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
Well, He Hands You A Nickel, He Hands You A Dime . . . Such was the way Maggie's brother treated workers in Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," but Charles Oscar Finley doled out considerably more to the Beatles in 1964: $150,000. Charles Oscar Finley longed to be adored, if not loved, though he acted despicably at times. He considered himself a self-made man and expected other men to meet his standards, even as those standards shifted wildly. In the mid-1940s, flat on his back with tuberculosis, Finley envisioned ways to make a fortune in the health insurance business. All Finley had Read on →
Summary: From the perspective of the evolution of life, it can be seen how value is an emergent -- but none the less real -- dimension of the reality of creatures like us humans. Evolution operates on the principle that life is better than death. Operating on that basis, evolution brings into existence creatures who experience that fulfillment is better than misery. That is the foundation of value. and it makes value fully real in every way it could be. Previously, I asserted that: the imbalance in intensity in the political battle raging in America is largely due to the deficiency of Read on →
Despicable. That's the only word for it. I refer to the recent official email "Responding to the Ebola Crisis" of October 17 from my congressional representative, Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia's 6th District. It begins by stating that "Ebola now spreading in the United States is of extreme concern [emphasis added]." The update then goes on to imply that millions of Americans have lost or will lose their health care under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). To connect the dots, which Rep. Goodlatte leaves to the reader, ostensibly to retain a fig leaf of decency: You may get Ebola, and if you do, Read on →
Summary: Americans think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. My biggest worries are 1) that our democracy is increasingly being transformed by the influence of big money into a plutocracy, and 2) we are failing to act vigorously to address the pressing emergency of global climate change. On both issues, the Republicans are playing a darkly destructive role, while the Democrats are failing to press the battle with the necessary vigor. That pattern reveals the essential core of America's national crisis. *******Are you, like me, unhappy about where you sense our nation is heading? Do you, like me, fear Read on →