FALL 2019 – SUMMER 2020 ACADEMIC YEAR
Message from CEO’s Office……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… v
Emergency Contact Numbers……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. vii
“The mission of the University is to create and nurture a diverse student body committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease through innovative research and health care delivery.”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
Dr. Melissa Varswyk CEO and President
Georgetown American University
I would like to take this time to welcome you all to a new and exciting year at Georgetown American University. The mission of the University is to create and nurture a diverse student body committed to
leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease through innovative research and healthcare delivery.
At GAU we are not only focused on equipping students with the quality education to become successful health professionals, but we also provide the necessary tools that would mold you into becoming humanitarians and lifelong learners. The experience you will gain at GAU would stretch your imagination undoubtedly beyond its limits, to bring out your best qualities as you step into a career of exciting possibilities.
This handbook is a tool to help you navigate through the GAU experience. I urge you to pay close attention to the Student Code of Conduct. It serves as a reminders of the qualities that we, as a community expect every GAU student to
exhibit. Learning is more than what you experience in the classroom. Not only am I expecting you to perform at your highest level academically, but I also expecting you to have a personal commitment to your holistic development.
I have a personal commitment to make Georgetown American University a high-quality University. My commitment along with yours will lead us to great success, and I look forward to that, and so should you.
Welcome to Georgetown American University!
Dr. Melissa Varswyk, M.D
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Emergency hotline: 911
GAU Contact Number (08:00 – 14:30hrs): + 592 226 1275
GAU Contact Number (evenings and holidays): +592 231 6578
Emergency hotline: 911
GAU contact number Ga.: +1 404 348 4891
GAU contact number Fl.: +1 954 328 3511
GAU contact number Ma. +1 240 938 0893
GEORGETOWN AMERICAN UNVESITY
Hippocratic Oath (Modern version)
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Department and Posit
Management and Staff
592 226 1375
592 226 3858
Student Affairs Office
Clinical Sciences (USA) – Dr. Isis Anderson
Clinical Sciences (Guyana) – Dr. Higgins
Diversity and Equality Committee: Ms.
592 226 1375
Occupational, Safety and Health Committee:
Dr. Isioma Oside
Student Honor Council
– ST Dr. Bancroft
– St. Dr. Alfred
GAU Student National Medical Association
GAU Alumni Association President – Hayaat M. Amara, MD
The student handbook serves to provide the basic guidance you may need to help you to make the most of the opportunities at Georgetown American University. This handbook must be used for a full understanding of the policies and procedures governing the institution and the services that are provided to make your experience at GAU productive and meaningful.
“The mission of the University is to create and nurture a diverse student body committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease through innovative research and health care delivery.”
The vision of the GAU is to:
Our Core Values are:
Our emergency notification system can be accessed by signing into our students’ portal online. Important notices will automatically be forwarded to students official university’s email (email@example.com) and if urgent, to email, social media and WhatsApp groups. Students are advised to ensure that they update both their email and cell phone number on their student portal account to ensure they receive important notifications sent by the university.
Commencing Fall 2019, all classes/sessions at GAU will begin with a safety moment. We have updated our safety policy to ensure all stakeholders at GAU are aware of all procedures in place to ensure their safety at the University.
Please take a few minutes to read through the University’s OSH Policy that will be emailed to you during the first week of the school term and is also made available to students through the various student groups and social media platform.
GAUSOM and its affiliated hospitals and clinics are firmly committed to fostering a culture of mutual respect and trust. It is the strong and consistent policy of GAUSOM to treat all members of our community with respect, to provide an education conducive to the personal and professional development of each individual and is committed to maintaining an academic environment free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation and any other legally protected classes in the relevant jurisdiction that complies with the local law. GAU will not tolerate, condone or allow discrimination or harassment, whether engaged in by fellow students, faculty members, or non-faculty employees. All members of the GAU family are expected to create a learning environment where students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders treat each other with respect.
A copy of the Code of conduct pledge is outlined below:
The requirement for entering the Premedical Program Premedical Program
The requirements for enrollment into the Preclinical Sciences Program:
2.9 in the premedical sciences program with Premedical Committee Evaluation score of > 8; or MCAT score of
The requirements for transferring to GAUSOM program:
Students transferring into GAUSOM programs must fulfill the entry requirements (as stated above) for each program. Credits are only accepted from institutions that are recognized by the International Federation of Medical Schools. These credits will be identified on GAU transcript as Transferred Credits (TC).
Students transferring will only be exempted (and credits accepted) from courses that share the same structure of the courses in the GAU curriculum. These courses must have assigned the same instructional hours or more and must fulfill the format of delivery required by the GAU curriculum eg. Laboratory hours, clinical experience etc.
Students must spend no less than 1 full term in the premedical sciences program and must complete the following courses even if taken in the previous institution
A student must transfer into at least the last 2 trimesters of Preclinical Sciences, MD 4 and MD 5. Students transferring into year 2 must complete the NBME Step 1 Comprehensive exam which will determine placement. You must complete the following courses even if it was previously completed at your previous university:
Students transferring into Year 3 of GAUSOM must complete Block 10 and the Comprehensive NBME Step 1 Exams prior to enrollment into Clinical Sciences program. Transfer students must enroll in GAU and complete at least 52 weeks of the Core Clinical Sciences courses and the 8 weeks’ final year project of the MD program to be eligible to Graduate from GAU.
In order to participate in clinical courses at the GAUSOM affiliated hospitals and clinics, all students must complete certified training sessions in Basic Life Support (BLS; recertify every two years) and OSHA requirements; have an annual TB test; and provide certification that required immunizations are up-to-date. Students may need to meet other hospital-specific requirements as well, such as mandatory flu vaccines. Students must meet these requirements prior to beginning the Doctor of Medicine course.
Years 1 & 2
hours per week
week per block
Genetics and Biochemistry
Anatomy and Embryology
Microbiology and Immunology
Embryology and Anatomy
Embryology and Anatomy
Embryology and Anatomy
USMLE Step 1 Review
Embryology and Anatomy
USMLE Step 1 Review
USMLE Step 1 Review
USMLE Step 1 Review
USMLE Step 1 Review
USMLE Step 1 Review
Years 3 & 4
Internal Medicine – Primary Care
Family Medicine – Primary Care
Pediatrics including adolescent
Community service project
40 hrs. per week =1 credit
80hrs per week = maximum duty hours
Please note above (pages 5-6) the compulsory courses that must be completed when transferring into the program
The following exams, in addition to individual course assessment, must be passed in order to receive an MD from GAU
Two types of assessments are done at GAU. The main type of assessment is formative. This serves as a form of feedback for students with information that identify their strengths and weaknesses, thus facilitating their independent growth and development on the path toward becoming a physician.
The next form of assessment is summative, which focuses on determining whether students have met the standards identified by instructors and department directors. Examples of summative assessments used in premedical sciences are weekly quizzes, end of term exams etc. Student performance on summative assessment are translated into Honors, High Pass, Pass and Fail grade for Clinical Sciences.
The main type of assessment in the MD program is formative. The Professional Development Weeks/Assessment Exercises in Years 1-2 is a form of formative assessment. Mid-block evaluations and completion of question banks during core rotations are also examples of formative assessment.
The next form of assessment is summative. Student performance on summative assessment is translated into Satisfactory or Fail grades for pre-clinical and Honors, High Pass, Pass and Fail grade for Premedical and Clinical Sciences. In the pre- clinical curriculum, assessment methods and formats include written exams (e.g., closed book, open book, multiple choice); practical exams; oral exams and observations of simulated patient interviews.
In the clinical clerkships, student assessment methods include direct observations of clinical work; reviews of patient write- ups; written exams; oral exams; Standardized Patient (SP) exercises referred to as Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs); simulation sessions; and standardized National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Subject Exams (“shelf exams”).
Professional Development Weeks: MD students participate in two Professional Development Weeks (PDWs) – one in the preclinical Year I and the other in Year II: These weeks include several elements: cumulative assessment activities focusing on integration and application of course-based material and on critical thinking; clinical skills testing in the form of OSCEs; time for student reflection and advising; development and implementation of Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs); and
remediation activities, as needed. Assessment during PDWs is strictly formative, offering feedback to students and allowing them opportunities to work with their advisors to identify strengths and challenges and to develop plans for continuous development and growth.
At the completion of Preclinical, all GAU MD students take the Comprehensive Examination I (Comp Exam I). The Comp Exam I is taken after completion of Block 10 – ICM and tests students’ physical examination and patient interview skills along with their ability to incorporate basic sciences principles in solving clinical cases.
The Comp Exam II is a six-station OSCE designed to examine students’ clinical and communication skills and their ability to diagnose and demonstrate clinical reasoning and to discuss the most commonly encountered entities in the major clinical disciplines. Students must pass the Comp Exam in order to matriculate into the Clinical Sciences Program.
By the time of graduation, all students will be able to:
GAU is working towards advancing the delivery of education by using two modern teaching methods. The pilot program begun summer 2018 and with full installation in 2019.
Blended learning, with its mix of technology and traditional face-to-face instruction, is a great approach. Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning.
Video lectures and presentations will be delivered online using the Student Learning System. The Student will study these materials at their own pace prior to attending the scheduled classes. The classroom sessions should be used to:
Georgetown American strives to make a contribution to society at large. The University commits itself to an outward- oriented role within Guyana and globally, as an academic institution of excellence and a respected knowledge partner. The University further commits itself to foster a campus culture that welcomes a diversity of people and ideas and that promotes growth and development.
Excellence is the underlying value in all learning and teaching programs at the University. The University’s vision for the field of teaching is formulated as follows:
A university characterized by quality teaching, by the constant renewal of teaching and learning programs, and by the creation of effective opportunities for learning/study.
The University thus places a high premium on the promotion, acknowledgment, and reward of good, accountable teaching practice and acknowledges the central role of the teaching staff in the realization of our vision.
Changes in the higher education arena have compelled us to respond accordingly. Indeed, recognizing the benefits of the innovative use of technology to support learning, our student Learning Management System is used as a tool for incorporating digital materials into the learning process. Videos, audios, power-point presentations and 3D technologies are used to aid in the teaching process. Virtual laboratory sessions are also incorporated in most of the natural sciences based courses and a few of the health sciences courses. This system facilitates hands-on experience in various areas, including clinical exposure from Term One of the medical program. It also augments the types of skills that are required in the work environment.
GAU fully respect students’ rights to privacy and thus third person request for student’s record is not allowed without formal approval from the Student.
At the end of each trimester or block, students are asked to evaluate each course in their trimester, and for each of the members of the faculty involved in the teaching of the coursework. In addition, students may be asked periodically to complete surveys evaluating specific functions and services that GAU provides. This input is important in assessing the perceptions and needs of our students.
Academic year schedule 2019 – 2020
Monday to Friday: 08:00 hrs. To 17:00 hrs.
Student Affairs: (592) 226 1375; firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic Office: (592) 226 1375; email@example.com
Finance Office: (592) 226 3858; firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinical Sciences Office: 1 404-348-4891; email@example.com
Attendance accounts for 10% of the final grade for all programs at GAU.
0.75 out of 1.0 if registered as present. The assessment of attendance is as followed:
Georgetown American University’s grading scale is as followed: Preclinical Sciences
Satisfactory 70 – 100
Fail less than 70
Premedical Sciences and Clinical Sciences
Honors (H) 90 – 100
High Pass (HP) 80 – 89
Pass (P) 70 – 79
Fail less than 70
GAU requires that all students attend at least 90% of the classroom session to fulfill the requirements of the program. Attendance can be done using the faculty portal account. This will account for 10% of the final marks for each course.
Each course will be assigned a workbook to be used as a summative assessment tool. The workbook will account for 10% of final grade
The use of Presentation allows students to develop the ability to synthesize a significant amount of material and develop concise, effective arguments in their own voice. To fulfill the objectives of the curriculum there should be at least 1 student presentation assigned to the course. The presentation will be assessed using a Rubric grading scale and will account 10% of the final mark.
An assignment in the form of an essay of project document must be assessed for each course. It is recommended that an assignment should be given to student during the first week of the academic term with specific instructions on the content requirement, grading, and deadline. Assignment account for 10% of the final marks.
Classes scheduled for Monday to Thursdays are only for lectures, presentations, and problem-based learning sessions and summative assessments only. Fridays are reserved for formative assessments eg. Quizzes. Quizzes account for 10% of the final grade.
Exams account for 50% of the grade. For premedical sciences, there should be a midterm and an end of term cumulative exams. Preclinical sciences exams are done at the end of each block and should be in the form of written exam (25% of exam marks) and OSCE exam (25% of exam marks).
Premedical Sciences: Course credit = total instructional hours per week
Preclinical Sciences Course credit = at least 16 hrs. per instructional weeks per block Clinical Sciences Course credit = at least 40 hrs. per instructional week
Students may request transcripts of their records or statements certifying their registration at GAU at the Registrar’s Office. An official letter must be addressed to the Registrar:
Dr. Norman Ng-A-Qui Registrar
Georgetown American University 81 Croal Street, Georgetown
A transcript form will be given upon the formal receipt of the request for a transcript. Please allow 5 -7 business days for processing a request.
There are 2 types of withdrawals, Voluntary withdrawal and Administrative withdrawal.
Students are subject to Administrative Withdrawal if they:
The student makes a decision that he or she no longer wishes to participate in the program.
Students may voluntarily withdraw from enrollment. They must then apply for readmission if they wish to return to GAU, and will be subject to the tuition policy for withdrawals. Readmission is not guaranteed but applications will be reviewed by the Registrar’s office. Readmitted students will typically be subject to all academic policies and tuition and fees in effect at the time of re-enrollment. Student withdrawals are governed by the following policies:
Refunds, if required, will be determined by the last academically-related activity.
Readmission with “WF.” Students who receive “WF” in any block at the time of withdrawal will be reviewed by the Registrar office to determine whether they are eligible for readmission.
Prior to the start of classes, students admitted to a specific trimester may request to defer their admission to a subsequent trimester. The following policies apply to deferrals:
GAU may implement disciplinary actions for non-academic infractions that may result in suspension or dismissal. Students may be dismissed from GAU for poor academic performance, violations of the Honor Code, or for disruptive or unprofessional behavior (for further examples, please see the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Actions).
As a general GAU policy, students who are dismissed will not be considered for readmission. Dismissal of this kind during an academic trimester does not warrant reduction of tuition and fees.
During your first two years of medical school, you’ll assess your interests and your skill development. You’ll get more immersed in the various specialties your third year. Some recommendations for Premedical and Preclinical Sciences students:
In your third year, you’ll get an in-depth exposure to many of the medical disciplines during your clinical clerkship.
You’ll also receive mentoring from clinical faculty serving as Faculty Career Advisors. These are faculty chosen by their departments who receive special training in this role.
The required reading texts and review books are available in Digital format for all courses. Students will be given access to a copy of each of the text at the beginning of the course.
Premedical Sciences and Year -1 Preclinical Sciences students will receive a Virtual Laboratory account.
All students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct. At registration, a Code of Conduct form will be given to all enrolled students. This form must be signed and return to the Academic Office. The Code of Conduct is printed below.
The Honor Code applies to every student who is enrolled at GAU. Accordingly, every student shall be required to verify acceptance of the Honor System by signing the following Honor Pledge:
“As a student at GAU, I, (student name), do hereby accept the Honor System. I have received the Student Handbook and am fully aware of the Honor Code and Constitution and the Student Code of Conduct contained within. I agree to read and become familiar with the Honor Code and Constitution.
Accordingly, I resolve to refrain from conducting myself in a manner that is unbecoming of a medical professional. I acknowledge that, in support of the Honor System, it is my responsibility to report any violations of the Honor Code or Student Code of Conduct. I understand that with any violation of the Honor Code or Student Code of Conduct, a plea of ignorance will not be acceptable, and the violation may result in my permanent dismissal from GAU.
I pledge that I shall endeavor at all times to create a spirit of honor of my chosen profession by upholding the Honor System myself and helping others to do the same.”
Registration as a student at GAU is not complete until signed verification of the Honor Pledge is on file, and no grades can be recorded until this is done. If the Pledge is not signed by the end of the fourth week of the trimester, the student’s matriculation may be canceled and all fees paid will be forfeited in accordance with the withdrawal policy described in this handbook. The ultimate responsibility for signing the Honor Pledge rests with each individual student. On the first day of classes each trimester, students receive a link to the Student Handbook and this pledge by incorporation.
The Honor Council is a judicial body designed to try specific cases brought to it regarding possible violations of the Honor Code. The Honor Council president is elected at large by the entire student body from among currently enrolled students. The ten other members, consisting of two representatives from each academic year (premed, MD first, second, third and fourth year), are elected by currently enrolled students in the respective academic year.
The Honor Council may receive complaints directly from community members or may have cases forwarded from Student Affairs or other administrative offices.
Complaints made that is not reflective of the violation of the Honor Code is brought to the attention of the Dean’s Office. Upon receiving the complaint, the Dean’s office will assign a judicial body to address the complaint.
In keeping with GAU’s commitment to creating a safe and productive learning environment, we have implemented the disciplinary process to discourage conduct inconsistent with the high standards held by most of our students. Following a disciplinary action, GAU may impose appropriate sanctions, varying according to the severity of the offense, that we hope will protect those dedicated to learning this challenging profession and encourage ethical conduct among their peers.
Sanctions are determined by the Deans office following the resolution of a disciplinary action. This may be an informal resolution, such as a Complaint settled through mediation; or a hearing following an infraction of the Honor Code or Code of Conduct. The latter two are held before the Honor Council and Grievance Committee, who may also recommend sanctions.
There follows a list of the most commonly imposed sanctions, but GAU may also choose to impose other sanctions, not listed here, depending on the severity of the misconduct. We strive to find a balance between encouraging those that deserve a second chance while still protecting the rights of the majority of our students, who deserve an orderly learning environment.
The first step in resolving any dispute is to communicate with the person of whom you have the dispute with. If you are unable to come to a resolve lodge a formal complaint. All formal complaints made by students must be filed through
the Student Affairs Office. You will be able to lodge a complaint through the management system by filling out the complaint form. If this method is not available, you can uplift a form and return i to the Student Affairs Officer. The Student Affairs Office will be in regular contact with the student in regards to the complaint made until the issue has been resolved.
If a student wishes to file a complaint anonymously he or she can send a postal mail to the Students Affairs office or the President of the Honor Council.
Students at Georgetown American University SOM are required to dress professional at all times. As of Fall 2019, students are not required to wear scrubs to premedical and preclinical sciences classes. The following dress code is in full effect as of September 1, 2019.
As described by the Association of American Medical Colleges, mistreatment occurs when “behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. It can take the form of physical punishment, sexual harassment, psychological cruelty, and discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, or sexual orientation.” Each member of the GAU community is entitled to respect and all professional relationship, regardless of status, should be treated respectfully and courteously. All individuals, despite of their culture, ethnicity, background or sexual orientation, should feel welcome in the learning environment
GAU will have zero tolerance for:
GAU takes allegations of student mistreatment very seriously. The steps for making a complaint:
GAU is committed to supporting the educational goals of students with disabilities in the areas of admissions, enrollment, academic mentoring, tutoring, assistive technologies, and testing accommodations. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. If you have questions about your eligibility or would like to seek accommodation services or academic adjustments, please contact the Student Affairs Office at the University or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download a request form online https://gau.edu.gy/students-with- disability/
GAU tuition for local and International students is outlined below.
Premedical Sciences (16 months program)
MD – Preclinical Sciences Year 1
MD – Preclinical Sciences Year 2
MD – Clinical Sciences Year 3
$9000 (Rotations in Guyana); $29700 (Rotations in USA)
MD – Clinical Sciences Year 4
$9000 (Rotations in Guyana); $29700 (Rotations in USA)
Students who register as International students at the commencement of studies cannot be changed to local students during their period of studies at GAU even though their immigration status changes.
The additional required fees are:
Application fees and Registration fees are Non-refundable. There is a refund policy for Tuition fees that are paid in full per term or per year. Tuition is non-refundable for students who are on monthly payment plans.
Prior to commencement of classes
1 Week of Classes
2nd Week of Classes
After 2nd Week of Classes
Students who have received a scholarship and other forms of financial aid will be required to sign an additional form which will specify the terms and conditions for receiving financial aid. Kindly contact the Student Finance Office at (592) 226 3858 for more information on the available financial aid available for students.
The learning and practice of medicine involve exposure to infectious agents. Personal risk can be minimized by intelligent attention to immunization, Standard Precautions, and other preventive measures.
GAU students must present evidence of vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and hepatitis B in order to commence any clinical training at GAU. Clinical training commences during the first term in premedical sciences during the Essentials in Health Assessment Course. Thus all students must, during the first week of the academic term present documentations confirming immunization.
Students are also required to take the Infectious control course and BLS course during their first year at the University. Without these certifications, they will not be allowed to matriculate into the clinical sciences program.
Health Insurance is not a requirement for students in Guyana. Students in need of medical treatment can receive free healthcare at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Students who may require private medical care must take out a medical health insurance policy.
Students in the USA are required to have health insurance. Billing for insurance will be added to your annual invoice.
Liability Insurance is not a requirement for students in Guyana. Students on rotations in the USA and UK must have liability insurance. Billing for insurance will be added to your annual invoice.
Student Government Association
Medical Students Associations help expose medical students to information and exercises not generally covered in traditional curricula. The main associations are:
Students must complete all requirements prior to graduating from the university. Each candidate must have:
In order to be eligible to participate in a commencement ceremony and to be listed in the commencement program, all degree candidates’ must be eligible for graduation.
Students who have not completed eligibility for graduation before the commencement ceremony should still be entitle to uplift transcripts and certification upon completion of all requirements. These students will be eligible to participate in a commencement ceremony proceeding their graduation from the program.