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MCG freshmen meet before splitting

Class is divided between 2 cities

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Fahad Khan sat next to Lance McLeroy during a brunch Wednesday at the Old Medical College Building. Though the two are in the same freshman class in the School of Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, they will soon be 90 miles apart -- with Khan in Augusta and McLeroy in Athens at the new branch of the medical school.

Medical College of Georgia President Ricardo Azziz (left) shakes hands with medical student Ronjon Banerjee during a brunch for the Class of 2014, the first divided between two campuses. 
  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Medical College of Georgia President Ricardo Azziz (left) shakes hands with medical student Ronjon Banerjee during a brunch for the Class of 2014, the first divided between two campuses.

The combined class of 230 came together for a freshman orientation to meet classmates, buy textbooks, and begin to bond. But 190 will stay in Augusta and 40 will begin the inaugural class in Athens in conjunction with the University of Georgia.

It is the largest class in school history and among the top 10 largest incoming medical school classes in the country, according to MCG.

"This is a huge class," MCG President Ricardo Azziz said as he greeted the new students, who formed a long line that went out a gate and across the lawn. Near the end of that line was Maharsh Patel, who recently graduated from UGA but chose Augusta for medical school, in part to get away from the No. 1 party school, according to a recent poll.

"It is a lot quieter and a better environment to study," he said.

Another recent UGA grad, Chelsea Chandler, chose Augusta just to get out of town.

"I loved living in Athens, but I just wanted a change for the next four years," she said. "I didn't see myself living in Athens for eight years."

Across the table sat Lum Frundi, who chose Athens over Augusta.

"Smaller class size and it's closer to home" in Stone Mountain, she said.

That's part of why Athens appealed to Justin Brooten.

"It's very personalized," he said. "It seems like we are going to get a lot of personal attention."

The curriculums will be slightly different, with Athens taking advantage of the size difference to do more small-group teaching, but Augusta students also will get plenty of that, said D. Douglas Miller, the dean of MCG's School of Medicine.

"We will learn things from Athens, and we will learn things from Augusta," he said, with the goal of making both better.

The two groups of students will likely bond through student organizations and outside activities, such as the homeless clinic or the migrant workers clinic the students run, said Daniel Spollen, who chose Athens.

"I know a lot of those clinics do work outside of Augusta, so I imagine we will team up with them and do work outside of Athens and travel around the state," he said.

There will also be a lot of virtual linking of the classes to take advantage of Augusta's resources, said Kathleen M. McKie, the School of Medicine's associate dean for academic affairs.

"We will probably use quite a bit of videoconferencing," she said.

Ultimately, it is the state that will benefit from the expanded classes, said Cristina Isales, whose father, Dr. Carlos Isales, is part of the faculty at MCG.

"I think it is fantastic because what we will wind up having is more students to fill the shortage of physicians in Georgia," she said.

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Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 08/05/10 - 04:01 am
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R.I.P. MCG. Mark my words, no

R.I.P. MCG.

Mark my words, no member of the BOR is from our area and the Republicans hate Augusta because it is a solid Democratic strong-hold.

This 8% of the class is just the begining.

The election of Sonny coupled with the demise of Walker's cabal at the State level spelled doom for MCG.

I am sure some of it will remian here forever, but this is the begining of the end for our dominance in this field.

This is a sad day for Augusta,

Brad

augustadog
96
Points
augustadog 08/05/10 - 06:18 am
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This is a great day for

This is a great day for Augusta and the state of Georgia !

"It is the largest class in school history and among the top 10 largest incoming medical school classes in the country, according to MCG."

This is exactly what was intended with offering the 2 campus locations. If you read what the incoming students say, they like having the choice between Augusta and Athens. Augusta will always be the main campus. Athens will never be ablle to compete with the fantastic Medical facilities in downtown Augusta.

MCG with thrive like never before.

Take your blinders off Brad.

55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 08/05/10 - 07:11 am
0
0
In Athens, the student's lab

In Athens, the student's lab coats will be made of stain-resistant cotton.....In Augusta, the student's lab coats will be made of Kevlar.

whatmistake
100
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whatmistake 08/05/10 - 07:40 am
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Owens may be closer to the

Owens may be closer to the truth than a-dog seems willing to admit. Perdue hates Augusta with a passion and, while his time as governor is nearly over, Michael Adams isn't going anywhere. He's an empire builder quite capable of getting the results he desires. Just ask Vince Dooley.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/05/10 - 08:57 am
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Athens also has one huge plus

Athens also has one huge plus over Augusta for med students; its proximity to metro Atlanta. I'm sure a big chunk of these med students will hail from the metro Atlanta area.. and Athens will be closer to home.

REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 08/05/10 - 09:02 am
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Hey let's put the Med

Hey let's put the Med Students at the #1 party school in the nation. No pun intended Love UGA. They have invested far to much here in Augusta to move. Some of it Sonny Money.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 08/05/10 - 09:39 am
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Brad is right, this is not

Brad is right, this is not good for Augusta. I know that we have a few new buildings "in the works" but just watch. ALL new buildings & expansion will be in Athens from this point forward.

I give it 15 years and Augusta will be the satellite branch. 30 years....we'll be non-existent. A slow and painful death.

countyman
21682
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countyman 08/05/10 - 10:03 am
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The MCG 150 dorm room near

The MCG 150 dorm room near Paine College starts this year... The plus $200 million School of Medicine and Educational Commons begins next year...

The $112 million School of Dentistry is under construction.... MCG students chose Augusta over Athens 2 to 1....

Local Interests
40
Points
Local Interests 08/05/10 - 10:28 am
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Across the country it is not

Across the country it is not all that uncommon for medical schools to have multiple locations.
In fact, here in Georgia Mercer's med school has classes in both Macon and Savannah. It is the best way to give the 3rd and 4th year students rotation options.

corgimom
38720
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corgimom 08/05/10 - 12:08 pm
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55 F-100, they come to

55 F-100, they come to Augusta because they want training in surgery- as in gunshot wounds.

Don't anyone confuse Countyman with the idea that only 40 students were allowed to start in Athens; let him think that "MCG students chose Augusta over Athens 2 to 1....".

fcolley
0
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fcolley 08/05/10 - 01:06 pm
0
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The begining of the end for

The begining of the end for MCG in Augusta and the polticians in Augusta are not smart enough to see it.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/05/10 - 01:24 pm
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This reminds me of The

This reminds me of The Beatles song "Hello Goodbye"

Tots
26317
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Tots 08/05/10 - 02:42 pm
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Why does my MCG hospital

Why does my MCG hospital bills go to Atlanta,not Augusta?And why can't they ever get the amount right?Paid you people off,hope to never see you again.

PositiveThinker
0
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PositiveThinker 08/06/10 - 07:38 am
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I've said it once... and I'll

I've said it once... and I'll say it again... As the wife of a medical student, if you want to keep "MCG" in Augusta than please show MCG some love. The state budget situation is pretty dire. As a community, open your checkbook and give back to a school that's given so much to the Augusta community. Advocate for the services that MCG provides. Visit the faculty practice groups and the School of Nursing Wal-mart clinic when you need medical treatment. Say POSITIVE things about the administration. Reach out to the families of medical students and residents.

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