AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia ranks 39th for active physicians, but the state is currently facing shortages in the Southern and Midwest regions. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a need for nearly 50 thousand physicians to meet the demand.
Dr. David Hess, Dean of the Medical College gave the State of the College Address on Thursday, where he gave an “At a Glance” look of the plans for the years to come.
“We’re a net exporter of medical students in Georgia. Part of the problem is we don’t have enough residencies and residency slots are expensive and difficult to get going.”
Thus causing MCG to initiate different opportunities for students–in order to decrease the need and increase the supply.
“We want to get the residency involved early in medical education so it is a continuum so it’s not this shock of leaving. So when you go from medical school to residency you’ve already had a lot of exposure in that residency in medical school,” says Dr. Hess.
There are currently 75 counties in Georgia with no OBGYN, 11 with no family medicine physicians and 63 with no pediatricians.
The question now is how do you keep the professionals in this area?
“We’d like to eventually have a larger medical school assets innovative where we put more students in rural Georgia. This is important. So they stay there and they stick. You have to work with the communities. The communities have to have good school,” says Dr. Hess.
There is a proposed expansion plan to increase classes by 20 students per year in the Athens location and an expansion plan with an accelerated primary care track in Augusta.
“It’s the 3 plus advance degree. So the 4th year of medial school you spend finishing up some of those credits, but you get a Masters in Public Health or Masters in Business Administration.”