student the information on the MCAT is USELESS to determine how successful a doctor will be and I know practicing doctors who have not written the MCAT who are 50+ yrs old and very competent physicians. Also, being a Canadian, the university of Ottawa and McMaster medical schools do NOT use the MCAT as a determining factor for admission because they realize how useless it is.

Aug. 09 2008 10:19 PM
medicMD from California

The NY guy is spinning the data. Overall more MD's from Grenada go into primary care - maybe they don't stay in NY, but the do go into primary care. People are just scared of the continuously improving quality of the Grenada MDs.

Aug. 09 2008 09:27 PM
aaron from New Jersey

Part 3: What Dr. Reschgott fails to recognize is that no US student wants to go outside our country to obtain their education, we all did so because it was our best alternative. Health care is a team effort, and continuing the elitist attitude that is implied in the statements made by this dean do not promote collegiality and collaboration, and even force many to leave the country to obtain an education that is directed solely at helping others.

Aug. 09 2008 05:14 PM
aaron from New Jersey

Part 2: Additionally, all of these clerkships were necessitated by the fact that US schools were not producing enough doctors. St George's is a University, and like any University, it also functions as a corporation. And as the corporation grew to fill the needs of our country, relationships were formed, and people were employed. These people have come to rely on the school for their livlihood. Additionally, as I would venture to guess, and the people of Einstein would agree, the quality of care at any institution is improved as it is asked to increase its academic involvement. This, coupled with the presence of many talented and demanding students has led to the improved quality of care delivered at many of the HHC hospitals. Perhaps this is why they are now being considered as strong commodities. I, in fact, was rejected from Albert Einstein all 5 years I applied. I have no animosity towards the school, and may be seeking a fellowship with them in the future.

Aug. 09 2008 05:14 PM
aaron from New Jersey

Part 1: As Dr. Reschgott mentioned, US medical schools are currently planning to increase their numbers to an appropriate level for our country's need. As a "qualified applicant" I was rejected by US schools. I had an MCAT score of 30, and a GPA of 3.5 from Syracuse University, and tried for 5 years to gain acceptance to a US school. Additionally, I got a Masters Degree from Georgetown, in Physiology and Biophysics to improve my chances at acceptance and could still not gain acceptance into a US school despite a 3.5 GPA there. I am not from a wealthy family, nor do I have connections with a University close enough to allow me a back door. What St. George's did was accept me, and many like me, that our system left behind, and is continuing to leave behind. When Dr. Reschgott speaks of the offshore schools as taking clerkships from US students, there might be isolated circumstances where that is occuring, but this is not common, as I rotated at several of the HHC hospitals.

Aug. 09 2008 05:13 PM
lanse aux epines

sgu: think beyond dred!

Aug. 09 2008 04:58 PM
sgu from nyc

I am a graduate of SGU who is currenlty in a very competitive sub-speciality surgical residnecy. I rotated in NYC during my clinical rotations with other medical students from the local american medical schools. The medical students never stated to me that they had any difficulties being placed for their desired clinical rotations despite the fact that the teaching hoispital that I rotated at was a primary teaching rotation for SGU students. The concern that I encountered from the american medical students is having to compete with very motivated SGU students that are american citizens who have a chip on their shoulder and were performing at a very high level. I think this might be the conern of the local medical schools who feel that there students should not have to compete with cariibean medical student graduates. If we the carribean based students were not competitive applicants to medical school like the good Dr. from Albert Einstein Medical School stated in the interview then they should have nothing to worry about, right ?

Aug. 09 2008 04:05 PM
Alison from New York

I am wondering if Dr. Reichgott has any useful suggestions on how I might be able to pay back my >150,000 dollar loan after attending SGU? It seems he believes that SGU grads are among the "financially elite" and that this particular burden does not apply to us---he couldn't be more wrong. Let's face it Dr. Reichgott, you don't want your medical students rotating with FMGs- it's not good press for your school and has nothing to do with limiting or putting pricetags on clerkships.

Aug. 09 2008 10:21 AM
Lou from NY, NY

Btw, just because something costs more or you pay more to get it, doesn't mean you have more money. It may simply mean you end up owing more money. And maybe you are willing to bear that because you want it more. And are thankful that someone is making it available to you, despite the debt or financial burden. St. George's fills a very real need for students and the US healthcare system that has gone largely ignored by US schools for decades. Don't punish them now for that... Thank them. I don't imagine the financial profile of the average St. George's student is very different from one who attends Albert Einstein (then again, I didn't google the stats in the middle of typing this).

Aug. 09 2008 10:09 AM
Lou from NY, NY

Also, while you're at it Doc, when giving statistics, try not to Google it in the middle of your interview.. it detracts from what little bit of credibility you may have. If, for example, you were talking about the best college in the US, would you average out the high school GPA and admission profile for every US college student and community college and then use that stat to refer to Harvard? No, because it wouldn't make any sense. So try not to compare one school (St. George's -- the relative "Harvard" of foreign medical schools) to the lot. It just shows you didn't do your homework and are making blanket, prejudicial, and unfounded statements.

Aug. 09 2008 10:09 AM
Lou from NY, NY

so, essentially, Dr. Reichgott would like the US hospitals to reserve spots for US medical schools and students on the hope and promise that they will, someday down the road, step up their production to meet the demand. A production mark which they have fallen short of for at least 30 or so years. And now they are "trying" to do so, not out of any sense of responsibility, but because finally they are being mandated to. And the schools who have been putting out quality students to fill that need (those at St.George's who didn't get into US schools mainly because of the very same problem -- not enough spots, despite meeting admission criteria) can just sit and wait for you to reluctantly step up your facilities and output to perhaps oneday meet demand? The same students you didn't make room for in the first place should now relinquish their learning experience and get out of the way for you? And the struggling hospitals should forgo any funds they were receiving and let go of the students who provide a service in their hospitals while they wait for you to fill in the gap?

Aug. 09 2008 10:08 AM
Laura Kelly from United Kingdom

Well, I'm an SGU medical student and by no means I'm rich or affluent. I'm a immigrant to the US with the desire to be a doctor, but without all the requirements of US medical school. SGU gave me the opportunity and I will be forever grateful. I'm the oldest of five from a single mom I'm first generation college with a lot of money to pay after I finish, therefore I'm the poorer of them all and still a proud SGU STUDENT. Good for Dr. Mordica, he actually knows how to espend our tuition!

Aug. 09 2008 09:39 AM
Nandini Nair MD,PhD from CA

It is a pity to see such strong bias against foreign graduates and generalization that came from an academic physician representing a top school. I wish people would base their opinions on facts. All of us who went to SGU have done exceptionally well and made it even to the faculty in US medical schools. He should probably be sent a list of all the SGU alumni and their accomplishments. What people do not realize is the fact that without the foreign medical graduates a lot of the inner city hospitals will be understaffed. It is high time people stopped discriminating us on the basis of where we went to school. I am sure all the people who made it to ivy leagues were not nobel prize winning material!!!

Aug. 08 2008 10:10 PM
V Lam, MD from Houston, TX

To Dr Charles Modica:
thank you for your dedication to SGU students. this new collaboration with NYC public hospitals will have enormous benefit for both SGU and US students alike. It is your continuing hard work and vision that inspires us to excel and become better doctors.

To SGU students and fellow alumni:
congrats to all your achievements and future endeavors. graduating from SGU means so much more than just a medical degree. I say continue to strive to be good doctors for this is just another wall of prejudice, which we have scaled so many times before.

Aug. 08 2008 06:15 PM
V Lam, MD from Houston, TX

? To Reichgott: did you really have only outdated statistics that generalized all Carribean schools together? call me a skeptic but i think you do have statistics of SGU students but were surprised to find that US med schools are at par with SGU. shame on you for biasing information, misinforming the public, and perpetuating the lie and ignorance so very unbecoming of a "doctor". until you behave like one, maybe we should not address you as so......and next time, at least have the decency to actually show up at the discussion. Is it not true that only Dr. Modica was personally present? esp. since you are so very concerned. but alas, you are wrong. i believe the public is not as ignorant as you think.

Aug. 08 2008 05:39 PM
EC from new orleans

Oh, and one more thing. I was named cardiology fellow of the year over seven AMERICAN grads.

Aug. 08 2008 04:05 PM
EC from new orleans

I am a SGU alum and currently doing my cardiology fellowship with some of the brightest cardiologists in the country. I completed my residency at a first tier university hospital. I scored 98s on my USMLEs. Chalk one up for the education at SGU.

One critical point: There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between SGU when compared to all the other offshore medical schools. Our USMLE pass rate is over 90%; on par with many american medical schools. Other caribbean schools, 50-70%. Our average MCAT(pre-medical school entrance examination) scores: 26-27. American medical schools:27-28.Other caribbean schools: low 20s.

Aug. 08 2008 04:01 PM
Joseph E. Allen, MD, MS from San Diego

NY City is not alone in charging "administrative" fees to International Medical Graduates to do clinical rotations. The University of California system does as well. The bottom line is that SGU students share a commonality, which is the intense desire and committment to become outstanding physicians. The financial committment is just another hurdle which we've successfully learned to overcome. Put a SGU student up against any U.S. or U.K. trained graduate, and we will always outperform. It's in our nature. That is why we're sucessful globally, in every medical specialty. Simply put, we adapt better than the competition.
Joseph E. Allen, MD

Aug. 08 2008 12:08 PM
PE from Louisiana

I am an SGU graduate and I'm in my final year of a primary care residency. Dr Reichgott needs to check his facts. You can't lump SGU in with all the other Caribbean schools. As Dr Modica pointed out so very clearly, you cannot distinguish an SGU entering class from a US school's entering class. For some reason, there is a mistaken belief that because SGU is a Caribbean school, it is somehow subpar.

I went to medical school with the idea of being a family physician, and nothing I saw in medical school changed my mind. Yes, I have school debt, but most doctors do. I financed my medical education with student loans. Not sure if it's still true, but when I went to Grenada, it was the only country outside the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia where you qualified for US government loans.

Before you go bashing "foreign schools" in general, and SGU in particular, you need to know what you're talking about. Clearly, Dr Reichgott does not.

Aug. 08 2008 10:33 AM
Dr. MSV from North Dakota

Any claim that more US students are going into primary care than FMG's is not only false, but absolutely ludicrous - the near absence of american grads in primary care residencies is an ongoing discussion in the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), not to mention the lack of respect many American medical schools have for primary care. As an example. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which was the sponsoring school for my residency program, does not even have a Family Medicine department. Additionally, most American medical schools do not have Family practice as a core rotation for its 3rd year students, further deemphasizing its importance. As a recent Family Practice residency graduate who is was very active in the medical community as a resident (and will continue to be as an attending), I can say that 90% of my fellow residents in primary care were FMG's. This may not hold true throughout the country (I trained in NJ), but the numbers will still be lopsided in favor of FMG's.
In addition, I can attest to the high quality of the SGU education, as I am an SGU grad, and would not reconsider my decision to attend for a second.
MSV, MD

Aug. 08 2008 09:59 AM
robmoth from SGU

I'm at SGU right now. My GPA coming in here was 3.4 and my MCAT score was 29. That's easily better than a lot of students in the US. I, unfortunately, applied late and wasn't admitted. I've published papers and have worked for the NIH before coming here. I am NOT affluent and almost everyone I know here is on Stafford loans...look up the numbers. US Medical schools are elitist and don't have a lot of foresight.

Aug. 08 2008 08:43 AM
Erin from hartford

This arguement is not about the caliber of Doctors coming from SGU. It is about institutional greed and reluctance to change to meet the growing healthcare needs of society. Calling SGU students spoiled and sub-par is a cheap shot. I hope that Dr. Reichgott will stop throwing insults at the SGU students and graduates. It is sad academic enviornment where a teacher will tell students they are not good enough, or do not deserve a chance at training and education, and I am glad that I ended up in a place whre I was told I could do anything if I worked hard enough.
Today I had hugs, handshakes, and teary-eyed professions of thanks from all of the patients I treated in a busy urban ED. Not one of them cared where I went to school. Their only concern was that I knew how to suture, medicate, intubate, and determine whether or not they needed to be admitted. And I can say with confidence that SGU gave me the education I needed to do just that.
SGUSOM '06

Aug. 08 2008 04:32 AM
Erin from hartford

I am proud to say I am one of them.
We work as hard, or harder than any other med student. We score as well, if not better on the USMLE's. We are your Chiefs, Co-residents, Attendings, and we have taken care of you and your loved ones if not now or in the past, then likely at some point in the future. You might never even realize it, knowing only that you received quality care. And the overwhelming majority of us did it on full loans - not our parents' dime!
Dr. Reichgott's problem is about money (why shouldn't hospitals receive some stipend for the teaching they provide students? where do all the tuition dollars go at these instituitions if students are being taught by physicians in hositals?) and the paucity of hospitals that can provide clerkships. His efforts would be better spent looking for ways to create more positions and helping to get more hospitals ACGME accredited rather than purposefully misunderstanding the problem and pointing fingers at American students working hard to become skilled and talented physicians, filling a void that the US schools have refused to fill for the past 20 years. Now that they are being mandated to increase class size - a move that is too little too late - they want their ball back. The physician shortage crisis has been known about for years - these schools should have had the forsight at least a decade ago to increase their sizes. They didn't, and SGU did.

Aug. 08 2008 04:31 AM
Erin from hartford

Dr. Reichgott's comments regarding SGU students' qualifications and affluency were uninformed, ill-researched, and down right ignorant-therefore not worth being insulted by. It is regretable that someone who holds such a high position in an academic institution would be so unprepared for a debate and instead mudsling at hardworking, intelligent, innocent students. It is clear to anyone who has ever gone through the process of applying to medical school that there are more qualified students than spots available in the US. A percentage of those that weren't lucky enough to get in in the US were persistent enough to not give up the dream, and instead give up family, friends, and all of the creature comforts and freedoms of the US of A to achieve their goal.

Aug. 08 2008 04:31 AM
Doug from Northern California

I'm a SGUSOM graduate (class of '81). Dr. Reichgott's comments were off the mark a bit.
A classmate of mine did in fact transfer into Albert Einstein Medical School when he achieved the highest score on the National Medical Board Exam (exam covering the first 2 years of med school). Oh, and that score surpassed all scores by US students that year. Oh, and after our high pass rate and good scores on that exam, that exam (the same one given to US students at the time) was no longer offered to students at foreign schools. Therefore, foreign students were no longer able to compare their scores to US students.
And lumping other Caribbean schools with St. George's is an affront to the school and it's faculty and student body.
Having taught at SGUSOM and seeing the great strides made by this entity over thirty years makes me proud to be an alumnus.

Aug. 08 2008 01:32 AM
Afroz

This deal takes away clerkships from not just NY students but the rest of the carribean medical school students. Since the deal blocks out the rest of the carribean medical schools. This is segregation, something about this has to be illegal....great for SGU, bad for everyone else! :(

Aug. 08 2008 01:28 AM
PB from Brooklyn

Dr. Modica did well to hold his ground and avail the moderator and Dr. Reichgott to slander the very institution which was created by his hard work and effort. This dream has allowed the dreams of thousands to be fulfillled, mine included. Being a lifelong New Yorker, born to a dedicated civil servant and his wife, no one else in my family went to medical school. My 27 letters of rejection meant nothing compared to my 1 letter of acceptance. Since then I've matched a highly competitive PRIMARY CARE (because Emergency Medicine docs in NYC are primary care) residency, chosen unanimously as chief resident, and now working as a competent attending in the community I was born to serve.

I'm glad the moderator cut Chancellor M off a few times yet let Reichgott continue on his misinformed diatribe. The fact of the matter is, his words demonstrate the facility is prejudiced against foreign grads ("we have never accepted a transfer").

Keep in mind very few people from the NY medical school community showed any interest in HHC until another institution did.

I've always been proud to be an SGU alumnus; today I'm proud to say I know Chancellor Modica. He is the reason our institution has a purpose, a goal, and most importantly, a future.

Aug. 08 2008 12:59 AM
Shawna

As a response to whether our eduation is adequate. We have to take and pass the same boards as all US med schools. I think our education has been more than adequate.
I was in the Global Scholars Program, which did the first year in the UK, where we had a class size comprable to US med schools. Overall SGU students have a higher board pass rate than most US med schools, so I would say our education is adeqaute.
Also, I previously worked in a very reputable hospital in NY, and attendings told me quite often that their best interns and residents come from SGU. So the idea that our education is inadequate is absurd!
The fact that slots are not open to NY students, and now they can not expand the enrollment because of this contract is just ridiculous. Before this contract what has been the reason? There has always been an excuse for NY to not expand their limit, and I don't want to be the excuse.
I am not a wealthy student and I am a NY resident. There would be nothing I would like better than to have gotten into a NY Med school and paid $19,000 a year, but UNFORTUNATELY their enrollment is so low, that I could not be considered.
Rural NY is in DESPERATE need of physician, just look at legislative moves. Why would NY reject all these possible physicians that are cultural diverse and very competant?

Aug. 08 2008 12:37 AM
Chris from Calgary, Canada

Part 2

Argument: SGU students are more affluent than NYC students.
- my experience is that most of the students are funding their education entirely on loans (including myself)

Implied Rhetoric: SGU students are rich so they might as well pay their way into becoming a doctor.
- ANY person that gives up friends and family, EVERYTHING they know and are comfortable with, to pursue a career in medicine shows dedication that I think is admirable. I would hope any US trained doctor could have as much.

Argument: SGU students are less qualified.
- Not true, please see aforementioned statistics (in a different response). Many places reject students that would have been accepted had they resided in a different state, province, or country (more difficult to get into some Canadian than American schools). I personally had a 99.8 percentile on the MCAT, a score of 40 Q. However, 9 years ago, I was too social (a problem many high GPA doctors these days CERTAINLY could not have if they tried) and only had a 2.9 GPA.

I feel the arguments either to be weak, or rhetoric.

Even if we were to consider some of them true, they do not impact the situation negatively. If more wealthy doctors does not mean fewer doctors from more socio-economically diverse backgrounds.... it really means more doctors. And would you choose not to go to a doctor that came from a rich family?

Aug. 07 2008 10:13 PM
Chris from Calgary, Canada

Part 1

Argument: SGU will take clerkship positions from NYC hospitals:
- I am confused why a system/society that places so much value on capitalism would take issue with underfunded hospitals receiving money. And, why can the NYC universities that charge comparable tuitions not attempt to do the same?
- If these hospitals receive more money, would it not be feasible that perhaps the money could be used to ensure competitive salaries for primary care physicians?
- If these clerkships were not allowed to SGU students fewer qualified doctors would be practicing medicine today. How would this affect primary care?
- If money were provided for ALL clerkships, would that not provide the financial opportunity for MORE clerkships to be created?

Aug. 07 2008 10:12 PM
Anthony from New York, NY

Most American medical students have no intention of working in innercity hospitals like HHC after they garduate! Subsequently, many of the housestaff and attendings who do work at HHC are themselves foreign medical school grads. It's preposterous to not allow training access to the the very people who run these hospitals.

Aug. 07 2008 10:09 PM
Fooj -- SGU Med student


i just wanted to respond to Dr. Reichgott's comments when he talked about sgu students being rich! first of all any logical person who can put alittle bit of time on researching the stats will know for sure that was a false statement, and we all have huge loans to pay off, as one of my colleque's said more than a house loan.
but what i wanted to say is that even if Dr.R statement was true!! what does that have to do with anything or our clerkships? Our USMLE grades "UNITED STATES MEDICAL LICENSING EXAM" ( stat shows we have equal or higher scores than average us medical schools), our performance in the hospitals during the past 30 years, and the residency positions that we have held speaks for itself clearly in demonstrating our qualtiy of education, knowledge, determination and capablities, and shows our clerkships in any of the us hospitals such as NY, NJ, CA...has been and is more than well-deserved.
Now, In light of all this "real" data and factors,Im not sure why would my "richness" as a person be anybody's business!! and be even related what so ever to this discussion!!!
however, if Dr.R insists to focus on richness as the more important factor (than all i just mentioned) to tease non-qualified future doctors from the rest, then I wont argue with it any further! lets start with US schools then, check students bank accounts, and see how many of your students are "rich" and not qualified?? who cares about their actual performance as a doctor!

Aug. 07 2008 09:29 PM
josh

I am a SGU student, and I am by no means affluent. If you look at the statistics for US school vs. SGU, I'm sure that the percentage of students who are completely financing their education (like me) vs. paying out of pocket is the same.

Regardless, we as medical students (US & SGU) are all paying a lot of money for our education.

It is a giant cop-out to say that these so called "Affluent students" attending SGU are the root of the problem.

I know Mr. Einstein said he was not attacking the students, but statements like that are in my opinion malicious.

Aug. 07 2008 07:26 PM
Hmm from CA

NY schools and growth impeded and threatened by foreign schools and the free market? please. Health in America is a free market.

Aug. 07 2008 07:18 PM
VP

I am currently a student from St. George's that just started a clerkship in NJ. In regards to the basis of our GPA and MCAT scores, being put into the same pool as other "Off-shore" schools is ridiculous. I had a GPA of 3.5 and MCAT score not too stellar (24), but did research and worked in the hospital to gain experience. Maybe these scores weren't deserving of an acceptance into any American school but one of my close friends did. He had GPA of 3.75, took MCAT 3 times and avg. 32, did research, and ended up going to a DO school. He has no complaints and says he is better off without a doubt in his mind.
Another reason why we shouldn't be put into the same pool as other "off-shore" schools is the fact that there are schools outside that don't even have an interviewing process or if they do, they conduct one over the phone. These schools typically have no US accreditation.
Beyond that St. George's is not a school you can guarantee an acceptance into. I know people who have not been accepted as well as being accepted, but into the MPH program or Foundations program to build up their GPA. So not any "Joe Smoe" can just get into to this school.
One of my Attendings said something to me that I take to heart. "No one is born a Doctor. You have to work hard and consistently throughout to be one no matter where you went to school."

P.S. I don't come from an affluent family nor do the majority of my friends at SGU. Get the facts straight.

Aug. 07 2008 07:02 PM
Aimee from boston

I am a grad of SGUSOM class of 2001, I graduated at the top of my class from RPI and receive 1 of 4 university awards, I had a 3.9 GPA, I would never change my experiences at SGU. I saw medicine in all forms--3rd world, socialized and in the USA. I worked hard, took all the same exams as students from US schools, I got into my 1st choice for residency at Buffalo Childrens and then went to Yale for neonatology. I am currently an attending at Childrens in Boston. I was born and raised in the USA. SGUSOM is a strong school with strong valves, teaches individuals how to think independently and to function well in a global community. I think American/NYU schools are just concerned because SGUSOM are smart and competitive.

Aug. 07 2008 06:49 PM
David

Its a free mark and St. George should be able to compete for positions just like any other medical school.

Aug. 07 2008 06:11 PM
Kristin from Grenada

I am a student at SGU and wanted to respond to the idea that SGU students have lower MCAT scores than US students and that we are more "affluent."

I had an MCAT score of 31 which is significantly higher than the US average of 27 mentioned in the program. Yet, I couldn't get into medical school in Canada. I have friends in Canada with 4.0 gpas and high 30s on the MCAT that don't even get interviewed for medical school in Canada, let alone accepted. I think there just aren't enough spaces in US (and Canadian) schools for the number of qualified applicants and I am very grateful that St. George's University has given me the opportunity to achieve my academic aspirations.

Also, Dr. Modica very rightly said that SGU students are NOT more affluent than the US students, as it has been suggested. I am paying for my education 100% with student loans and all of the US and Canadian classmates that I know are doing the same.

I am very much looking forward to doing my clerkships in New York and experiencing the world-renowned level of medical education that the city has to offer.

Aug. 07 2008 05:12 PM
listener from chicago

I feel that interviewer was very biased -I'd expect more from public radio to give a balanced and inbiased view of this situation. Not only did she interrupt Dr. Modica from finishing his point, to allow Dr. Reichgott to speak, but she also gave Dr. Reichgott the last word and allowed him to continue far along after attempting to end the program the first time. This was truly a biased interview, and should be re-evaluated by the Public Radio program.

Aug. 07 2008 04:48 PM
MS II

(conti)

Also, based on published facts of residency matching for SGU students, the data clearly demonstrates that the majority of the placements (I will guess at least 60%) went into family practice, general practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics. As far as I know, all of those are primary care positions and definitely contribute much needed physicians to the US. If you don't believe me, browse the SGU alumni website, all the information is there.

Aug. 07 2008 04:28 PM
MS II

Being a doctor is about being hardworking, persevering against all odds, being self-sacrificing, having the passion to study medicine and to offer your knowledge to the community...SGU students without a doubt embody all of these characteristics, and have the USMLE scores to back it up.

Many of the accusations made against SGU were based on stereotypes and completely false. Dr. Reichgott claimed that SGU students were wealthy just because their tuition is approximately 5,000 more than the average US school (not taking into account the inflated tuition for out of state students in the US). How does that explain the fact that the majority of the students are taking out FULL LOANS to finance their dreams of becoming a doctor. The NYC hospitals themselves also confirmed that these alleged clerkship spots for SGU students in no way compromise the spots for US students. Most medical students at SGU ARE US citizens (mostly from the NY area) and WILL stay to practice in the United states (many of them hoping to practice back home in NY). If there is a shortage of doctors and the hospitals are probably cutting down on resources due to financial problems, then why shun SGU for trying to alleviate these two problems?

I hope that whoever questions the legitimacy of the concerns and complaints brought up by Dr. Reichgott does their research more thoroughly so that they are better informed of the data and approach the situation with an unbiased eye.

Aug. 07 2008 04:18 PM
PROUD TO BE FROM SGUSOM from Brooklyn, NY

1 out of every 4 doctors in the U.S. are foreign medical school graduates. 99% of foreign medical school graduates FILL the spots of areas that are deemed underprivileged, especially in primary care - nationally. This data is public and you can find it with ECFMG. The U.S., let alone, the state of NY, NEEDS us. We take the SAME board exams and residency as ANY person who would like to be a physician in the U.S. The argument that the Dean of Albert Einstein makes about questioning our qualifications, is clearly an "old school" one. Standardized test scores are NOT indicative of intelligence, and SGU looks at a "whole" student for acceptance, INCLUDING standardized test scores. We arguably work harder, are more determined, because we KNOW that people such as the good Dean from Albert Einstein stigmatize us solely based on the fact that we come from an "off shore" school. We are NOT rich, take out MORE loans, and may have applied to a U.S. school first due to convenience of cost, not moving to another country, staying close to our families, and fulfill an academic goal. NOT because U.S. schools are BETTER than SGU. We are comparable to all the LCME guidelines, AAMC guidelines and these organizations RECOGNIZE us as such. In addition, HHC gave us spots based on merit, NOT because they were "bought" by SGU. HHC would NOT want to lessen their mission by giving spots to substandard potential physicians. If a NY school made the same deal, no one would question it.

Aug. 07 2008 03:44 PM
R from Grenada

Schools in NY should welcome the idea of using student tuition and other monetary gifts to maintain the local teaching hospitals educating their students. If SGU can budget in the students' interests, NY schools should be able to do the same. It not only will ensure that these hospitals remain open, but will ensure a quality of education for all medical students

Aug. 07 2008 02:14 PM
PJ from NYC

Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Does everyone realize that Einstein's website has a dedicated "GIFT OPPORTUNITES" page? I know SGU's site doesn't solicit monies like this. Here is the link to their site:
http://www.aecom.yu.edu/home/gift_opportunities.asp

Not only that, NYU renamed their facility after a benefactor who provided $250 MILLION DOLLARS. Here's the link:

http://communications.med.nyu.edu/news/2008/nyu-medical-center-changes-name-honor-chairman-board-wife

Regardless of who did what/says what/graduates what, the NY medical schools are playing a card they shouldn't here since it opens them up to increased scrutiny, which I think they will dislike. SGU has to repeatedly defend itself and its academic record. Let's see what the court of public opinion feels about the sale of our fine institutions in NY.

BTW: NY born and raised for over 30 years; SGU alumnus '04. Now working as an doc at an Einstein affiliate. Don't tell anyone lest they find out an inferior 'rich kid with a bad MCAT' is teaching their students how to save lives.

Aug. 07 2008 01:59 PM
J from Utah

Also, Dr. Reichgott's so worried about his "diversity" yet that very "diversity" is not representative of the US population in any way, shape, or form. US medical schools have lost their focus on providing good doctors and have focused instead on thier "diversity". It's nice to see SGU giving those people who aren't diverse enough for US med schools a chance and for taking those people who don't necessarily fit the "ideal" student. I don't want a student taking care of me. I want a good doctor! Go SGU!

Aug. 07 2008 01:55 PM
SGU student

There is one important point that hasn't been made. The contract that SGU made prevents other less qualified Caribbean schools from taking spots in the hospitals. The contract is not taking any spots away from New York med schools, and it is making room for more SGU students that are better prepared to become physicians.

Aug. 07 2008 01:54 PM
Lax from Westchester

We have the stats and requirements that any US school would want. SGU students go above and beyond everyday to acquire the knowledge that is needed to be excellent doctors. We are in Grenada surviving on shear passion for the science that drives our carrier choice. Don't underestimate our hard work. We deserve theses spots! And just because our Chancellor had the foresight 30years ago to create opportunity's for SGU students doesn't give NYC schools a right to look down upon our achievements.

SGU FOR LIFE
Class of 2011

Aug. 07 2008 01:50 PM
J from Utah

I find it interesting that Dr. Reichgott entered into a debate with SGU and could only argue about foreign medical schools in general. Seems like an ignorant way to debate the issue.

Aug. 07 2008 01:48 PM
vera from new york

Its a real shame that so many spots in New York schools are taken by foreign students
leaving the USA students to have to leave
the country Of course this is a nation
of opportunity for all
but is this really fair? As far as the level of education it is top notch
many many directors of Med here (MOntefiore Westchester Med etc.)all over the city graduated from SGU You would be really surprised
the facilities are state of the art and so
are the wonderful Doctors and staff
These future doctors should be back here doing their last years -its where they should have been in the first place!!

Aug. 07 2008 01:37 PM
Ryan from NY

The school is a veritable medical machine, turning out more qualified physicians each year than many state schools do each year combined. Dr. Modica fills a need and the market allows it, and that's that. To all other nay-sayers: you can eat it.

Aug. 07 2008 01:25 PM
Ryan from NY

The reason people even care about SGU is the preconceived notion that Caribbean schools provide substandard education. And they may do such. But take each school on its own merit and statistics and then we can have a real discussion about the students from SGU. Not a generalized opinion of all Caribbean med schools.
My final thought about SGU paying the hospitals for clerkships spots is this: if any college/university is worried about losing spots to Caribbean students because we pay for our spots, then catch up to the game. Of course a hospital will be more willing to take students who are paying them for their training than students who don't pay anything. Dr. Modica's deal fills a need at these hospitals and, like it or not, that's what the hospitals want. If they didn't then this discussion wouldn't be taking place. I care very little about US students not getting what they want. I (and many other US national students) went the extra mile, giving up everything they know, to pursue an education to fulfill a dream that other schools wouldn't allow us. So I say tough cookies to all of the crying about taking up spots. If the US schools caught up to the game and increased enrollment than there would be less student being taught in the Carribean, period. They haven't done so and SGU has.

Aug. 07 2008 01:25 PM
Ryan from NY

We live in a free market and capitalist society. The market usually fixes itself (with some current exceptions with oil and housing, which is a different issue all together), but regardless it is up to the market to direct the people. SGU provides not only great education, but financial rescue to struggling hospitals. Do I lose sleep over SGU students 'taking up' US school spots? Absolutely not. SGU provides a service to these hospitals and, like any good business deal, benefits from it. Yes, we do pay more than most US schools, but, like many others have written, it is more DEBT to each student. All this tells me is that these students are willing to go the extra mile to acheive their dream of becoming a physician. And at the same time I know first hand that we do NOT pay as much as some in the US. I applied to the University of Colorado a few years ago and they sent me back a note allowing me to pay the $275 processing fee for second round consideration, but they also warned me that as an out of state student I would be paying about $75,000 a year if I were to be accepted. Many non-resident students of state schools pay outrageous amounts such as this example every year and we never hear about them.

Aug. 07 2008 01:24 PM
carib-doc from NYC

I am a child to immigrant parents, first generation to finish college and now in medical school. I applied to US schools 3x, MCAT 29, undergrad NYU GPA 3.2, two Masters degrees (3.8/3.98), J Exp Med primary publication, awards at 2 international meetings for MY research and fluent in 3 languages. Personally, I feel that City schools are now threatened by individuals like me that are realizing their dreams and will enter a top notch specialty not only because of our intelligence, but our drive to leave our homes and families to realize a dream that was denied in the US. Please admit me to the HHC rotation based upon my USMLE score, because I will surpass those of mainland schools and still stay to practice in my NYC!

Aug. 07 2008 12:44 PM
Tony from NYC

I don't understand why there is so much objection to SGU taking over HHC. I have stats well above average for US school, I am a NYC Paramedic with a lot of experience and I have applied to US schools twice without any success. SGU was the only way out for me and I am very happy this is happening!

Aug. 07 2008 12:40 PM
medical student from sgu

Dr. Reichgott's point seems pretty solid at first. If clerkships are a commodity, the cost of medical education is going to be higher. The result is more debt among students, which will push them away from primary care where they are needed toward lucrative specialties. So the primary care physician shortage in the US increases.
But how many people with over 200K of debt really change their career choices over an extra 20K (40K/yr tuition at SGU vs. 35K/yr at a US school)? I can't imagine a 10% increase in debt changing my desire to be a primary care physician.

Aug. 07 2008 12:39 PM
Radiolistner

I'm currently a 3rd year SGU student, and during the process of applying to medical school, I received approximatley 7 interviews to US medical schools and was not given a spot. Most all the interviews I went to said I was at a disadvantage because I was an out of state resident (being from california), and even though my stats were higher than those instate residents, they had a slight advantage. California has 8 allopathic medical schools, for a population of about 40 million while new york has almost double the amount of medical schools with a fraction of the population. So if anyone wants to bring up the argument, are US graduates better, rethink what you are saying, because many schools including your beloved US schools give spots to less qualified instate residents, and I see why they do that, and don't disagree. However, I would just like to clarify that because many are under the false belief that SGU students are less qualified than US counterparts. Aditionally, my sister is chief resident at a great NYC hospital, she graduated from an American school. Many SGU students rotate under her, and she tells me how qualified the SGU students are and know a lot more than several of the american medical students. Before you judge a school you've only heard of, and make false comments, why don't you do a little research first...

Aug. 07 2008 12:38 PM
greg zivic from michigan

SGU's tuition is $4000/year more than Einstein's, I think less than NYU and Weil/Cornell. These NYC schools for years have been promoting diversity of the student population, but snubbed me completely. I was a 42 year old who went back to school, did a post-bac 2 year program to get my prerequisits and took the MCATs. I had a 3.7 grade point, and a 32 on my MCATs, and ran a business repairing ships full time. I didn't even get an interview. When I asked why later the Dean of Admissions at Weil/Cornell told me it was because my gpa from 21 years ago was too low and therefor no one even read my application. SGU called me after I sent in my application to them, invited me to an interview, and basically took me on the spot. Today I'm an Emergency Physician at a major teaching hospital in Michigan. Screw all the NYC schools, their admissions people, and their uppity attitude. SGU saw me for what I really was, and gave me a chance.

Aug. 07 2008 12:18 PM
MH

The cogent issue here is the availability of medical training in the US. The AEMS rep diverted the argument by attacking the qualification of SGU students. It has long been acknowledged that the US is NOT producing enough physicians. The AMA is trying to offset falling salaries by creating shorter supply. This strategy has NOT been working for decades and it still won't work! SGU stepped in to fill the deficit with qualified, highly trained MDs for not only NY, but the US. The majority of students are US citizens.
The US system has errantly placed too much emphasis on predicting ability based on biased, unreliable, and invalid exams and GPA systems. Research shows the insignificance and unreliability of these systems to predict someone’s ability to be a good MD. For example, I have a BS, a M.Div., and a M.S. My Masters GPAs were 4.0 and MCAT was a 31. I was rejected from US schools (MD & DO). Asking about my rejections, I was told I was too ‘old’, my learning disability would hinder me, and my GPA in undergraduate was too low. SGU, however, gave me a chance to become a MD and I am proud to say that I am a leader in the class and anticipate remaining so. Apparently, I was not ‘qualified’ enough to be a US med student, including an AEMS student. If US med schools are having such trouble perhaps they should reevaluate their decision-making process instead of attacking other institutions. One should look to themselves for mistakes before pointing them out in others.

Aug. 07 2008 12:04 PM
Chris K from Northern NJ

1) Dr. Reichgott fears that, with foreign students paying hospitals more for clerkships, US schools cannot expand their classes without raising tuition. This, in turn, steers medical graduates away from primary care becuase they have more debt and primary care pays less. This is only a small part of the equation and hugely unfair to foreign medical graduates, who for years have filled the empty primary care spots vacated by US graduates who are uninterested in the smaller income and status of the field. Many foreign medical schools would not have been created if this gap did not already exist. Thus, it is illogical and unfair for Dr. Reichgott to blame outsiders for the lack of primary care providers in the US. The problem originated here, the solution came from abroad, and the answer is to fix the deficiences of the system that made primary care unnattractive in the first place.
2) Hospitals are in trouble. The current fiscal drought is hitting healthcare especially hard, in large part due to a poorly structured medical-legal system. As a result, patients suffer, and so do those who work in the medical industry. I see much of the argument in this interview as a consequence of the constriction of medical resources.

Aug. 07 2008 11:55 AM
SGU student from New York

I am an SGU student starting 4th year of clerkship electives. I got a score of 248(99th percentile) on USMLE step 1 and 261(99th percentile) on USMLE step 2. My scores are probably better then most of the students from American Medical schools. When rotating in some of the hospitals in New York where American Med Students are rotating SGU students are praised in comparison not only on their clinical knowledge but also on their clinical skills, attitude and patient relations. Coming from a foreign medical school it is a known fact that it is more difficult for us to get competitive residency programs so we have to work and study twice as hard as the American medical students to be able to obtain less glamorous positions. We are just as qualified as the American medical students if not more simply because we do not have another choice. We cannot impress the program directors by a fancy school name, we have to impress them by our scores, knowledge and clinical skills.

Aug. 07 2008 11:31 AM
Boris from NYC

I am appalled by the NUY and Albert Einstein SOM deans, they make a big fuss about SGU students taking away their clerkship spots? They are trying to ruin the reputation of SGU right before the interview season begins! Why are they trying to undermine us, US citizens, people who wanted to do more than just accept the fact that there are less spots available in the US medical schools then there are qualified applicants? These people make me sick; all they care about is money, money, and more money. For most of these administrators, medicine is nothing but a business, and now they are loosing their monopolies over hospitals that are in need for financial support. These medical schools will have to pay more money, for clerkships, out of the tuition that their medical students are paying, which means less money for their pockets. They are trying to make SGU look bad from any angle they can find (low MCAT scores, low GPA, not up to par education). I think it is all bogus, it is all about loosing money and power.

Aug. 07 2008 11:03 AM
med student

The tuition for St. George students and American Medical Students seems to be almost on par. Why is it that the American medical schools are not willing to share some of their tuition with the hospitals?? I think the issue comes down to American medical schools wanting to maintain the same degree of profit from their students as opposed to investing it in clinical rotations. Many American schools seem to feel threatened that it may come down to them having shell out more money for their students. And why shouldn't they? The conditions in many inner city hospitals is below standard and more needs to be done to increase the level of care and the quality of facilities available to the public.

Aug. 07 2008 10:55 AM
Mike

Even if St. George's University students did possess lower GPA's and MCAT scores (Which they don't), would that translate to worse patient care? NO! I have stood next to numerous medical students and physicians that are amazing on paper, (i.e. highest scores and gpa's) and they are accepted to their respective schools because of this. However, when they try to discuss with their patients a problem that they are having they represent the lowest 10% in ability. I have observed this and discussed this with many of my patients. This is something that Sanji definitely, ALL medical students, and physicians ought to think about when talking to their patients. In review,
I have proved: High GPA + High MCAT DOES NOT = good patient outcomes.

Aug. 07 2008 10:49 AM
Francis from Grenada

Two issuse here
it all comes down to the fact that- is the university accredited? yes. eventually they write the same board exams as other U.S medical schools and perform up to or even above the USMLE standards( the same standards set for U.S med school) hence you can not discredit the school based on "unqualified doctors" the issuse is- are they taking up spaces from the U.S medical students............this i doubt.

Aug. 07 2008 10:30 AM
m

can i get a transcript of this?

Aug. 07 2008 10:24 AM
Sonia from USA

The NY schools are being whiny. If they're truly concerned about the influx of foreign medical graduates, they should expand their class size to match the expanding population.

from 2004: http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/nov04/cogme.htm

All this talk of 'plans' to expand and open (I mean "working towards opening" to quote Reichgott) sounds like biding time. Meanwhile, society needs more physicians.

The US schools need to get their act together and Reichgott just sounds bitter. Meanwhile, SGU is going to fill society's need, like it or not.

Aug. 07 2008 10:05 AM
LRP from UK

My wife, who has a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins, and scored well on her MCATs, was wait listed at US Medical schools due to her age and the fact she was a mother (she was told this by a Yale admissions officer). St. George's University is a school that offers opportunity to the non-traditional med student. Perhaps not all that are admitted are of the highest caliber, but these students will be sorted by the USMLE. I applaud SGU for giving opportunity where opportunities are not always available (even if it is not always for altruistic reasons).

Aug. 07 2008 06:32 AM
ali from Vancouver

SGU surely gave me a chance at medical education, when All Other medical schools in Canada wanted a 95 percentile MCAT score and a 4.0 GPA..what do you want? Robots??????
BTW, I had to get 100% student loan for my tuition Mr. REACHgott, its not what you thinking? Go do some research or do something good with your degree rather than taking clerkships from students who should’ve been studying in their own country to start with…

Aug. 07 2008 05:02 AM
Max

(cont)

I can certainly appreciate Dr. Reichgott’s concerns, since medical students in New York should be able to continue their education comfortably. But this isn’t an issue that should be blamed on Caribbean medical schools. Rather, the dissatisfaction should be focused upon the limited number of clerkship spots being made available (in fact, Dr. Reichgott acknowledges that New York medical schools were not filling the available clerkship slots as it is). We are facing a shortage of doctors in America as it is, and we will be doing ourselves a disservice if we continue to try to regulate competent students out of the system.

Aug. 07 2008 04:38 AM
Max

(cont)

The SGU tuition is summarized in cost-per-term, which is where I believe the original misunderstanding occurred. Their first year (Terms 1 and 2) costs a total of $39,100 while their second year (Terms 3 through 6) costs a total of $48,320. If we were to translate this into an average per-year cost, their tuition comes to $43,710. That’s not a very distant price from Albert Einstein’s bill of $42,364.

Certainly, many of students at St. George’s University are there because they were denied admittance in the US. When faced with the dilemma of being rejected from all domestic allopathic schools, pre-medical students have several long-term life decisions to choose from. Many of them, as Dr. Reichgott correctly states, go to medical schools outside the US. Many of them go into graduate school for about a year or two and earn a “Master of Medical Sciences” degree, which is otherwise worthless beyond inflating your GPA for the admissions boards. Many of them also decide to go into osteopathic medicine (which is the type of school that Touro University of Harlem happens to be). Take nothing away from Touro University students, because they are smart and are worthy of practicing in the US. But notice what I’m getting at here: They come from the same population of applicants that SGU students came from. In fact, Touro University was one of three medical schools that accepted me before I chose to go to St. George’s University.

Aug. 07 2008 04:37 AM
Max

This is an interesting conflict, and I can understand the stances of both parties. Both Mr. Modica and Dr. Reichgott have vested interests in their own students filling clerkship spots for the benefit of their respective schools. I feel compelled to comment on this issue, though, because Dr. Reichgott came across as trying to play into instinctual fears of jobs being outsourced (although this situation is nothing of the sort), as well as the fear of unqualified people with fat checkbooks creeping into practice. The short version of what I’m about to write is that Dr. Reichgott is misconstruing the facts in this issue. This is demonstrated well from 19:55-21:25, where Mr. Modica talks about how misleading it is to use data that encompasses all Caribbean schools to disparage a school that individually compares more reasonably to US averages.

The argument that SGU students are affluent rejects of the US medical school application process is deceiving at best. I looked into the tuition rates of both Albert Einstein College of Medicine and St. George’s University, as written on their respective official websites:
http://www.sgu.edu/website/sguwebsite.nsf/financial-services/som-tuition.html
http://www.aecom.yu.edu/admissions/page.aspx?id=3092

Aug. 07 2008 04:36 AM
billy

"But yes, then that would probably mean that more of their tuition money would pay for the clerkships instead of going in their administrators pockets...."

- THAT is the reason for the uproar. The administrators in NY med schools fear losing their profits.

- Emily, show me where Dr. Reichgott got his data from. I'm pretty sure offshore schools have a higher rate of producing primary care docs, simply going by residency slots/matches. I also love how he bashes the osteopathic schools and then flips to be their champion.

SGU student, UChicago undergrad, US citizen, Raised in NY, Paying fully on loans

Aug. 07 2008 04:17 AM
R from Grenada

I found some other written pieces from Dr. R and just came to the conclusion that he is unsuccessfully trying to bring together two different problems, the first being his concern over the loss of the monopoly of US medical schools on rotation spots in NYC and the other being his apparent dislike- which is seemingly poorly informed- of Caribbean medical students as a whole. I would expect more from a man of his position at a reputable US medical school and from a physician as well. The NY Times article was also upsetting in that the writers chose to use words mimicking political speech- "vocational" and "rich" kids- without publishing established statistics and facts like you would expect from such a well known and high impact newspaper. The question presented in the paper should not have gone on to qualify SGU students but rather to give us the facts regarding clerkship spots- how many are available, is the competition TRULY that stiff, are US students being displaced because of others, if so, how many spots would you say are being fought after, etc etc. This article in my opinion and most of the interview left a lot more to be desired by choosing not to provide readers with substantial information and instead making assumptions about offshore students.

Aug. 07 2008 02:38 AM
SGU Pride!!

I am a second year SGU student and I was insulted and disgusted by the comments of Dr.Reichgott and the NY times article regarding SGU students . While these people are talking about our MCAT scores and GPAs, have they ever stopped to realize that those scores reflect our education BEFORE going to medical school. The quality of our medical education is reflected in our USMLE scores of which we score at or above the scores of US grads. Our Step 1 pass rate is right on par with the US schools which should show our medical education is hands down just as good as US schools and even BETTER than some. People should know the facts before they start speaking out to the unknowing public. They are creating even more unnecessary and unsupported stigma for us to deal with in the future. Oh and as for coming from a rich family, can you please tell me how to contact these long lost rich relatives, because I have over $100,000 in student loans SO FAR that I wouldn't mind some help with!!

Aug. 07 2008 01:40 AM
med student

The problem isnt SGU, its the rest of the podunk med schools that are popping up everywhere in the world, with the majority appearing in the Carribean. The real issues are the schools that are accepting the students with the sub-20 mcats who cant produce USMLE pass rates above 50%. A school such as SGU, which has an "indistinguishable" entrance average from that of the US schools should not be penalized for the other Carribean schools which put out huge numbers of underqualified foreign grads. Not only are SGU's GPA, and MCAT scores similar to many US medical schools, but the USMLE pass rates are the same also, with SGU even SURPASSING the US average a few years ago! Remember that there are many countries in the Carribean so to stigmatize SGU based on it being from the Carribean is to say that because countries like poland have many subpar medical schools, the entire European continent must provide subpar medical education. If a school with the same credentials as SGU were in Europe, there would be no issue! The problems that need dealing with are the countless students who come from schools outside of the United States and end up being a hazard to their patients!

Aug. 07 2008 01:30 AM
Eric from GRENADA

I am currently a medical student at St. George's University SOM in Grenada My father graduated from the Albert Einstein medical class of 1978 having transferred there from a medical school in France. It is my understanding that once-upon-a-time Albert Einstein too once relied on foreign transfer students to fulfill an economic need. Is this any different than the need SGU is currently fulfilling in NYC. Secondly-

The harsh/unfortunate reality is that medicine has become a business. In principle, medicine should never be seen as a market commodity, but rather a social good. However, the current healthcare climate in the US has created a shortage of physcians, a load of underfunded hospitals, and poor reimbursement for federal programs that have made medicine a business.

New Yorkers and Dr. Reichgott should embrace this symbiotic relationship between SGU and HHC because it allows those hospitals to continue providing the same excellent standard of care, and aids in alleviating the physican shortage in NY and around the country. Hospitals need funds to remain open and functioning. No Money means fewer functioning hospitals for which NYC med students can rotate, and then what Dr. Reichgott will have a bigger problem than the phathomed threat of SGU and HHC deal.

to correspond directly with a current SGU medical student for facts please feel free to email me at blaeri@sgu.edu

Aug. 07 2008 01:09 AM
MS-II from CA

Clearly, there are many issues needed to be addressed. The acknowledgement of international medical students participating in American medical schools is long due. The publicity received from the recent contract between NY HHC w/ St. George's University is blown out of proportion and misunderstood in all respects.

Educating and exposing the public to these issues is nice and all. Unfortunately, it's hard not to cringe - listening to the fallacies in arguments and irrelevant points brought up throughout the entire meeting. It is obvious that one of the guest speakers was not well prepared. It seems quite blatant that his intention was to defame SGU and perpetuate this false notion of International medical schools.

This interview was badly set up. The debate was all over the place. My concern is for potential misunderstanding from 'man standard,' uninformed public.

Aug. 07 2008 12:59 AM
DC

Sanji... you need to never type on any forum again until you go back to high school. Don't comment without carefully evaluating what you say. You show nothing but tremendous ignorance by saying that we are "not at par with local US trained medical graduates. Also I am sure this contributes to the falling standards of care in NYC hospitals because of this."
First, obviously we are at "par"... we at SGU match the overall statistics for the US board examinations that, as was stated in another comment, are STANDARDIZED. This means we are taking a test with equal difficulty as the US students. A lot of us score better than the MAJORITY of the US students. So please get your facts straight before sharing your ignorant disheveled thoughts. Second, the standards of care in NYC hospitals are NOT falling. Who told you this? Are you an administrator at a hospital? Do you do quality control at hospitals? Your a idiot... I'm done with you.

Aug. 07 2008 12:58 AM
Big John from Midwest NYer

Yo momma!
That's what they should have said in that interview. Einstein's arguments sucked. He wasn't even talking about the Caribbean contract. He was talking about international students and money, but didn't know how to argue his point.

Aug. 07 2008 12:38 AM
OV from Grenada

I have two points: one regarding entrance grades and qualifications; and the other regarding the medical school system as a whole from a student's perspective.

1) I received a 31 Q on my MCAT (81-85 percentile range) and 3.7 gpa. I chose SGU for the same reason many others do: although my grades and extracurriculars made "the cut" there are too few spots to train physicians in Canada and the States; SGU has a great teaching record; and SGU is accredited everywhere (even the UK).

2) I am a Canadian student, at SGU in Grenada, and I face the same problem most US applicants faced: there are not enough positions in medical school to train qualified applicants. At the time of my application, Canadian medical schools' official statement regarding applicant statistics indicated that they had received almost 10,000 applicants whom had met all requirements for acceptance, yet were only had a capacity to train 2,400 students within all the medical school (combined). I was one of the 7500 applicants that was good enough, but unlucky in regards to getting a placement in Canada. That being said, I just completed an elective orthopedics rotation in Toronto and I am entirely confident that my SGU education has prepared me to more than just competitive with regards to my Canadian trained peers when it comes to going through my clerkship years.

Best of luck to everyone, in everything. Peace out.

Aug. 07 2008 12:27 AM
MSII- ST. GEORGE'S UNIVERSITY

As a 2nd year SGU student, I found it particularly disrespectful that Dr. Reschgott repeatedly attempted to lump SGU's statistics in with other "offshore medical schools", ignoring the fact that SGU students’ qualifications clearly stand apart. His initial concern surrounded the validity and potential future conflicts regarding the contract, but, rather than pursue such an argument, he instead chose to attack SGU's integrity by painting an unfounded portrait of the students as rich, spoiled brats that couldn't get into American schools. He clearly did not want to address that many SGU students were med school applicants that were rejected not due to lower MCATs or GPAs but rather due to a lack of available space in US schools. Also, US medical schools discourage out of state applicants through higher tuitions and lower out of state acceptance rates. St. George's provides such students with an alternate path to achieve their medical dreams. SGU students have sacrificed time with their families and the comforts of home to become well-rounded, diligent physicians who, having experienced a world outside of their own, will be better able to relate to their patients. Furthermore, I would invite Dr. Reschgott down to Grenada to experience firsthand the education our professors provide based on their love of teaching rather than the pursuit of research opportunities.

Aug. 07 2008 12:27 AM
Paul from New Jersey

I have family members who went to St. Georges. The school is on par with all medical schools in the country with one difference. They do not have to cater to government 'quotas' of minorities. The declination of this countries health care providers is due in part to admition of these students. Students have their MCAT scores waived due to skin color.

Aug. 07 2008 12:24 AM
Brian from Grenada

I would also like to dispel the assumption that SGU students are wealthy just because of the higher cost of medical education at SGU. Many of us including myself are loaning money for the entire program.
I spent 3 years on the waitlist in US schools being just a few spots away from admission. I am sure many students share similar stories. There is no doubt in my mind that SGU students are, as Chancellor Modica phrased it, "indistinguishable" from US students. We should not be grouped with other Caribbean schools when making comparisons. Our UG GPAs and MCATs are certainly competitive with those from US schools. Our board scores rival those from US schools as SGU students match in highly competitive residencies. This may be why, as Dr. Reichgott stated, that only 5% of SGU graduates doing clerkships in NY continue on to primary care. If we have the scores and experience to apply for competitive residencies, we are going to do it.
Let’s not forget that SGU students have managed to succeed with a few additional challenges. We have all put our lives on hold and packed them tightly into two suitcases which inevitably get lost in transit. We arrive here not knowing anything or anyone, yet we are determined to transform our dreams of becoming physicians into realities. Our ability to achieve in these circumstances can speak volumes about our ability to deliver healthcare. Our positions in NY are deserved and not simply "purchased" as a way to displace US students.

Aug. 07 2008 12:09 AM
AJ from Westchester

Simply put, a student from SGU who scores HIGHER on the USMLE Step 1 and/or 2 is MORE QUALIFIED than a medical student in an American school.

The USMLE tests knowledge learned in the first 2 years of medical school, and so there is no justification in saying that an SGU student is less competent, especially if he or she scores equally or higher on this STANDARDIZED test.

Think about it... what is everyone complaining about? SGU students work hard, away from friends and family, against all odds, and still get Orthopedic Surgery and Radiation Oncology residencies in top programs. Good luck to everyone who busts their a**, and **** all the haters.

Aug. 07 2008 12:06 AM
Bob from NY

there is no shortage of room for students. its all smoke and mirrors and fear that sgu students are equals in the eyes of some people. and its St. George'S University. S!

Aug. 06 2008 11:53 PM
Jon from brooklyn

there is no way our tuition is only '40 grand a year.' i want my money back. there is no way we are subpar to albert einstein students. our students pass state board exams like every other doctor who wants to be able to practice here...makes this argument null and void. stop talking about the differences of that. it is your own ingorance. one fourth of the US doctors are from outside the US. you cant and wont change that. thre are not enough spots and schools to even fill the NYC area for doctors so there is a need for students like us. dont compare us to the other 50 caribbean schools out there or other countries for that matter. sounded like modica did a great job and Michael J. Reichgott, M.D., Ph.D. needs to get off his high LCME accredited pedestal. we dont take spots from your school (or bellevue for that matter). never have. and we dont care if we ever will. there are dozens of hospitals in NYC we can go to. NJ. California. ETC. GIVE ME A BREAK. do something more productive with your time. OH AND IM NOT RICH YOU IGNORANT PRICK. I HAVE MORE DEBT THAN YOUR OVERPRICED SALARY.

Aug. 06 2008 11:48 PM
A from Grenada

sgu student, Dr. Reichgott clearly tries to imply that the statistics he dug up on offshore med school matriculants (MCAT under 20 and GPA under 3.0) applied to SGU. That simply isn't true. The quality of SGU students is clearly questioned by at least some of these deans. Check out the NYT article on this issue and listen again as Dr. Reichgott tries to get his shot in somewhere in the middle of the interview.

Aug. 06 2008 11:39 PM
L

Since when is $40,000 tuition cheap anyway? BC that's what the average US med school costs. Whether US or foreign med school, med school is expensive. PERIOD.

And what is the point of this NY times article? What is the issue? Am I suppose to feel bad for med students at NYU and Einstein? But yes, then that would probably mean that more of their tuition money would pay for the clerkships instead of going in their administrators pockets....

Aug. 06 2008 11:32 PM
DH from Queens

I agree with Kris about the US med students' feeling about HHC Hospitals.

These slots should go to SGU students who can truly appreciate the challenges of working with mostly FMG resident physicians and indigent patients.

This fuss may be generated by the concern for North Shore Hospital system being the partner of the future Hofstra University med school (Long Island). North Shore currently have med students from NYU and AECOM rotating there (Manhasset and LIJ). These slots may be lost to Hofstra in the future.

Aug. 06 2008 11:31 PM
sgu student

Reichgott has 1 valid point.. the argument was never about the caliber of education, nor is it about who is taking who's spots. The issue he has is demand for clerkship spots goes up and supply stays the same, cost for those spots goes up. When cost for the spots goes up, tuition has to go up to make up for it - which means less doctors going into primary care (because it pays less) since they have more debt.

That is true.. but that isn't SGU's fault. Perhaps there needs to be an expansion of clerkship spots? Hospitals need to open their doors to students. Previously exclusive private hospitals in suburbs as well as exclusive university hospitals (harvard, etc.) need to open their doors to outside students.

Aug. 06 2008 11:04 PM
Kristin

I find it insulting that anyone would lump all of our students (SGU) into a "Rich" category. Many of my colleagues have to take loans out for their schooling as do I. In fact, I have been working ever since I was a teen because I come from a lower-middle class background and I continue to work during school breaks if needed. Also, I would have been a competitive candidate applying to US medical schools, however SGU was my number one choice because hands-down I prefer the program offered by SGU. That was the bottom line for me when I considered where to apply and I chose not to apply to American schools. Thus, it is not necessarily true that students apply to SGU only after having attempted to gain acceptance at a US medical school.

Aug. 06 2008 10:56 PM
RB from Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NYC

Anytime the Albert Einstein professor would like to sit down with some of the medical students that are from SGU in their 3rd years right now and find out how it really is we are interested. I think his eyes and ears might be opened up. His shear arrogance to the student body of SGU and our academic achievements as compared to even his own Albert Einstein students will compel even him.

In my opinion his comments are disrespectful and honestly uncalled for!!

Coney Island hospital Medical Student year 3
ST. GEORGE'S UNIVERSITY

Aug. 06 2008 10:43 PM
VK

For many of us that have chosen to go to SGU, and I use the word chosen for a reason, being a doctor has been a dream. Many of us applied multiple times to US medical school and were wait-listed, which in the eyes of many medical schools is you make the cut, however we want to see if we can get someone else to bump up stats more. I even asked after being rejected what was a red flag in my application that I could fix. One university told me to my face, "I don't know what to tell you. You meet all of our qualifications." We all felt like we hit a brick wall at the end of being rejected after being given hope. As, Randy Pausch said, "Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things." I can say with lots of pride that SGU was my way to conquer this brick wall. The education that I am getting is definitely at par with many US medical schools. And because of the adversity that we have had to face all of us are going to be better doctors because being a doctor is all that we can ever see ourselves doing. It is our passion and our way to give back.

Aug. 06 2008 10:39 PM
kris

Who would believe this is the same NYT which celebrated SGUSOM's USMLE pass rate some years back. The NYT has a history of praising and then attacking instituions of higher education and it's usually related to whether or not that institution is advertising with them. I recall they did the same thing to Adelphi University years back.

This issue is ridiculous. As a former HHC assoiciate, I can tell you that these students do NOT take slots away from US students. Most US students hate working in HHC hospitals.

The deans of AECOM and NYU are voicing concerns predicated on a slippery slope argument. However, like Modica said SGUSOM has existed for 30 years and there have been no such problem.

If the US needs foreign trained physicians (which nooone is arguing we don't) mainly to serve the underserved (which US students tend to shy away from) then shouldn't we prefer that a portion of these graduates have US training? THe deans of NYU and AECOM would prefer that foreign trained physicians who serve the poor and rural areas of this country, never have any prior US training. That makes great public health sense. These people don't care about public health, they only care about their egos.

Aug. 06 2008 10:27 PM
Matt from Manhattan

I don't really know that much about foreign medical schools. I just want to make sure that the doctor that will be taking care of me is qualified and not going to kill me. I think that the most important thing is that these students are qualified. From what I have read students from SGU do relatively well on their US board exams. At the end of the day, I want the student with the best scores to get the best jobs. Isn't that the fair thing?

Aug. 06 2008 10:21 PM
Kristi

70% of the students at SGU are US citizens who will go back to the US to practice medicine. The public should not only want, but demand, that we be trained in good US hospitals. B/c until the US schools can meet the demand of its citizens,you are doing the city a disservice by objecting to SGU students being trained at your hospitals,regardless of your point or motivation.

Aug. 06 2008 09:53 PM
Kristi

I find it presumptuous that anyone would generalize the affluence of St.George's students and apply that inaccuracy to the likelihood of them practicing in underserved areas in NY.

I have a masters degree in public heath with an emphasis in comm. health & vulnerable populations; I am also NOT rich. I have made a huge financial sacrifice moving to Grenada for my education. And while it may be true that Albert Einstein’s tuition will increase; I am not sympathetic. People should go into medicine for the right reasons. Yes, the price of medical education is ridiculous; but I am in medical school b/c I have a genuine desire to help keep people well and treat those who become ill. If students are discouraged from becoming a doctor solely based on the price of the education maybe medicine isn't their dream. B/c for those of us whose dream it is, we have moved to another country, we’ll face stigma b/c we’re foreign medical grads, and we’ll be paying back our loans for a very long time. Many of us are borrowing more loan money than most people borrow for their home mortgage. BUT,we're doing it anyway!

Aug. 06 2008 09:53 PM
Asher from Grenada

It is true that 99-100% of the students at virtually all Caribbean schools could not get into US schools. However, many of us were waitlisted in the US and would likely be competitive for the new spots.

The offshore route is for those of us willing to fight for a second chance. We are hard workers and academically qualified, as evidenced by the placements our students achieve after graduation. I understand Dr. Reichgott's concern regarding available clerkship spots, however I am not aware that this is currently a major concern of US schools. It sounds to me that the main problem is the amount of money SGU is paying and the precedent that sets. That is a valid argument however Dr. Reichgott's claims regarding the wealth and academic quality of SGU physicians is way off and frankly shows an ignorance of the facts.

Aug. 06 2008 09:23 PM
Asher from Grenada

I've just started my 2nd year at St. George's University School of Medicine (SGU). Dr. Reichgott's claim that SGU students are basically rich kids with MCAT scores under 20 is patently false. I am a 30 year old husband and father of one and I am borrowing my entire tuition and all of our living expenses. The total comes to a sometimes-frightening total of ~280k; roughly $160k for 4 years of tuition and 120k for 4 years living expenses.

Secondly, here is a link for the school-reported entrance statistics of the recent classes

http://www.sgu.edu/website/sguwebsite.nsf/about-sgu/SOM-student-bodypg2.html#18

please note the MCAT avg score (27) and GPA (3.3 UG).

Aug. 06 2008 09:23 PM
SGU Student in HHC Hospital

I am an SGU student doing my clerkships at an HHC Hospital. As far as our students being wealthy, I can personally attest to that being myth rather than fact. We are eligible to receive US Financial Aid and the majority of the people I know are receiving loans for the full tuition amount. The diversity of experience and ethnicity and birth place, in addition to English as a first language, makes our students great resources to the diverse patients of HHC, NY area, and US healthcare. We rotate with US medical students and can stand toe to toe in rounds and learn from each other which is a great opportunity for both sides. Most of the residents I train under are from foreign medical schools, for example: India, China, Africa, and Latin America. Many patients can't understand them which can cause serious consequences when your health is on the line! I and many of my classmates could have transferred to a US school with our top tier board scores, but I personally wanted to give credit to the school that took me when others told me to wait 3 years. I chose to be a doctor to help ease health disparity locally and globally, so while I wish tuition was lower, I know my tuition dollars are going toward scholarships for 3rd world future physicians and toward underfunded community hospitals that provide for many of the underserved, so at the end of the day I'm ok with my tuition.

Aug. 06 2008 08:54 PM
Deepak Sharma

Proud to be SGU student.

Aug. 06 2008 07:59 PM
Deepak

Proud to be SGU student....

Aug. 06 2008 07:58 PM
L

Some US medical schools have contracts that don't allow simultaneously clerkships with off-shore students. I know NY medical college does this...

Aug. 06 2008 07:47 PM
RM from NJ

Yes Sofi, I too was annoyed by the comments by many about how "rich" students that study in the Caribbeam are. It is wrong to characterize SGU students as "rich" because those of us that are actually students there can attest to the fact that this is simply not true. There are expensive schools in the US as well and I don't think it'd be fair to say that only rich kids go there. The truth with medical schools is that you go wherever you can get in and hope that you can cover the costs and loan payments later because as Sofi said, the ultimate dream and goal is to become a good doctor. Look in the MSAR of US medical schools and you will see that SGU does not charge more in tuition than ALL other medical schools. The price of medical education in the US varies from school to school there are many schools at or above the price to attend SGU. Medical schools also significantly increase the cost for out-of-state students, sometimes DOUBLING the cost for out of state residents. Here is a link showing US tuition rates from the 2007-2008 school year (which have likely increased since): http://services.aamc.org/tsfreports/select.cfm?year_of_study=2008

Aug. 06 2008 07:42 PM
C

If SGU students aren't competing with US students for clincal clerkship spots, then why the big fuss? Also, I think that it is a very valid point that these hospital NEED FUNDING, can you blame them? I don't know why NY med schools are threatened, off-shore students already have the burden of being foreign med students and on top of it they have to pay more for these spots. Maybe if the US med schools made their class size larger, these hospitals would need off shore school to find funding. Then again, if US schools expanded their class size, maybe the off-shore students would be US med students and not foreign med students.

Aug. 06 2008 07:39 PM
RM from NJ

It is true that students generally look to attend medical school outside of the US if they do not receive an acceptance to a US medical school. But the reasons for not receiving acceptance/staying in the US are not always the same. Some may have lower grades or MCAT scores but many with good grades and scores still just don't get into schools in the US. In 2006, 44% of medical school applicants matriculated in US medical schools. That means many bright students with good grades are still not given the chance to study medicine in the US, simply because there are just not enough spots available, and this can push students to look elsewhere for such education. Yes, new medical schools are slated to open in the next decade, but that does not mean we have those spots available NOW. They will not be available right away but doctors are always needed.

Aug. 06 2008 07:33 PM
Sofi

It does not take brains to become doctor, it takes hard work, and that is what SGU students are known for. Because of that, I think we deserve the spots. And the truth is that we do not come with cash and we are not rich as the gentlemen on the radio said ( my family actually came to US as refugees so if I am rich I would like to know where my money is), we are just willing to pay as much money as necessary because our dream of becoming a doctor is not any less worth then the dream of American students. We receive good education which shows on our Step 1 scores. My friend just called today to tell me he got a 246. I think we deserve the spots!!!

Aug. 06 2008 06:57 PM
J from nyc

If the St. George's students can perform as well as it appears they have been, they have every right to be in New York City.

Dr. Reichgott provided very little evidence to show that this is, in fact, a bad thing.

Aug. 06 2008 06:48 PM
Jason from bronx

my PCP is from there and two of my family members graduated from there. St. george's university is a terrific medical program with extremely well qualified physicians and are helping the need to close the gap in access to health care for US citizens here.

Aug. 06 2008 06:39 PM
Judy Wessler from Manhattan

The real issue is who gets to keep the money in medical education - and the medical schools want to keep it even though the public hospitals provide the supervision and everything else during the clerkship. Why shouldn't the public hospitals be reimbursed for taken students? The students are paying tuition - that money should be shared with the hospital. There is too much emphasis on research in the city's medical schools - sometimes at the expense of patient care and teaching. This has been an unequal playing field in the past and now is getting somewhat more level. So naturally the big guys (the medical schools and academic teaching hospitals) are going to cry and yell - they might have to give up a little bit of control and get off some of the money they have.

Aug. 06 2008 06:07 PM
Elaine from New Jersey

The program just recently came online, so I was able to listen to it. Dr. Modica from Grenada was spinning tales when he said that there was never an American student displaced from a spot in NYC or the area for a St. George's student. That is totally false.

In NJ, where I work (closer to Manhattan than some parts of Queens or B'lyn), hospitals are canceling contracts with US schools who pay $300 or $400 for a one month rotation or $500 for a six-week rotation because SGU is paying $1200-$1600 for a 4 week rotation. In fact, they have been doing this for a couple years.

SGU is actively pursuing these spots. From their students' perspective they are doing a good job of helping them get US clerkships at good hospitals. From the perspective of the US schools, SGU's actions have been predatory. By that I mean they are actively trying to displace American students in US schools from the clerkship spots they currently have. I didn't just hear this. As clerkship and residency faculty, I know this first hand.

Our residents who are SGU grads come to us wanting fellowships. They go into primary care if they can't get a fellowship. For most, that is not their first career choice. If they are non-US citizens/residents they either go home or -if they want to stay in the US- go to the rural south (underserved program) for a period of time to get their green card. Dr. Modica's claim about the majority of them wanting primary care has not been our experience.

Aug. 06 2008 03:00 PM
Elaine from New Jersey

The foreign medical schools have varying quality. St. George's was a problem in the past, but is now graduating qualified professionals. Other Caribbean schools are just so-so.

The first two years are theory (preparation); the last two years of med school are the practical years (clerkships). If there is 'okay' preparation, but an intellectually ambitious student and a great clinical rotation, the student will do well.

The real problem is what the off-shore schools are willing to pay. They charge a fortune in tuition and have minimal overhead (as compared to the US schools - both allopathic and osteopathic), therefore, they can afford to pay handsomely for their clerkships. Their weekly stipend is usually equal to (or close to) what the US schools pay for a month or even six-week rotation. The American schools cannot compete.

The hospitals are in such financial crisis that the CFO of the hospital is dictating (or greatly influencing) med education decisions.

Aug. 06 2008 01:20 PM
eva

The MCAT is a great test... for engineers. I don't think it is a good indicator of which students will make the best and most conscientious doctors.

Aug. 06 2008 12:49 PM
DH from Queens

The U.S. Medical Licensing Examinations will help exclude the unqualified physician (US grads and non US grads).

The care of the patient is reflective on the attending physician so the medical student who is learning from the patient will have little medical impact. Students, in my opinion, can have great impact psychologically, because they can spend time with the patients.

The perceived lowering standards at HHC is not new. The medical students at HHC hospitals act as transporters, phlebotomists, etc. in addition to their academic responsibilities. I welcome anyone to disagree. Therefore, I think that foreign medical students, who is motivated to do more to learn, will be a good match for HHC.

Aug. 06 2008 11:57 AM
Ken from Soho

There were references made to medical schools as either allopathic or osteopathic. This is an illogical type of distinction, as both M.D's and D.O.'s dispense allopathic drugs. The term "allopathic" is properly used in comparison with homeopathic, not osteopathic. These as varieties of drug therapy, not fields of medicine.

Aug. 06 2008 11:53 AM
Mike from New York- brooklyn

I am from the class of 2006 SGU, and now a third year resident at a prominent University program in Brooklyn. I will going on to be the Chief next year, in a succession of many SGU grad chiefs at this program. I believe the education I received at SGU has made me stand out among my peers both FMG and AMG. THe agreement between SGU and HHC for clinical rotations will only enhance the patient care at these respective hospitals and is evidence of the quality of our students. Dr. Reichgott is right about his off shore MCAT scores, but SGU is one of approximately 22(in the Caribbean and pacific, not including European and Indian) and is not reflective of SGU entering students. And I don;t understand the argument that took place. Why does one care about the Entering Student, Patients will only care about the Physician In front of them and their Accreditations and licensing, and how they treat them both medically and mentally. Before passing judgement on a student from St. George's, or any doctor, you might want to get to consider that she may be the Doctor that saves your life...... who cares where he came from.

Aug. 06 2008 11:51 AM
eva

I feel that the larger point is being missed in the dissection of where someone attended medical school. Many of the "offshore" medical schools and schools in Mexico are not only accredited, they are very good schools. Students who did not get the top grades may turn out to be BETTER doctors, because they are better able to listen to patients. (and that's not a knock on the students at the best schools here.)
But we're so busy expecting doctors to be gods, that we forget that the primary healthcare provider is... us. That is, the hyper-intelligent, specialized U.S. medical doctor can do a lot more for you ONCE YOU GET SICK provided you have the money and he isn't overburdened. But our focus on specialization and "excellence" in doctors is avoiding the elephant in the room, which is that they can't help you that much once you get sick, and an enormous amount of illness and disease in the US is actually preventable through the actions of the patient.

Aug. 06 2008 11:44 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

My ex went to St. Georges, and she's a brilliant emergency doc.

Aug. 06 2008 11:40 AM
emily from nyc

The discussion about off shore students going into primary care was dropped. Dr. Reichgott's comments that the presence of off shore medical students does not add diversity or primary care physicians is important. He had data. Where is Charles Modica's data?

Aug. 06 2008 11:36 AM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

CL, can you briefly elaborate on that for those of us not in that biz?

Aug. 06 2008 11:35 AM
CL from New York

The representative from St. George's is an effective pitchman, but anyone who sees the American med school experience from inside knows his arguments are deceptive.

Aug. 06 2008 11:32 AM
Sue from Somerset, NJ

what about the questions of these schools existing because of entrance costs and requirements in the US medical schools and affording the cost of medical schools?

Why are there so many foreign medical graduates working as doctors in the US?

Aug. 06 2008 11:31 AM
Sanji from NJ

The seats in these Carribean schools are baught and quality of students are not at par with local US trained medical graduates. Also I am sure this contributes to the falling standards of care in NYC hospitals because of this.

Aug. 06 2008 11:22 AM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

Not sure if it is the case but I remember years ago that students went to medical schools off shore because they couldn't afford to go in the states or their grades were not good enough to get into US schools, any truth to that?

Aug. 06 2008 11:21 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

C'mon smart people....The word is "accrediTation."

Aug. 06 2008 11:17 AM
jill from new york

Is the training at off shore schools at the same level as American Medical schools?

Aug. 06 2008 11:13 AM
norman from nyc

Would there be anything wrong with giving clerkship slots to students from England or Ireland?

Aug. 06 2008 11:11 AM
O from Forest Hills

Is the $443 per week per student rate?

Aug. 06 2008 11:09 AM

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