St. George’s University Students sue school over accreditation

Current and former St. George’s University students are suing their school over allegations that it misled them regarding the school’s ability to award them a worthwhile degree that can help them land gainful employment. Many current and former SGU students have put their lives on hold due to St. George’s University’s losing its accreditation, failing to inform SGU students that the school had lost its status as a respected educator of future healthcare professionals, and falsely advertising the students’ chances of finding future employment with an SGU degree.

The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) is a legally recognized organization able to certify an institution as worthy of educating those who seek to become licensed healthcare professionals. It was established in 2003 to determine and prescribe standards, and to accredit programs educating medical, dental, veterinary and other future (hopeful) health professionals.

Without CAAM-HP accreditation, students who complete their studies may not be allowed to take national board exams or apply for residencies. Further, it is uncertain whether, in the future, United States and Canadian institutions will recognize medical degrees earned at SGU.

St. George’s University. loses Certification Status

Because St. George’s University recently lost its CAAM-HP certification status, those who recently graduated from the school have been unable to work in the chosen profession for which they were educated.

In short, a student who recently earned a medical degree from St. George’s is unable to attain gainful employment as a health care professional.

SGU Graduates Unmatched

St George’s University Grenada (SGU) is one of the largest for-profit medical schools in the world. It enrolls roughly 1,500 students every year. Its website has boasted promising results — such as a 95% medical residency placement rate for eligible 2020 US graduates, as well as a 94% first-time pass rate on 2019 USMLE Step 1 tests. However, the reality has not been what students have been sold.

Year after year, many SGU students have been unable to match to a residency program or qualify for licensing exams. These students, many of whom have taken on a massive financial burden in order to achieve the dream of becoming a doctor, are often left with crushing debt and little-to-no chance of establishing a successful medical career.

Unbeknownst to its past and present students, SGU withdrew from its accrediting body, CAAM-HP, on January 5, 2021. That action will likely make it even more difficult for SGU students to become practicing physicians.

St. George’s University has advertised a job- or residency-acceptance rate at well over 90 percent; however, Caribbean medical schools like SGU have matched only 70 percent of their recent graduates.

  • In 2019, 93% of US allopathic med school grads matched to a residency program, while only 70% of Caribbean med school grads matched.
  • Students who do not match struggle to find employment that allows them to pay off their medical school debts, which are not dischargeable, even in bankruptcy.
  • In July 2019, CAAM-HP accorded SGU Accreditation on Probation, which status was suspended pending a hearing of the SGU’s appeal. SGU’s status of Accredited with Conditions remained in effect while the School was appealing CAAM-HP’s determination on its accreditation in respect of the period 2019-2022.
  • In January 2021, SGU voluntarily exercised its right to withdraw its membership from CAAM-HP effective as of January 5, 2021, prior to any appeal hearing. The School’s accreditation status remained Accredited with conditions until that date and the July 2019 determination of Accredited on Probation became effective as of the date of withdrawal.