Several doctors practicing in New Jersey earned their medical degrees abroad at St. George’s University on the island of Grenada, in the West Indies. Now, their children are following in their footsteps as the next wave of physicians to be educated at the international school.
Founded in 1977, SGU was the first private medical school in the Caribbean. Today, it is the leader in first-time scores on the U. S. Licensing Examinations.
“There are some fine medical schools outside of the country,” said Paul Verona Sr., a graduate of SGU’s historical Charter Class of 1981. “SGU has really flourished and is now probably one of the best. If you have to go outside of the country, I think St. George’s is probably the best school in the world to go to. It has a very good reputation. The school has developed and the buildings are gorgeous. It’s very competitive out there as well.”
Verona worked in East Orange General Hospital and Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus. He is now in private practice in Milburn doing radiology. His son, Paul Verona Jr., currently is studying medicine at SGU.
“It makes me feel very old,” Verona said. “It seems like just yesterday I was down there as a student and now my son is there. I’m very proud of him because it’s a difficult school to get into. I think you get a very well-rounded education, so I’m very happy for my son. It’s a very healthy lifestyle down there and a nice environment to study medicine. I think when he makes it through and comes back here he will be very prepared to practice medicine in the 21st century.”
Verona Jr., 27, is enjoying his time at SGU so far, although he had not initially planned to go into the medical field.
“I actually started out working towards my Ph.D. in clinical anatomy (at St. George’s) and after working with patients realized that I belonged in the medical field interacting with people,” he said. “I never visited Grenada prior, but I had heard wonderful things from my father and others, and fell in love with the school on my first visit. At the moment I have an added interest in pediatric neurology. I would love to work with my father. Even though we will most likely be in different fields I will still utilize his expertise in radiology.”
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