Health System Initiates New Program for Medical Students

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: Feb. 4, 2008 – For the first time in its 120-year history, Southeast Georgia Health System will host medical students in their rotations, says President and Chief Executive Officer Gary R. Colberg, FACHE.

According to Colberg, the System has contracted with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), which has a Suwanee Georgia Campus, and the Medical College of Georgia (MCG). The Health System will welcome the first medical students to the System’s Brunswick Campus in February —a husband and wife team from PCOM. “Although we’ve long offered training to nursing students, pharmacy students, and allied health students, this is the first time we will have medical students train at one of our facilities,” Colberg says. “Many of our physicians have shown an interest in teaching, and we anticipate great success with this program.”

Colberg says the program at the Health System will be open to pre-residency students in their third year of medical school. “We will offer a wide-range of specialties under the guidance of our staff of knowledgeable and experienced physicians for them to rotate through,” Colberg says. “The program will not only benefit the students, but our Health System and our community as well as word gets out about the top-notch services, technologies, and programs we have right here in Coastal Georgia.”

Linda Boyd, DO, associate dean for regional campus coordination in the MCG School of Medicine, agrees the program’s benefit will expand beyond the students. “As we work to expand public medical education in Georgia to help meet the critical need for physicians in our state, the MCG School of Medicine has been fortunate to find terrific support across all quarters,” Dr. Boyd says. “In southeast Georgia, physicians in the Brunswick area have been phenomenal, in terms of the number who are interested in opening their practices to medical students and in their level of enthusiasm. We are extremely pleased to affiliate with those physicians and with Southeast Georgia Health System to make them our partners in this important initiative.”

H. William Craver, DO, FACOS, chair of Undergraduate Clinical Education at PCOM, agrees. “The majority of our students are interested in primary care, particularly family medicine. In Georgia, we are having difficulties providing enough physicians, particularly in rural areas,” Dr. Cravers says. “Southeast Georgia Health System has a beautiful facility in Brunswick and has been experiencing wonderful growth. The System is doing a great job serving the southeast area of the state. Our hope is that our students will learn from the Health System’s excellent medical staff by participating in this program, and they will ultimately remain and practice in Georgia where they are needed.”