Medical College of Georgia

Medical College of Georgia
Type Public
Established 1828
Parent institution
Augusta University
Endowment $200 million [1]
Dean Peter F. Buckley
Academic staff
Postgraduates 643 [3]
Location Augusta, Georgia, USA
Affiliations University System of Georgia

The Medical College of Georgia (often referred to as MCG) is the flagship medical school of the University System of Georgia, the state's only public medical school, and one of the top 10 largest medical schools in the United States.[4] Established in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia, MCG is the oldest and founding school of Augusta University. It is the third-oldest medical school in the Southeast and the 13th oldest in the nation. With 22 departments, it offers both a Doctor of Medicine (MD) as well as MD-PhD, MD-MPH, and MD-MBA degrees.

In response to the state of Georgia's worsening shortage of physicians, the school has undergone tremendous growth in recent years. Beginning in 2010, MCG expanded to include multiple regional campuses across the state. In addition to its main clinical campus in Augusta, clinical training is offered at campuses in Albany, Rome, Savannah/Brunswick, and Athens. The Athens campus is a full, four-year campus and houses 40 of the school's 230 first-year students as part of a partnership with the University of Georgia. In 2013, the MCG Foundation received $66 million as a gift from Dr. J. Harold Harrison, a notable vascular surgeon and MCG alumnus. This unprecedented gift allowed for the creation of a number of scholarships, multiple construction projects, and plans for even further expansion in the future.


MCG was founded in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia by the Medical Society of Augusta to address a need to train new physicians. Its first seven students enrolled in a one-year course of lectures and clinical training hosted in the Old Medical College building, leading to the bachelor of medicine degree. The next year, the governor signed a legislative act altering the charter of 1828 by expanding the curriculum to two years, culminating in a doctor of medicine degree, and changing the name to the Medical Institute of Georgia. The school changed its name in 1833 to its current name, and for the next 80 years continued to operate with an emphasis on research and training physicians.

Many discoveries were made by faculty, including the first hysterectomy performed in the United States and the first documented case of sickle cell disease.[5]


In 2015, more than 2,600 students applied for 230 first-year slots, thereby creating an acceptance ratio of 13.4 to 1. Admitted students in 2015 had an average grade point average of 3.73,[6] and MCAT score of 31.3, above the national average for students accepted at a US allopathic medical school.[7]


The main campus resides in Augusta, Georgia on the Health Sciences campus of Augusta University. All first- and second-year students attend classes at either the Augusta main campus or the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens.

The new educational home of MCG, the J. Harold Harrison, MD, Education Commons, opened in 2014 and features a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, auditoriums, and classroom space for up to 300 students.

In a student's third and fourth years, they can choose to study on the main Augusta campus, based at Augusta University Medical Center, or to study at a regional campus for their clinical rotations. MCG has four satellite campuses:

The Southwest campus in Albany, was the first residential campus opened in 2010. It marked the school's first efforts to increase the number of physicians produced in the state of Georgia, a problem the university had vowed to address.[8]

The Southeast campus, in Savannah and Brunswick, opened in 2011 with seven third-year students beginning rotations at two medical centers and hosts nearly 40 students annually.[9]

The Northwest campus is located in Rome, opened in 2013.[10] Students work with the Harbin Clinic, Floyd Medical Center, and Redmond Regional Medical Center, with some classes and training provided on facilities provided by the centers.

The Athens campus is part of the AU/UGA partnership and began first hosted students in 2010, aimed at growing the amount of physicians the state produces.[11]


White Coat ceremony

First-year medical students are given their white coats in an annual tradition to mark their first steps as a medical professional.[12][13] The jacket is shorter than the long coats full-fledged doctors wear, to mark them as students until they earn their full degree.

Match Day

As with many medical schools around the country, Match Day marks the day fourth-year students are given the location of their residencies on the third Friday of March. Students choose a theme to mark the occasion and dress up accordingly, and the day is filled with dancing, celebrating, and plenty of excitement as the next stage in students’ medical careers is revealed.[14]

Raft Debate

Every year, differences in medical specialties are highlighted by one question: “A surgeon, an internist and an obstetrician are aboard a simulated sinking ship. Their only escape is a one-person raft. Who should be the sole survivor?” [15]


  1. "MCG 2016 Facts". Medical College of Georgia. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  2. "Georgia Regents University > Medical School". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  3. "Medical College of Georgia facts". Georgia Regents University. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  5. Lewis, S. Joseph. The Medical College of Georgia from 1829-1963: Chronicle of an Institution. pp. 64, 336. ISBN 978-0-9834202-0-0.
  6. "MCG Facts". Augusta University. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. "US Medical Schools: MCAT Scores and GPA". MCAT test scores. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  8. C. Jones, Walter (26 Nov 2009). "MCG students learn beyond Augusta". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  9. Writer, Staff. "7 MCG students will go to Savannah". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  10. Writer, Staff. "MCG plans Rome, Ga. campus". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  11. Corwin, Tom. "Accrediting body approves MCG Athens campus". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  12. Bishop, Barclay. "White Coat Ceremony held at MCG at GRU Saturday". WJBF. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  13. Collins, Sonya. "Medical College of Georgia Introduces 230 New Physicians". Like the Dew. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  14. Parker-Pope, Tara. "Match Day: Medical Students Learn their Fate". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  15. "Traditions at Medical College of Georgia". Georgia Regents University. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
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