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New dean visits Rome campus for a 2nd time since his appointment

October 19, 2017 GMT

The Medical College of Georgia is in the process of creating a system of regional campuses in order to provide hospitals with much needed physicians.

Dr. David Hess, who was chairman of the Neurology Department at MCG for the better part of 15 years before being named Dean, was at the Rome campus on Tuesday.

The process of creating that system of regional campuses is still relatively new. It may take another decade to determine whether the program meets the goal of helping relieve significant physician shortages in rural areas across the state.

“Most of the state has very few doctors and very few specialists,” Hess said. “Hospitals want a pipeline of physicians and we can’t supply them fast enough.”

Admissions to MCG are at an all time high, 230 this year, with 52 of those 230 hailing from below a line from Columbus to Macon to Savannah.

The patient-centric curriculum at the Northwest Clinical campus in Rome is different from the way the physician training is done at any of the other campuses.

“I think it makes a lot of sense because that’s really how medicine is, you follow patients over long periods of time,” Hess said. Most traditional program offer rotations where the young doctors rarely get to see the same patient twice, Hess said.

Another factor that sets the Rome campus apart from others is cooperation between Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center and the Harbin Clinic to train young doctors.

“Even though the hospitals might be competitors in health care, they’re collaborators in education,” Hess said. “Other campuses tend to be at one hospital. That’s a big advantage, too.”

The current crop of students in medical school today are socially conscious, he said, and very concerned about where medicine is going.

“We have a lot of students that volunteer and these charity clinics are more important than ever,” Hess said.