Dr. Scott Richardson comes to Athens from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio - rejoining Dr. Barbara L. Schuster, dean of the medical campus, who also was a teacher and administrator at Wright State's Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Schuster began work as dean of the Athens campus in November. She was head of the department of internal medicine at Wright State, where Richardson was professor of medicine and directed the school's internal medicine clerkship and its Principles of Evidence Based Clinical Decision Making course.
The chance to work with Schuster again was one of the reasons Richardson sought the job in Athens, he said.
"I've been working with Dr. Schuster on and off for 30 years," Richardson said. "We know how to work together constructively."
Part of Richardson's job will be to help adapt the MCG School of Medicine curriculum to Athens' smaller campus - 40 entering students beginning in 2010, versus close to 200 new students at the School of Medicine in Augusta.
The smaller class size at Athens could mean fewer lectures and more learning in small groups for the Athens students, he said.
The Athens campus is scheduled to enroll its first class in fall 2010 at the former O'Malley's building off Williams Street near the UGA campus. University planners say the historical building should be ready for use by the end of this month after a $15 million renovation.
The medical partnership eventually will move to the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School campus in Normaltown after the Navy school shuts down in 2011.
The Athens medical partnership is part of a larger plan to ramp up enrollment 60 percent at the MCG School of Medicine by 2020, to 1,200 students. Planners expect shortages of doctors as the state's population grows and Georgians age.