The Runner | KPU launches program for direct admission into medical school for health science students
Last month, Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced its new partnership with St. George’s University. It aims to provide direct admission for health science students who intend to proceed in medicine or veterinary medicine in the future.
The 4+4 program was named based on the different pathways a student can take to achieve a medical or veterinary degree.
After the completion of four years of undergraduate work at KPU, qualified students will be eligible to complete their first two years in Grenada, or complete the first year in Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, and the second year in Grenada. Then, the final two years in clinical rotations in SGU-affiliated hospitals throughout Grenada, the United States, the UK, or Canada.
For veterinary medicine, eligible students will spend the first three years in Grenada and the final year of clinical training in Grenada, U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, or Australia.
“SGU is a very reputable institution, and this was an opportunity to help students make the dream of becoming a physician or a vet a reality,” says Carole St. Laurent, associate vice president of KPU International.
“Of all non-Canadian medical schools, this sounds to me like a very good option, if not the best, because of their placement rate back in North America based on their statistics,” says Jane Hobson, the current department chair of health science at KPU.
The program will give potential students the benefits of learning in a multicultural environment with advanced technological facilities.
“Medical schools are quite competitive, and this is to give KPU students an advantage of not having to go through rigid application processes in medical schools in Canada,” says St. Laurent.
She says there is a full transfer of credentials to SGU as long as the student completes a bachelor’s degree at KPU. It also provides “peace of mind” for students who would not be able to go to a U.S. or Canada-based medical school.
“They take a holistic view and not solely GPA-based. They want to know about your experiences, volunteer work, and personal self on deciding who can be accepted,” says Cayley Velazquez, incoming chair of the health science program at KPU.
Students may be eligible for direct admission to SGU and a $10,000 scholarship within the four years. Other scholarships, bursaries, and financial aid from SGU can be added on top of it.
“If I were a health student, I would go for it because I can have some kind of assurance. And if I am a top student, then I can have a really good shot at a scholarship,” says Hobson.
“We help [students] along the way. We have that point of contact [where] you have the support of staff at KPU to help with your application process and the connection with SGU,” says St. Laurent.
“As long as you apply any time in your first three years during your program at KPU,” she adds. This gives a “provisional acceptance” from SGU, and they hold a spot for potential students.
“By the time you are in your fourth year and still meet the criteria, then you got that spot sort of guaranteed,” Velazquez says.
Jaskaran Bath, a health science student at KPU, says that the program “gives [students] an easier way to further their studies when they know exactly what they need and how they can get to their goal.”
“Not a lot of students actually receive scholarships when they start at university, and it is a good thing not to think [so much] about financial problems when they are studying,” says Angelica Fuentes, a health science student at KPU.