The Medical College of Georgia campus in Athens already has 11 students for the class enrolling next fall, administrators announced Wednesday.
Early-admission students were given their preference between the main campus in Augusta and a branch opening in Athens in partnership with the University of Georgia.
Of the 60 students admitted, roughly one in five asked to attend classes at the Medical College of Georgia-University of Georgia Medical Partnership, housed in a historic mill building on Williams Street in Athens.
Administrators were pleased because they say the division of students between the two campuses is about what they had hoped, indicating success in their efforts to make medical education at Athens comparable with that in Augusta.
"What you see there is a nice balance," said Dr. Doug Miller, MCG's dean of medicine.
Each campus is likely to have its own appeal, from the large medical-research facilities in Augusta to the proximity to other scientists at UGA in Athens.
Once general admission is complete next year, administrators will assign the rest of the students so that 190 are in Augusta and 40 attend classes in Athens. Students will get their preference as long as seats are filled at both campuses. Otherwise, students expressing no preference will be assigned, and then the remaining classroom seats will go to those admitted last, despite their preferences.
Many of the students from the two campuses will spend their third and four years at clinical sites around the state.
MCG is hiring an associate dean for students who will be in Savannah and Brunswick and is talking with hospital officials in Rome about expanding medical education there. A committee from the accreditation agency, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, will review potential medical school satellite sites in Albany in early December.
To nail down clinical sites at hospitals in Athens and Gainesville, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents agreed to pay for a consultant to represent the facilities. MCG dean of the Athens campus, Dr. Barbara Schuster, is interviewing consulting firms.
Miller gave the regents a report at their monthly meeting, saying the various projects are on schedule.
"In general, we're on track across all of our expansion projects," he said.