We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Medical College of Georgia introduces 230 future physicians
Two hundred and thirty future physicians slipped into white coats for the first time Saturday, September 25, at Medical College of Georgia’s annual white coat ceremony held at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta.
Among them were 190 first-year med students from MCG’s home campus in Augusta and the 40 who make up the inaugural class at the MCG-UGA Medical Partnership in Athens. Celebrating the donning of the short white jacket that identifies medical students, in contrast to the longer lab coat that is the privilege of full-fledged M.D.s, is a relatively new tradition in schools of health sciences.
Before a crowd of over six hundred guests, the students entered the church in a processional set to “Pictures at an Exhibition” played on a grand piano. A coat rack on the stage held the 230 jackets, each embroidered with the student’s name on the pocket. After remarks by student leaders from the Athens and Augusta campuses and by several faculty members, the students were called to the stage one at a time, where Dr. Ruth-Marie Fincher, vice dean for academic affairs, helped them into their coats.
Enrolling the largest class in the history of the medical school, MCG answered a charge by the Association of American Medical Colleges for a 30% increase in U.S. medical school enrollment by 2015.
At the time of the AAMC’s 2006 call to action, MCG’s youngest class was comprised of 180 students. The college’s new partnership with the University of Georgia made it possible to grow the class by nearly 30% in only three years, said Peter F. Buckley, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine.
The MCG-UGA Medical Partnership, located on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, opened its doors for classes on August 9. The partnership was created to produce more physicians to help remedy Georgia’s critical doctor shortage. Before the spike in class size at MCG, Georgia was expected to have fewer doctors per capita than any other state by 2020, according to a 2008 study commissioned by MCG.
In 2006, only 50% of recent MCG graduates with confirmed practice plans intended to stay in the state, a drop from 56% in 2002. While many of the 40 first-year students at MCG-UGA say they’d like to stay in the state, they also admit that so early in their training they don’t know what type of medicine they will practice or where.
Among those most needed in the physician workforce are minority doctors, particularly blacks and Hispanics. While MCG has rapidly increased its enrollment in the last three years, the increase has been largely in the number of white students. At the Athens campus are two black students and one Latino.
A physician need not be black or Hispanic to work with underserved populations, but studies show that black and Hispanic medical school grads are more than twice as likely as whites to do so. Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans comprise more than 25% of the U.S. population, but they represent only 6% of physicians.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
My eyes are super-sensitive, as I discovered fifty years ago when, walking on a gusty day on an unfamiliar city street, a piece of grit flew into my eye. I was in instant agony: blinking, holding the eyelid, eye watering and conscious of time changing. Seconds became nanoseconds of excruciation. I looked around with the good eye for help. In one of the most fortuitous coincidences of my life I was passing an optician’s shop. I opened the door, stood on the threshold blinking, eye streaming uncontrollably. The optician guided me to a chair. His chosen instrument, the corner of a Read on →
Walk into any bar and begin telling a Comcast story. Within minutes it will escalate to violence. Each person topping the next with customer disservice and their loathing of one of our least favorite monopolies. Everyone has a story. Most have more than one. Mine began when I naively thought I could move my “service” with just a phone call. The Comcast phone representative said I had, but there is no evidence anywhere that what Comcast says on the phone has anything to do with fact. Taking their box to my new home was easy. Installation occurred when I surprised their installer by Read on →
I was still in mourning for Bobby “Blue” Bland, who passed in 2013, when a short while ago the house lights went down for the last time on B.B. King, too. What to do, what to do? So many of our great blues singers have made their Last Road Trip, have gone on to that Great Jam Session in the Sky: Bland, King, the two Jimmys (Reed and Witherspoon), Ray Charles, Lou Rawls, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Milton, to name but an octet of the very best. Think what choir practice in Heaven must sound like nowadays! Thank goodness for recordings (and for You Read on →
To fend off the inevitable criticism from Democrats, liberals and the media that the next GOP Speaker of the House is so delusional he or she must be on drugs, the new Speaker will first have to pass a urine test. “That should settle the matter that they’re not on drugs, even all those guys in the Tea Party Freedom Caucus,” said a GOP insider, who compared the plan to being pulled over by a cop. “So you’re weaving like crazy, and blowing through red lights, and stop signs and you almost ran over a couple of pedestrians and, sure, one of them was Read on →