Health System Surgeon Named Assistant Dean for Curriculum for MCG Southeast Georgia Campus

T. Wayne Rentz Jr., M.D., a general surgeon who directs the surgical intensive care unit at Southeast Georgia Health System's Brunswick Campus, has been named inaugural assistant dean for curriculum for the Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine.

As assistant dean, the 1972 MCG School of Medicine graduate will help develop, implement and assess program objectives at the campus for third- and fourth-year medical students, work closely to cultivate and support clinical faculty in the region and work with the School of Medicine's main campus in Augusta to coordinate students' educational experiences in Southeast Georgia.

"We are fortunate to have Dr. Rentz join us in the Southeast Georgia region," said Dr. Kathryn Martin, assistant dean of the Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus. "This second-generation graduate of the MCG School of Medicine brings to us more than 20 years teaching experience and a strong commitment to physician education in our region and state."

Dr. Rentz's father, Turner W. Rentz Sr., M.D., a retired general/family practitioner from St. Simons Island, is a 1946 School of Medicine graduate.

“I’m flattered to be chosen to serve in this vital new role and look forward to working with the faculty and students as we train new physicians here in Southeast Georgia," Dr. Rentz said. "Having a regional campus in our area will enable us to get new physicians interested in practicing medicine locally and will go a long way to ensure that the Southeast Georgia Health System can continue to expand programs and services for the health of our community in Southeast Georgia.”

Added Gary R. Colberg, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Southeast Georgia Health System, “We’re happy that MCG has chosen Dr. Rentz to serve on the faculty of its new Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus. Being able to recruit quality physicians to our area is crucial to the continued health and growth of our community."

He cited Dr. Rentz's critical role in training and attracting top-notch physicians to the area. "This, in turn, will allow the health system to continue to offer the latest advances in health care right here in our back yard,” he said. Currently MCG medical students spend four- to six-week rotations in specialties such as family medicine, pediatrics and surgery, learning alongside practicing physicians in communities such as Brunswick. The Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus is moving toward residential status, enabling students to live and learn in that part of the state for much of their clinically intensive third and fourth years of medical school.

The campus, based at St. Joseph's/Candler Health System in Savannah, is part of an overall plan to increase the MCG School of Medicine's class size from 190 to 300 students by 2020 to help meet the need for physicians in a state that ranks in the top 10 both in population and population growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The statewide plan includes Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus, based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga., which will become a residential clinical campus in July. The MCG School of Medicine, in cooperation with the University of Georgia, also is opening this fall a four-year campus for 40 students in Athens. The medical school class size is scheduled to increase from 190 to 240 in Augusta and 40 to 60 in Athens by 2020. Facilities to accommodate the larger class in Augusta are under design.

Dr. Rentz served as chief of staff for Southeast Georgia Health System from 1994-96 and 2005-08. The clinical instructor for Emory University School of Medicine was honored as the 1994 Clinical Teacher of the Year by graduating physician assistants. A retired member of the U.S. Naval Reserves, he received a letter of commendation from the U.S. Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., for patient care and resident education provided during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.