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Center for Health Workforce Planning and Analysis

Medical Education Expansion

Print friendly Modified January 8, 2010

In September 2007, the Medical College of Georgia retained a nationally recognized consultant, Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach, to complete a medical education expansion study on behalf of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. This report, Expanding Medical Education in Georgia, is serving as a road map for Georgia’s ongoing planning for the statewide expansion of public medical education. A key part of our opportunity is a partnership between the state’s only public university devoted exclusively to health sciences, MCG, and our leading public research university, the University of Georgia, which includes the College of Public Health. It’s not a surprise that these two institutions are joining hands to address one of the most serious challenges facing our state’s education system.

Collaboration between UGA and MCG is attractive for several reasons. Similar to MCG, UGA has a research mission; and UGA has an existing cadre of basic science faculty. The closure of the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens provides a potential opportunity to secure clinical teaching facilities with excellent proximity to three major hospitals and classroom facilities that would meet preclinical teaching needs. Athens and Gainesville offer robust medical communities, including many physicians who are MCG alumni and are interested in teaching MCG medical students.

A partnership with UGA would enable MCG to offer additional dual degree pathways. In addition, we expect that an active collaboration would enable us to increase the aggregate funding we receive from the National Institutes of Health. Ultimately, though, we will address head on our basic goal – to educate more physicians for the people of this state, which will bring better health care and economic viability to our state.

With the full implementation of this plan, the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, through its partnership with the University of Georgia, could expand to 1,200 students by 2020 from its current level of 745, an increase of approximately 60 percent, addressing a critical need for more physicians in Georgia.