21st February 2023

In today’s world, it is the responsibility of educational institutions to prepare their graduates for the realities of the workplace – and universities that are equipped to provide a multinational education for their students play an essential role in this.

International partnerships connect educational institutions on a worldwide scale. Establishing institutional-to-institution partnerships can help establish and enhance an aspiring doctor’s educational journey and professional opportunities.

For example, since 2007, St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGU) and Northumbria University (NU) in Newcastle upon Tyne have collaborated to provide students with the opportunity to start their journey to becoming a doctor in the UK. This allows them to exchange ideas with fellow students from different places and build maturity through living in multiple foreign countries. This can encourage flexibility and positive reactions to unexpected outcomes – a regular occurrence in the life of a doctor. Exposure to multiple international education systems can also help to develop the right attitude to approach the practice of Medicine.

How Does The St. George’s University School Of Medicine/Northumbria University Partnership Work?

Due to the collaboration between St. George’s University and Northumbria University, students may enrol in a four-year Medical Degree program or a five- or six-year MD pathway. The pathways build on an existing academic background in science with entry-level medical degree coursework in anatomy, physiology and other foundational sciences, whilst the MD Program is designed to assist students develop knowledge and clinical skills while also giving them the opportunity complete clinical rotations across healthcare systems in both the UK and the US.

Over 1,700 SGU students have earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and have completed up to 50% of their degree in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Students on the UK pathway experience small group discussions designed for problem-based learning with preparation for standardised exams such as the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) and UK Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA). Having this focus on UK-based examinations, whilst studying and living in the same country, helps to add an additional level of clarity to the curriculum.

Students also have the privilege of spending one academic year at SGU’s modern campus in Grenada, in the Caribbean. This complements their global educational paradigm by allowing students to learn and practise Medicine in a variety of settings.


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* As the Medical School graduating the largest number of students annually, SGU places the largest number of graduates into residency programs each year, based on internal SGU graduate and residency placement data as of July 2022.

Is The Curriculum The Same In Both Locations?

Lectures, labs, textbooks and exams follow the same evidence based, clinically integrated curriculum to ensure students continue to experience a rewarding education with global impact, no matter their location.

In addition to academic learning, in the final two years of the four-year MD program, clinical training helps students be more responsible, accountable and compassionate. At SGU, we have students completing their rotations in over 75 affiliated hospitals and health centres in the US and UK.

What Are the Graduate Prospects?

Exposure to multiple healthcare systems can help establish and enhance an aspiring doctor’s educational journey and professional opportunities. This approach allows students to develop maturity through living in multiple foreign countries, and students can learn to be more flexible and react positively to unexpected outcomes.

A doctor’s job is not only to treat patients, but also to help make society a better place by understanding diversity and inclusion. St. George’s University encourages students to pursue this goal throughout their careers. This attitude allows students to be better students, and doctors to be better doctors as a result. The evidence speaks for itself. According to FSMB physician licensure data for 2021, St. George’s University is the leading source of physicians licensed in the US, producing more than any other Medical School in the world.

The objective of the SGU/NU MD program and pathways is to enhance and strengthen a graduate’s profile so they can apply for US or UK residency. The partnership was formed to assist students in becoming well-rounded clinicians, enhancing their educational journey, and expanding employment opportunities.


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