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Monday, July 26, 2010 - 12:08pm

Rural Hospitals Hope To Lure Doctors

Five rural Southwest Georgia hospitals are partnering together to help stave off a looming doctor shortage.

Nearly 80-percent of doctors who graduate from medical school in Georgia leave the state. Only 20-percent those that stay are willing to work in rural towns.

Now five hospitals in Moultrie, Thomasville, Valdosta, Albany and Tifton and the Medical College of Georgia have raised a million dollars to start a joint residency program. Jim Lowry is with Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie.

“We need a GME program in internal medicine. We need another program in general surgery. We need another program in obstetrics and gynecology and then the 4th program would be a program in emergency medicine.”

The hospitals will use the money to pay a consultant to design a program that could be up and running in two years.