Accrediting body approves MCG Athens campus

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The Medical College of Georgia can proceed with selecting 40 first-year medical students for a satellite campus in Athens after getting a favorable report from its accrediting body.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education found that the school is meeting its goals and providing the resources to open a branch of the School of Medicine in conjunction with the University of Georgia in fall 2010.

"We're pleased to be on track and moving ahead with this project and getting closer all of the time," said D. Douglas Miller, dean of the MCG School of Medicine.

The school has submitted a "template" for how it will provide key services, such as faculty and financial support for students, and the accrediting body wants periodic updates on how that is being done, he said.

"We expect to be -- as we've been for two years now -- in intermittent communication with the LCME about our progress, and they will keep evaluating it, but I think they are pleased with where we are now," Dr, Miller said. That updating will continue after the branch campus is running.

The committee wants to ensure that what is offered in Athens is equal to what students can get in Augusta, he said.

One key area that is still being fleshed out is clinical education and establishing residencies in Athens and Gainesville. The school has been working with St. Mary's Health Care System, Athens Regional Medical Center and Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville on establishing residency programs, and those hospitals have worked with an outside consultant to determine what types of residencies they would want. There will be meetings this summer to help determine what needs to be done next, Dr. Miller said.

"Now we're going to start comparing notes with the hospitals in Athens and Gainesville and also in Albany and other parts of the state as to how our needs and their needs can be dovetailed," he said. "That process is just beginning right now."

The school has clinical campuses in Albany and Savannah.

In the coming weeks, MCG will begin taking applications for the fall 2010 class of 230 students -- 190 in Augusta and 40 in Athens. It will ask students for the first time during the admissions process if they prefer to go to the Athens branch.

"That I think is a new wrinkle, and managing that student preference will be for us something we haven't done before," Dr. Miller said. The goal will be to provide an equally diverse class in both places, he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (19) Add comment
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Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/16/09 - 05:40 am
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Hide and watch Augusta, as

Hide and watch Augusta, as you twiddle your thumbs, and your joke of a Government continues to disappoint, the slow but continued flight of MCG to UGA will amaze you. MCG is now a Private Enterprize, and it'll go where the profit is.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 06/16/09 - 06:45 am
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UGA medical school satelite

UGA medical school satelite campus in athens but no UGA school of law satelite campus here in the 2nd largest state in georgia...hmmmmm i wonder why, is it possibly to limit the number of "undesireables" who may want to pursue a law degree...in my opinion UGA is not that prestigious to where they could not have a satelite campus in augusta

concernednative
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concernednative 06/16/09 - 07:43 am
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MCG's days in Augusta are

MCG's days in Augusta are limited. Take the average 22 yr old about to start college and ask them if they want to live in Athens (major college town) or Augusta.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 06/16/09 - 07:52 am
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tic toc tic toc.............

tic toc tic toc............. good bye mcg.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/16/09 - 08:06 am
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Concernednative, these are

Concernednative, these are medical students they will never "see" Augusta nor Athens. They barely have time for any life but study. Why do think the divorce rate is so high for medical students-their spouses are tired of being married to a phantom they never see. I think few will want to go to Athens as it is a new campus and doesn't yet have a pedigree-MCG has a proven record. It is also very competitive so why would anyone want to be 40 separated out of the 190 others on another campus. I see rivalries in the future.

jackrabbit5491
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jackrabbit5491 06/16/09 - 08:19 am
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Apparently the Board of

Apparently the Board of Regents is still maintaining the charade of the Athens MCG "satellite." For how much longer will the Athens medical school student selection process reside in Augusta? does it presently reside in Augusta? Why wasn't the Athens Dean, Dr Schuster, quoted, here? How does MCG Dean Dr Miller relate to Dr Schuster in an organizational diagram of the University System of Georgia medical program(s)? What will be the role of the replacement for ex-MCG President Dr Rahn?

CarlA
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CarlA 06/16/09 - 08:19 am
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Hey Disgusta, This is the

Hey Disgusta, This is the beginning of the end for MCG in Augusta!

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/16/09 - 08:37 am
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This isn't the beginning of

This isn't the beginning of the end but hopefully the beginning of finally addressing Georgia health care needs and education for the State. Hopefull this expansion will continue across the State. You natives are too egocentric and territorial like it is "your" medical school rather than the "States". Augusta has always had this pompous attitude of being a "big city" when actually it is Podunk GA. Augusta doesn't deserve a medical school here as it apparently has done a poor job working with the school.

MD2013
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MD2013 06/16/09 - 10:25 am
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MCG is in the process of

MCG is in the process of designing a new building, here in Augusta, that is set to open in August, 2015. With a new, $100,000,000 building being set up to take 240 medical students, in Augusta, you guys need to research more before you rant about MCG heading to Athens...

http://mcg.edu/som/expansion/faq.html

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/16/09 - 10:49 am
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MCG is no longer a "State"

MCG is no longer a "State" hospital, It has been "privatized" thus, it doesn't benefit the state to keep it anywhere. IF the money is in Athens and the powers that control MCG want to migrate to Athens, it will. Tha City of Augusta HAS a hospital but, it's called University Hospital. Augusta does all it can for MCG but, it also is accountable to UH for expenditures. The city of Augusta just gave the housing project at 15th and Wrightsboro road to MCG. despite the objections of the entitlement community. The problems MCG has with Augusta are not necessarily due to the City itself, but the socio-political make-up of the Region as it relates to progress. The fact also that Richmond county is happy to be the home of some of the worst polluting Corporations in the Nation probably has more to do with all of Augusta's problems moreso than any other factor. As long as the CSRA tolerates pollution on the scale it now does by its industry, Augusta will be a dire place to exist. It's a shame that the entire population of the CSRA has to suffer such pollution so that less than five percent of the population can have a job. But I digress.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/09 - 11:51 am
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Tuieez, you misunderstand the

Tuieez, you misunderstand the role of MCG Health running the hospital and MCG. The Medical College is still state owned and funded.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 06/16/09 - 11:56 am
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UGA has satellite business

UGA has satellite business and law schools in other cities in the state besides Athens.. Why doesn't ASU start its own law school?? But the fact of the matter is there is a great shortage of doctors in Georgia and no shortage of lawyers. We need satellite medical schools all over the state to fill this shortage. It's up to Augusta leaders to make this area an attractive place for prospective students to live.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/09 - 12:18 pm
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It is far more cost effective

It is far more cost effective to expand the school here in Augusta than to build an entire new medical school as is being done in Athens. Lack of clinical rotations was the reason clinical satellite campuses were opened in Savannah and Albany. It was also the reason given for opening the new school in Athens. Come to find out, they have no agreements with hospitals in Athens for clinical rotations.

MD2013
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MD2013 06/16/09 - 01:59 pm
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Riverman, -When are you going

Riverman, -When are you going to recognize that no single medical school in the country has a class size > 200, per year, at one site? After investing $100,000,000 to build a new medical school, in Augusta (opening in 2015), MCG will increase enrollment from 190 to 240 students (with another 60 in Athens). There are not enough physicians, or patients for that matter, to educate 1200 medical school students (600 pre-clerkship) in Augusta alone. -http://mcg.edu/som/expansion/documents/consultant_report.pdf -It's always the same old stuff with you...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/09 - 03:53 pm
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MD2013, yes, there are

MD2013, yes, there are schoolsl with classes larger than 200 at a single site...too many to mention here, but I have included a link. Now understand no one is saying there can't be satellite sites such as exist in Savannah and Albany for clinicals. But duplicating staff, administrative staff, facilities and so on to establish a 4 year medical school is a total waste of money. By the way, note Athens has no firm agreements as of now with hospitals for clinicals.
http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/schoolenrll0308.htm

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/09 - 04:01 pm
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Incidentally, there is still

Incidentally, there is still no agreement between University, the area's busiest hospital, and MCG to train residents. In state training of residents has been proven to increase the number of physicians who stay in a state permanently. The University Board which oversees county money that goes to the hospital, should be demanding residents slots. These people are wined and dined to keep the status quo.

MD2013
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MD2013 06/16/09 - 06:20 pm
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Riverman, That site shows

Riverman,

That site shows total enrollment (all 4 years) and not single class size. For the love of god, please read what you are posting here before you throw more mis-informed information out there. MCG's class size is 190 students.----

Read the consulting report and then come back to this thread. Also, there are not enough residency spots, in the state, to take in the >500 students/year that our medical schools graduate (much less the specialties of interest).-----

More medical school matriculations+residency spots. But honestly, who cares.. Happy students => happy doctors. So, we should just move MCG's MD program to Athens.. that'll solve all the problems. I bet their city can handle 1200 medical students.

Riverman1
94431
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Riverman1 06/16/09 - 08:17 pm
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MD, tell me this, if the

MD, tell me this, if the total enrollment is over 800 in a four year school and you divide that by 4 what do you get? Many are over 200 a year. For instance MCG total enrollment was 770 last year. Now didn't you say your class size is 190. Pretty simple math, huh? I'm not sure about your happy comments, but it has been shown in study after study that the way to keep physicians in state is by increasing residencty programs. Sure, I understand there are not enough now, but that's the point. One last thing, MCG has been rated as being one of the best places for students in the country as far as housing. A little money gets you a lot here.

MD2013
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MD2013 06/17/09 - 07:51 am
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I am in medical school at

I am in medical school at MCG. We have 190 students in our class. The classes above me have even fewer students. the reason that it's not such "simple math", is because some of the MD students complete a PhD, during their time here, at MCG. Thus, you have another 30-40 students (over 3 years of matriculation), that instead of finishing medical school in four years, complete it in seven. The state of Georgia is working with hospitals, the LCME, and medicare to get the funding to support additional residency spots for the state. If you read any of the consulting reports, you would know that the state is working on adding more spots. Since you won't read it.. here it is-----------------------------------------------------------------------"Tripp Umbach recommends that the state support efforts for the simultaneous expansion of Graduate Medical Education (GME) to ensure that physicians educated in Georgia will remain in the state after completing residencies. A minimum of 104 new residency positions which are desirable to graduates and meet the state’s needs are required by 2020."

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