Newswise — NEWARK, N.J. – The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, announced today that they are negotiating a partnership agreement under which UMDNJ would actively collaborate in the education and training of third- and fourth-year St. George’s medical students in rotations at New Jersey hospitals. UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School will assume the lead role for the University in developing and executing this agreement.

St. George’s, whose diverse student body includes American students, currently has affiliation agreements with approximately 15 hospitals throughout New Jersey where approximately 350 third- and fourth-year students are enrolled in clinical training rotations. Following graduation, students generally move into hospital residency programs to begin their careers as physicians, and many apply for residencies at New Jersey hospitals. The agreement will specify the manner in which UMDNJ will enhance students’ preparation for those residencies.

It is anticipated that the agreement will be completed within the next several weeks.

The agreement is expected to call for the creation of an Affiliation Oversight Committee, which will be responsible for the planning efforts and strategic priorities of UMDNJ, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and St. George’s University. The Affiliation Oversight Committee would report both to Robert L. Johnson, M.D., dean of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, and Stephen Weitzman, M.D., dean of St. George’s School of Medicine.

Dean Johnson commented, “The projected significant shortage of physicians has become a major concern for the New Jersey healthcare community. With this agreement, we will draw upon our abilities as educators to positively address the physician supply by helping the state produce a greater number of well-qualified physicians.”

Charles R. Modica, J.D., chancellor of St. George’s University, stated, “St. George's is privileged to be a partner with UMDNJ and New Jersey Medical School so that our shared goals and objectives can be pursued to expand and further diversify the physician workforce in New Jersey.

“We at St. George's are committed to expanding and even further improving the quality of our undergraduate and post-graduate training,” he added. “This collaboration with UMDNJ and New Jersey Medical School will enable us both to share our experience and our expertise to better serve the people of New Jersey by providing medical graduates who are truly prepared to practice in the 21st century."

St. George’s University School of Medicine, established in 1977, is located in Grenada, West Indies. Presently, more than 1,000 graduates are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey. There are 250 St. George's graduates in residency programs in New Jersey including 40 at UMDNJ–The University Hospital.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health.