Classes at the new medical campus in Athens are now underway. One goal of the Georgia Medical Partnership is to increase the number of doctors in the state.
Georgia has fewer physicians per one hundred thousand residents than nearly all other states.
The University of Georgia and Georgia Health Sciences University partnered on the Athens campus to add 120 medical students.
Barbara Schuster, dean of the medical campus, says
Georgia needs more doctors and this is the first step to getting them.
She says “This campus at the moment is to just increase the number of students graduating with their M.D.. Meanwhile, we’re also working in northeast Georgia with the hospitals to begin new graduate medical education programs.”
Those programs are better known as residency programs. Schuster says studies have found that physicians are exceedingly likely to stay within 50 to 100 miles of where they finish their residency.
800 public health students are also moving to the campus.
Dr. John Vena says having medical and public health students in close proximity will broaden both disciplines.
“So they can talk the language of public health and medicine, and research evidenced base, and how it applies to not only treatment but prevention.” Vena says.
Vena is optimistic that will also lead to more research projects.