Medical College of Georgia
|Dean||Peter F. Buckley|
|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. 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.
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, and MCAT score of 31.3, above the national average for students accepted at a US allopathic medical school.
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.
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.
The Northwest campus is located in Rome, opened in 2013. 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.
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. The jacket is shorter than the long coats full-fledged doctors wear, to mark them as students until they earn their full degree.
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.
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?”
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