*October/November 2017*

White Coat Ceremony

White coats were placed on the shoulders of each member of the Class of 2021 on Friday, October 27th at the Bell Auditorium. The White Coat ceremony is a significant milestone in a student’s journey to becoming a physician.   It was a lovely ceremony with family and friends gathering to support their newly coated medical students!

The White Coat Ceremony began with the talented acapella group, The SeroTONEins, singing the National Anthem, followed by welcome messages from Provost Caughman and Dean Hess. It was also very special to hear our Year Four Class Presidents, Donald Davis from our Augusta campus and Mark Zapata from our AU/UGA Partnership campus, views on what the white coat personally means to them.  The keynote speaker, Dr. Chris White, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, shared remarks and offered encouraging words to the class of 2021.  

A special thanks to Dr. Kim Loomer, Dr. Lynnette Bauza, and the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs for all of their hard work in preparing for such a wonderful and celebratory day!

Leadership Through Ethics

Leadership Through Ethics (LTE) is a student-led program, with a focus on the integration and understanding of ethical principles and application of these principles to a career in medicine. LTE currently has 54 medical student members in the first through fourth year classes and 16 faculty and clinician mentors.  

On Friday, October 13th, LTE along with MCG’s Center for Bioethics and Health Policy hosted a lecture by Dr. Kathleen Benton from St. Joseph's/Candler Health System (Southeast Regional Campus). Dr. Benton spoke on The Skill of End-of-Life Communication for Clinicians, a book she recently published about the necessity of communication and ethics being the center of discussion in end-of-life care.   

Over 100 students and faculty attended the lecture in the Health Science building, along with a live stream to the AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus. In her closing remarks, Dr. Benton shared her brother's moving end-of-life story.  His call to action for both current and future physicians included encouraging them “to bend the rules when it resulted in patient dignity and mercy, to talk with peers so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, and to know you patient's name because, even though you have multiple charts, the patient only gets the one name, the one life”.  

The next scheduled ethics guest lecture hosted by LTE is Jennifer E. Miller, PhD, an Assistant Professor in NYU School of Medicine and President of Bioethics International. She is also the creator of the Good Pharma Scorecard, an index that ranks new drugs and pharmaceutical companies on their ethics and public health performance. Dr. Miller's guest lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, December 6th at 5 pm in Harrison building (GB 1210).  All MCG faculty and students are encouraged and welcomed to attend. 

GME Leadership Development Retreat

The theme of the 2017 GME Leadership Development Retreat was Crucial Conversations. The focus this year was to develop improved communication skills throughout GME.

The agenda included a full-day workshop, facilitated by certified faculty from the Augusta University’s Office of Leadership Development. The workshop focused on the use of powerful and transformational conversations, crucial confrontations, and conversations that create mutual learning and lead to committed action.  Participants also learned how to use powerful conversations to strengthen connections and facilitate change.

Attendees included GME Program Directors, Program Coordinators, Chief Residents, managers and administrators, and members of the GME community from Fort Gordon, Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, including Program Directors, Program Coordinators, and support staff.

*Special Edition: Dean's Clinical Honor Society*

Special Edition:  Dean’s Clinical Honor Society

Dean David C. Hess and I are pleased to announce the creation of a new honor society at the Medical College of Georgia: the Dean’s Clinical Honor Society.  This new honor society has been established to recognize students who achieve all A’s in the seven required core clerkships during their third year of medical school.

Since 1926, the Medical College of Georgia has been home to the Alpha of Georgia Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, which traditionally honors academically outstanding third- and fourth-year students.  However, the national rules and regulations for AWA, limit the number of elected members to one-sixth of the medical school class, or approximately 38 students. 

This year, our students’ academic achievements have left us with a good problem – 20 percent of the class has earned a 4.0 GPA, and an additional 10 percent of the class earned all A’s in the core clinical clerkships during their third year.

Since not all MCG students with a 4.0 GPA can be inducted into AWA, the Dean’s Clinical Honor Society has been established.  We are extremely proud of our students’ devotion to learning and the care they provide to patients, and we want to appropriately honor them.

*Special Edition: Class of 2021*

Special Edition:  MCG Class of 2021 Begins Medical School

We are delighted to welcome the class of 2021 to the Medical College of Georgia family.  What is so special about this incoming class? Here are a few “fun facts”.

The Class of 2021 has 230 extremely talented students, 190 of whom will stay in Augusta and 40 who will join our AU/UGA Partnership Campus in Athens. Students are from across Georgia, with 45 of 139 Georgia counties represented.  In addition, students are from seven other states.  The class is academically competitive, with an overall and science GPA of 3.7, and an average MCAT score of 510. This class comes to us from over 50 colleges and universities.  Georgia institutions highly represented include: University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Augusta University and Emory University. In addition to our Georgia institutions of higher learning, members of the class also come from institutions such as MIT, Johns Hopkins, the United States Naval Academy, Cornell, and Harvard. 

The most popular majors of the Class of 2021 included the following:

  • Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Psychology/Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Some additional majors of members of the new class include:  history, business, music, philosophy, international affairs, neuroscience, and public health. Non-traditional students, who did not have typical pre-health backgrounds, and many who are the first in their family to go to college or medical school are also represented in the Class of 2021.

Members of this class have participated in both research activities yielding publication and community service, caring for those who are less fortunate.

We are so very excited to welcome the Class of 2021.

*June 2017*

Statewide Faculty Development Conference in Jekyll Island, GA 

MCG hosted a successful statewide faculty development conference for voluntary clinical faculty, regional clerkship site directors, campus leadership, clerkship directors and coordinators at Jekyll Island June 1-3, 2017.  This year’s theme, “Being a Physician in 2020”, focused on educating today’s medical student within a regional campus model.  The keynote speaker, Dr. Tony Weaver, Assistant Dean for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Morehead Campus, presented his address “Flexner in 2020,” from Abraham Flexner’s perspective in 1910, complete in period clothing. While revisiting the past, Flexner (Weaver) challenged faculty to address some of the issues presented in the report from today’s medical educator perspective.

The conference had over 190 faculty/staff attendees including campus leadership and community clinical faculty.  Clerkship directors and coordinators had the opportunity to meet and discuss best practices in the clerkships. Participants were updated on a variety of topics central to medical education in 2020.  Some topics included, the cost of medical care, course evaluations, point of care ultrasound, intuition, ethics and legal issues.  Dr. Weaver provided additional perspective on current trends related to regional campus medical schools. Southeast Campus students, Ben Thornton, Liz Cappello, Shiv Agarwal, and MD/PhD student Trevor Hardigan shared their clerkship experiences with the faculty during a panel discussion.  Thank you Southeast students!

Years of service awards were presented to clinical faculty from across the state and excellence in clinical education was recognized.  The winners for Excellence in Clinical Education by campus included:

  • Augusta Campus: Dr. Ziad Ahmadie, Emergency Medicine
  • AU/UGA Partnership Campus, Athens: Dr. Cullen Morris, Surgery
  • NW Campus, Rome: Dr. Jay Schecter, Neurology
  • SE Campus, Savannah/Brunswick: Dr. Laura Steelman, Pediatrics
  • SW Campus, Albany: Dr. John Bennett, Surgery

Thank you to Drs. Ralph Gillies for educational program development, Kathryn Martin for conference planning, Nan Hockley for the awards ceremony, and the planning committee for coordinating an engaging and memorable faculty development conference. A special thanks to staff members, Malinda Moore and Golanda Blackwell (SE Campus) and Matthew Homen (Augusta Campus) for their behind the scenes support.

The Center for Ultrasound Education

MCG’s Center for Ultrasound Education is developing innovative programming in ultrasound education. This year, the Center planned and implemented over 5,000 hours of Point-of-Care ultrasound learning sessions. Dr. Matt Lyon, who serves as the Executive Director of the Center, shared the center’s vision, “We are in the planning stages for more robust ultrasound labs and activities for the upcoming year with our UME, GME, and new ultrasound fellowship programs”.

One of the major efforts of the Center was to standardize resident training for central venous catheter insertion. Residents were trained on the ultrasound guided central line procedure that included didactic and asynchronous lectures on safety, complications, principles of ultrasound guidance, and institutional standards for the catheter placement. Close to 30 faculty members contributed to this effort.

A competency based testing model was developed to further enhance the quality of the procedure across the specialties. Specialties that participated include; Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, and Neurology. Over 200 residents completed testing this past September.  This training has increased provider proficiency and we hope will reduce catheter associated complications.

This summer, all incoming residents will have completed ultrasound guided standardized training in the Center over the course of 4 half days, which will include central line insertion, needle guidance, and infection control. This program will be multi-disciplinary and cross specialties. In addition to residents, as it will include AU Health Nurses, College of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner students, and infection control staff who will model this team approach as a part of the training. 

Additionally, ultrasound education will be integrated and embedded into clerkships for the 2017-18 academic year, beginning with the Family Medicine, OB/GYN, and Emergency Medicine clerkships. Students will apply basic ultrasound scanning skills and ultrasound / physical exam correlation to the clinical arena. This program will be implemented state-wide.  

Thank you to Dr. Matt Lyon, Becky Etheridge and the many faculty who have contributed to ultrasound education. 

SEEP Students explore opportunities at MCG and Augusta University

The journey to a career in health sciences begins, for some students, far before their steps into the first day of professional school. The Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs offers the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP), a summer pipeline program that aids students in becoming more competitive applicants.

Through collaborative efforts at Augusta University, SEEP provides a variety of venues for program participants to explore and gain insightful information about medical, dental and other health sciences professions.  This summer, 51 SEEP summer high school and college students have engaged in intense and challenging academic coursework in addition to participating in two SEEP signature events, the Health Careers Extravaganza and Admissions Recruitment Reception. 

A daylong event, the Health Careers Extravaganza provided a variety of educational and enriching activities.  After hearing from MCG admissions representatives, the Dental College of Georgia and Undergraduate Admissions, SEEP students visited with representatives from MCG, DCG and the College of Allied Health Sciences programs at Augusta University. At this event, the students took a closer looker at what MCG and the other health sciences programs offer. A highlight of this event was the Medical Illustration Program’s demonstration of surgical illustration techniques and presentation of the student’s impressive work. SEEP students heard from a panel of medical and dental students, and they spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Augusta University Interdisciplinary Simulation Center and MCG’s Center for Ultrasound Education engaging in exciting, hands-on activities such as suturing, learning IV skills, witnessing a simulated birth, and much more! 

At the annual SEEP and Pre-matriculation Program Admissions Recruitment Reception, SEEP participants had opportunity to spend an evening with MCG, DCG and MD/PhD Admissions Committee members. They participated in round table discussions with more than 25 committee members and health professional students to learn more about the admissions process for these programs and ways to enhance their competitiveness. 

Thanks to the entire MCG and Augusta University community for providing awesome educational enrichment opportunities to SEEP students and helping produce more health professionals for Georgia. 

*April/May 2017*

Education Day 2017

Education Day this year was a huge success! On March 24th, the Education Innovation Institute invited students, faculty and staff to participate in Education Day to explore the theme “How the Brain Learns.” This included events such as workshops, lectures, roundtable discussions and an epic raft debate between “technology” and “the teacher”. Dr. Stephen Chew, professor and chair of psychology at Samford University in Alabama, was the guest speaker. His primary focus is in cognitive psychology and he created a groundbreaking series of videos about how to get the most out of studying. During his lectures and workshops, he discussed teaching strategies for improving student performance by highlighting misconceptions about learning. Students participated in a forum about education and learning from the student perspective. The events concluded with an interactive poster session displaying education-related research and innovation from faculty and students. We all left Education Day with a deeper understanding of how to be better teachers and learners. Congratulations to this year’s poster and scholarship award winners! Thank you to Dr. Ralph Gillies, Dr. Tasha Wyatt, Sarah Mendenhall, and Mitch Toomey for planning and implementing Education Day 2017. 

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

At this year’s Alpha Omega Alpha Induction Ceremony on April 19th, the Medical College of Georgia had the honor of having Dr. Robert Bakos as the keynote speaker. Dr. Bakos is a distinguished professor emeritus of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, former program director of the department of neurosurgery residency program at the University of Rochester.

 Dr. Bakos, who has an interest in both music and medicine spent the day at Augusta University with our students on both campuses, beginning with rounds with the neurosurgery residents. Next on the Summerville campus, he gave an intriguing lecture titled “The Strange Case of Dr. Billroth and Mr. Brahms” to the Music History class and again in the afternoon in the Education Commons. Dr. Bakos met with students interested in neurosurgery and surgery during lunch to discuss the field he knows and loves. The day was concluded by a ceremony and dinner celebrating the Alpha Omega Alpha induction. Dr. Clarence Joe, who served as Alpha Omega Alpha councilor for 20 years, was honored for his devotion to the organization.

 Congratulations to all the 2016-2017 Alpha Omega Alpha inductees! A special thanks to Dr. Laura Carbone, councilor Dr. Cargill Alleyne, councilor and Jenny Katic, administrator for coordinating the program and day’s events.     

 Night at the Museum – Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction

 On Saturday, March 25th, the Gold Humanism Honor Society celebrated the induction of students, residents and faculty with a night at the Morris Museum of Art.

 The Gold Humanism Honor Society was established to recognize students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine. GHHS members are peer nominated and are the ones that others say they want taking care of their own family. “It was incredibly difficult to select members for induction into this honor society as all of our students at MCG are so involved and willing to go above and beyond to provide the best care possible for their patients,” says Chapter President and fourth-year medical student Rachel Calhoun. “Those selected for induction truly lead by example and model integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy in their patient care and interactions with families, staff and colleagues.”

 The annual induction ceremony took place at the Morris Museum of Art and was followed by a tour of the museum’s permanent collection. The Gold Humanism Honor Society MCG chapter and AU Art Department collaborated on this engaging event. Students, their families, and faculty from both MCG and the Art Department toured the exhibit and evaluated select pieces of art to practice observational and communication skills and open discussion about the interplay between science and art to broaden perspectives and enhance how we approach others in patient care.

 A very special thanks to the AU Art Department, Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Scott Thorpe for their collaboration and to our guest speaker, Dr. Robyn Hatley, Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair and professor of surgery. The Gold Humanism Honor Society was led this year by Co-Presidents Rachel Calhoun and Eryn Calder and Faculty Advisor Dr. Bunja Rungruang from the department of obstetrics and gynecology, division of gynecologic oncology, and Dr. John Francis, the Athens Campus chapter leader.

 Thanks to Rachel, Eryn, Dr. Rungruang and Deborah Pinion for their efforts in planning and implementing this program.

W.L.J. Angel Gown - Service Project

Students in Academic House H worked on a service project on April 23rd with volunteers from W.L.J. Angel Gowns. This amazing organization creates beautiful, hand-made gowns for the burial of stillborn and miscarried babies. The students deconstructed dresses and used the material to create Angel Gowns.

Joseph Coppiano, a second year medical student, described his experience saying “Working with W.L.J. Angel Gowns was a great eye opener to the passion that exists in our Augusta community. It was inspiring to hear the story of how the Augusta chapter of Angel Gowns took a personal tragedy and turned it around to ensure that other hurt families can have one less thing to worry about during the loss of a child. Even more tremendous, was being able to bond with my house H members to further this organization’s goal of serving a gap within our Augusta community. I definitely recommend working with this organization and look forward to future house service events".

Hooding:  An MCG Tradition

Dr. Mark Ellison, a 1982 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery educated the 181st graduating class and attendees on the history and tradition of hooding at the 2017 Hooding Ceremony.  Dr. Ellison resides in Athens, GA and was instrumental in the development of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus. Thank you to Dr. Ellison for sharing this tradition and its special meaning with the MCG family.

Aron Edward Siegelson receives Arnold P. Gold Foundation Fellowship

Aron Siegelson, MCG Class of 2020 has been awarded a 2017 summer student fellowship from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for his project, "Opening doors to healthier living: Improving the health of marginalized individuals living in government subsidized housing through relationship building, health education, and lifestyle change." His project was selected out of 100 fellowship applications. Congratulations Aron!

*Special Edition: 2017 Hooding*

The 181st graduating class had a wonderful week of celebration culminating with today’s hooding ceremony and the anticipation of Friday’s Augusta University commencement.  The hooding ceremony opened with the talented MCG student a cappella group, The SeroTONEins performing the National Anthem. The hooding address, presented by Dr. Steve Gabbe, an obstetrician/gynecologist and Emeritus Chief Executive Officer of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and inspired and challenged the class.

Educational excellence awards were presented to faculty and students. The Educator of the Year Award was presented to faculty members Dr. Walter Moore, Augusta Campus and Dr. Atul Khurana, from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus for their exceptional skill of teaching medicine with compassion and care.  The Physician’s Physician Award, chosen by classmates, was presented to Andrew Dicks, at the medical partnership and Katherine Menezes, Augusta Campus, for their exceptional abilities. Dr. Robyn Hatley and graduates Rachel Calhoun and Aaron Purser received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for compassionate, respectful, and exceptional clinical care.  The Excellence in Public Health Award was presented to Anna Sulimirski for her demonstrated excellence and commitment to public health, particularly for her research in Mesoamerican Nephropathy.

Dr. Mark Ellison, a 1982 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery educated the class and attendees on the history and tradition of hooding and its special meaning for MCG.

Colonel Andrew Friedman, MD, Deputy Commander for Medical Services at the U.S. Army Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center administered the oath of office to the following students who will serve in the armed forces:   Palmer Feibleman (U.S. Navy), Landon King, (U.S. Navy), Brandon Pye, (U.S. Army), Christopher Rowley, (U.S. Navy), and Kenneth Sack, (U.S. Air Force).

This year, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of MCG. In commemoration, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, presented academic hoods to Dr. Frank Rumph Sr., MCG class of 1971, Dr. Tommy Leonard Jr., MCG class of 1973, and the late Dr. John Harper Sr., MCG class of 1971. 

Class Presidents, Palmer Feibelman from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus and Katherine Menezes from the Augusta Campus, presented remarks to their classmates as they prepared to embark on the next step in their medical education. Dr. Mason Thompson, Class of 1973, President of the MCG Alumni Association encouraged the class to stay connected to MCG as they proceed through their careers.

The 2017 graduates will continue with residencies in 38 states and in 23 specialties with 49% joining primary care programs.  Congratulations to MCG’s 181st Class, the Class of 2017!

*Special Edition: 2017 Residency Match Report*

Today we celebrate 211 of our remarkable students as they take the next step in their careers as physicians, including 170 from our home base in Augusta and 41 from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens. They have been educated throughout our state, in Athens, and at our regional campuses in Albany, Rome and Savannah/Brunswick, as well as at our main campus in Augusta!

Their achievements should be celebrated. Their accomplishments, both personal and academic, have landed them placements at top-tier residency programs across the country, including programs here at the Medical College of Georgia. It comes as no surprise that we regularly hear from colleagues all over the United States how well our students are doing in their residency programs. We expect great things!

Their success on Match Day is something of which we should all be proud and is due in large part not only to the students’ abilities, but also the learning, care, mentorship, and support they have received from MCG’s faculty and administrative teams, who are devoted to student success. 

Our Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs (OSMA) guides the process for developing the MSPE (medical school performance evaluation), letters that summarize medical school activities and credentials in a narrative form, and are used by residency programs as part of the selection process. Associate Deans Dr. Kimberly Loomer (Augusta), Dr. Stuart Shevitz (Year 4 Class Dean, Augusta), and Dr. John Francis (Athens) lead the process for MSPE writing and student advising. Assisting Drs. Loomer, Shevitz, and Francis were a team of MSPE authors and departmental advisors who met with student and assisted in guiding them this year.  Thanks to all of our faculty who mentored students through this process.

How many of our students are staying in Georgia?

  • In the PGY-1 year, 58 or 28% of those matched will stay in Georgia!
  • 36 or 17% will stay at an AU Health/MCG or MCG affiliated residency, including the Medical Partnership programs in Athens, and Wellstar/Kennestone in Atlanta.

How many are entering primary care programs in the PGY-1 year?

100 graduates or 49% will join primary care programs:

    • 38 or 18% in Internal Medicine
    • 27 or 13% in Pediatrics
    • 20 or 10% in Family Medicine
    • 15 or 7% in Internal Medicine Prelim

For second year residency positions and beyond, here are the specialties our soon to be graduates have chosen:

Specialty, PGY-2 and beyond # %
Internal Medicine 38 19%
Pediatrics 27 14%
Family Medicine 20 10%
Emergency Med 16 8%
OB/GYN 14 7%
General Surgery 12 6%
Orthopedics 9 5%
Ophthalmology 8 4%
Radiology-Diagnostic 8 4%
Neurology 7 4%
Dermatology 6 3%
Anesthesiology 6 3%
Psychiatry 6 3%
Urology 3 2%
Interventional Radiology 3 2%
Neurosurgery 3 2%
Pathology 2 1%
Otolaryngology 2 1%
Vascular Surgery 2 1%
Child Neurology 2 1%
Plastic Surgery 1 1%
Physical Med & Rehab 1 1%
Radiation Oncology 1 1%

And where are they doing it?

  • Students matched to programs in 38 states
  • 28 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their first postgraduate year
  • 22 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their second postgraduate year and beyond

After Georgia, here are the most common states where our graduates will obtain residency training in the second year and beyond:

State #
Florida 21
South Carolina 17
Tennessee 13
Alabama 13
New York 10
North Carolina 9
Pennsylvania 7
Texas 6
Colorado  6
Ohio 5

Best wishes and congratulations to the Medical College of Georgia Class of 2017 for an outstanding match!!

*March 2017*

Serotonins- Music to our ears

The SeroTONEins, Medical College of Georgia’s own a cappella group, was formed by the collaboration of twenty medical and dental students with the leadership of medical student Lisa Levine and faculty member Dr. Pam Tipler, with the support of Vice Dean Dr. Paul Wallach.  Starting in November 2016, the group members have worked together and individually to bring a cappella to the MCG community.  Their goal for this year and the next is to establish a base for future students to build on and to continue to improve the musical experience for incoming students. If you would like to have the group sing at your event, please contact Lisa Levine by email at llevine@augusta.edu.


The Student National Medical Association at MCG hosted an event titled Reflection of the Minority Experience on December 13th that highlighted various scenarios with guided discussion as well as open forum. The scenarios encompassed stories from minorities of different groups, including racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation.  Additionally, there were non-traditional students who shared their journey to medical school and current challenges. There was rich, fruitful discussion where the approximately 50 students in attendance were able to openly and comfortably express their perspectives. It was very well received by the students in attendance and has led SNMA to consider a Part 2, where scenarios can be submitted from all students. Open dialogue addressing stereotypical and unconscious biases add to an improved learning environment for all students.

“It was really refreshing to hear open and honest opinions about various issues from individuals who may not have experienced it personally. Hearing all perspectives was very eye opening and gave way to a lot of reflection.”

Thankful notes

The second year class created a program that distributed “Thankful Notes” to one another last month that was a huge success. The program, created by the Community VPs of the first and second year medical school classes, Kalpana Reddy, Chrissy Callaway (M2s) and Danielle and Max (M1s) was designed to bring happiness to each other. They wanted away to bring some cheer to their classmates so they opened up a Google form for classmates to anonymously submit thankfulness notes to each other. Within four days they had 830 submissions! The second year class distributed the notes along with candy canes prior to a team-based learning activity and the first year class emailed their notes to individuals.

The classes really enjoyed the notes and many students reached out to me letting me know how much they loved the idea and appreciated the work that we put into making sure that every classmate received at least one note. Most of the notes were very genuine and showed a true appreciation for the person it was written to, and a few notes even had a bit of humor in them. Here are a few examples of the notes.

"I cannot thank you enough for all your help and support during my application process last year. Just want you to know that even if you think that was nothing, I really appreciate you and I will never forget it."

"You have such a radiance about you. You can tell you just love life, love to have fun, and love people. Don't ever lose that. You have the biggest heart.”

"Thank you for being such a wonderful role model for me! You are one of the sweetest people that I have ever met, and I feel like I can go to you for all of my med school woes because you have so much wisdom, not just in best practices for studying but also in how to strike a work/life balance, etc."

"I don't say this nearly enough, but I am so glad that we're friends.” 

"I truly feel that you know me better than I know myself, you put everyone around you in a great mood. I'm ever grateful for your friendship.”

Congratulations! Braun Appointed Associate Dean of Admissions. 

Dr. Kelli Braun, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been named Associate Dean of Admissions for the Medical College of Georgia effective January 1, 2017, a position she held in an interim role since July 2016.  Dr. Braun, a Georgia native, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, majoring in microbiology.  She earned her M.D. degree and completed her residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at MCG.  Since joining the faculty in 2008, while balancing a busy clinical practice, she has remained focused on both undergraduate and graduate medical education.  Dr. Braun is the Director of Simulation for the OB/GYN residency program and is known nationally for her curriculum design and low-fidelity modeling for surgical education.  She has also served the department as the Associate Clerkship Director for medical student education.  In addition, Dr. Braun recently served as director of the educational research track for the Educational Research Fellowship in the Education Innovation Institute (EII).  She is the principle investigator for the TRUST Study (HALT Medical), a nationwide clinical trial for radiofrequency ablation of uterine fibroids.  Notably, Dr. Braun was the physician faculty lead in preparation for the school’s most recent LCME site visit which resulted in an 8-year accreditation.  She has proven leadership ability in clinical medicine, research, and education.  As a loyal Georgian and MCG alumna, Dr. Braun has a clear vision for advancement in the office of admissions: matriculating the best possible class of students to meet the needs of the university, the state, and beyond.

Linda James Appointed Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Inclusion

Ms. Linda Strong James has been named Assistant Dean for Student Diversity and Inclusion. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education with extensive experience in pre-health sciences program development, design and implementation.   Since her return to the Medical College of Georgia in 2004, she has directed the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP), a summer pipeline program for pre-college and college students in the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs (OSMA) in the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University (AU).  SEEP is geared toward students interested in the health professions who are from underrepresented in medicine, nontraditional and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds of the students who have participated in SEEP, over 80% have entered the health sciences.  Ms. James oversees OSMA recruitment within the AU/MCG recruitment initiatives.  These initiatives are designed to help diversify the physician workforce. 

Ms. James has been a member of the MCG Admissions Committee for 11 years and has served on various other institutional committees.   In addition to serving as an Academic House Advisor, she serves as advisor or co-advisor to four Augusta University-MCG student organizations, including the Junior Medical League (JML), Student National Medical Association (SNMA), Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) and Latino Student Medical Association (LMSA).  Ms. James is a member on the Committee on Diversity Affairs- Group on Student Affairs and the Research on Care Community Health Equity Subgroup for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Additionally, she has served in numerous leadership roles for the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc. (NAMME) since 1991. 

Prior to 2004, Ms. James was a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Paine College for 16 years and directed the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) and Pre-Professional Sciences Program (PPSP), two diversity pre-health pipeline programs. Ms. James has a background in microbiology and held research assistant positions in the Departments of Oral Biology and Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia from 1981-1988

Carbone and Alleyne named as new AOA officers for MCG

We are grateful to Dr. Clarence Joe who has served for 19 years as AOA Councilor for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He has demonstrated commitment to the ideals of AOA and caring for our students as he has discharged his responsibility as the councilor for MCG’s chapter. We are pleased to announce the appointment of new faculty leadership for our chapter. Laura Carbone, MD, MS Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Rheumatology will serve as councilor.

Dr. Carbone was appointed Division Chief of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and was elected to AOA as a student. Dr. Carbone did her internship and residency at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She completed her Rheumatology Fellowship and Master’s degree in Epidemiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, Addiction Medicine and Hospice and Palliative care. Dr. Carbone practices Rheumatology, with a clinical and research focus on osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases. She has coauthored over 100 publications, and is currently supported by a VA Merit Review Grant, the Department of Defense, and the Rheumatology Research Foundation. She has served on NIH and VA study sections.

Cargill H. Alleyne, Jr., MD, Professor, the Marshall Allen Distinguished Chairman, and Residency Program Director of the Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia will serve as vice-councilor/treasurer. He completed his medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine (elected AOA), residency at Emory University, and a fellowship in cerebrovascular and skull base tumor surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute. He also trained in endovascular techniques at University of Rochester, NY, where he was also Assistant Professor from 1999 to 2003. In January 2004, he took an appointment as Associate Professor and Academic Vice-Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia with joint appointments in Radiology and Neurology. In September 2007, he was promoted to full Professor. He is one of Castle Connolly’s “Top Doctors” and America’s “Best Doctors”. His professional affiliations include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Neurosurgical Society of America, and Society of Neurological Surgeons. In addition, he has served as President of the Georgia Neurosurgical Society and Chairman of the Neurology/Neurosurgery section of the National Medical Association. Dr. Alleyne is also Co-Director of the Cerebrovascular Research Laboratory at Augusta University, and his research interests include treatment of cerebral vasospasm and novel treatments for stroke and aneurysms.

Ms. Jenny Katic will provide administrative support for MCG’s AOA Chapter. Communication should be directed to her at jkatic@augusta.edu.

*October/November 2016*

White Coat Ceremony

White coats were placed on the shoulders of each member of the Class of 2020 on Saturday, November 12th at the Bell Auditorium. It was a lovely ceremony with family and friends gathering to support their newly coated medical students! (There’s just something about having that white coat that makes coming into medical school feel more real, doesn’t it?) The morning Parents and Partners Program was full of fun facts and information with students and family members receiving a welcome from Dean Peter Buckley, a discussion on the transition to medical school from Dr. Wallach, a discussion on student services and resources from Dr. Loomer, and a student panel question and answer session. The White Coat Ceremony began with our talented first and second year medical students singing the National Anthem, followed by welcome messages from President Keel and Provost Caughman. It was also very special to hear our year 4 class president’s (Katherine Menezes from our Augusta campus and Palmer Feibelman from our AU/UGA Partnership campus) views on what the white coat personally means to them. The final speakers were Dr. Buckley and our keynote speaker, Dr. Cindy Mercer, a 1978 alumnus and Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology with our partnership campus in Athens. A special thanks to Dr. Kim Loomer, Dr. Lynnette Bauza, and the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs for all of their hard work in preparing for such a wonderful and celebratory day!

Pink Pumpkin Party
On Saturday, October 1, 2016, House H participated in the Breast Cancer/Pink Pumpkin Party that was held on the patio of the Harrison Education Commons. Proceeds from this event assisted in providing free mammograms to those in need. The day was filled with a pink pumpkin decorating contest, a best dressed in pink contest, a pumpkin carving competition, breast health information, music, dancing, and face painting. It was a great day for all who participated!

GRMC Steering Committee

Congratulations to Dr. Kathryn Martin, our Associate Dean for Regional Campus Coordination on being elected as the Southern Region Representative on the AAMC’s Group on Regional Medical Campuses (GRMC). The purpose of this group is to “explore and promote common interest of regional campuses of medical schools. “I am delighted to serve in this role and represent the Medical College of Georgia and our fabulous regional campuses,” stated Dr. Martin.  For more information on the GRMC visit their website: https://www.aamc.org/members/grmc/ Congratulations again to Dr. Martin!

Library Corner

The Greenblatt Library has recently purchased eBooks that are available for you to view via the Greenblatt Library’s website.

Some of the newly purchased eBooks include:

  • Atlas of Human Anatomy, 6th edition 2014.
  • Berek & Novak's Gynecology, 15th edition 2012.
  • Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 8th edition 2011.
  • Differential Diagnosis of Common Complaints, 6th edition 2012.
  • Fundamental Immunology, 7th edition 2013.
  • Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology, 4th edition 2012.
  • Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology, 13th edition 2016.
  • Heptinstall's Pathology of the Kidney, 7th edition 2015.
  • Kaplan's Clinical Hypertension, 11th edition 2015.
  • Marriott's Practical Electrocardiography, 12th edition 2014.
  • Merritt's Neurology, 13th edition 2015.
  • Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 2-volume set, 20th edition 2016.
  • Robbins Basic Pathology—with student consult, 9th edition 2013.
  • Rosen and Barkin's 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, 5th edition 2014.
  • Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, 7th edition 2015.

You can find the complete list here: http://www.augusta.edu/library/greenblatt/resources/ebooks.php

The library has also recently purchased the TRIP (Turning Research Into Practice) database which serves as a tool that searches across multiple resources to gather systematic reviews, evidence synopses, clinical trials, key primary research, and practice guidelines. https://www.tripdatabase.com/  JAMA Evidence has also been upgraded from 5 users to now unlimited use on the health sciences campus starting in January 2017. http://jamaevidence.mhmedical.com/

For questions on these updates please contact the Greenblatt Library at 706-721-3441 or at libref@augusta.edu. Also visit their blog at: https://reeselibrary.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/resources-update/

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

*September/October 2016*

Yoga on the Yard

SNMA hosted Yoga on the Yard on August 17, 2016 to promote mental health and wellness, which is so important for students along the medical education journey. The one hour beginner-level session was taught by M2, Alyssa Blumenfeld who practices yoga regularly. The organization will be hosting another session in later months, so be on the lookout if you would like to participate!

MSPE Letters were uploaded October 1! Let the residency interviewing season begin!

MSPE letters were uploaded to ERAS and available to residency programs on October 1st. This can only mean one thing: residency interviewing season will be in full swing before you know it! The letters are a result of the hard work of medical students along with the MSPE writers from this year that included: Drs. Stewart Shevitz, John Francis, Andy Albritton, Lynnette Bauza, Greer Falls, Nancy Hockley, Eric Lewkowiez, Kim Loomer, Kathryn Martin, Shelley Nuss, Frances Purcell, Leonard Reeves, Wayne Rentz, Scott Richardson, and Paul Wallach. Thanks to all the letter writers and best of luck to all of our students!

Day of Service

On Saturday, September 24th, Augusta University held its Annual Day of Service where students, faculty, and staff spent the day making the community a little better by donating their time and service. Our medical students were out in full swing this day, some on their own but many with their academic houses. We caught up with a few students to ask them how their day unfolded at the Strom Thurmond Dam and Clark’s Hill Lake…

“For the Day of Service, I worked with the US Army Corp of Engineers at the Strom Thurmond Dam and Clark’s Hill Lake. In a group of four medical students, we worked on pruning trees around the dam to help preserve the beauty of the lake. Helping to keep this landmark clean was an incredibly rewarding experience. For me, this is what I have always loved about community service: not only can I make an impact on my local community, but I can also share a meaningful connection with other people as we rally around a common goal. I encourage all medical students to participate in any kind of community service because of these enriching experiences; all of these types of experiences allow us to grow and keep in touch with the patient populations that we will serve. This, I believe, is a hallmark of an excellent physician.” –Neha Gupta, Class of 2019

“The site had several projects happening simultaneously to help clean and beautify the park area. Our small group was working on trimming trees and removing branches which improved the safety of the park by removing more dangerous branches. Doing that kind of work helps me personally feel more connected and invested in the community around me. In my opinion, it is our responsibility to serve the community around us and to remember to connect with it wherever we go. Also, for me as a medical student specifically, it helped me take a break from frenzied studying and trying to keep up in class to remember the reason I wanted to become a doctor in the first place. I've wanted to use my career to actively serve my community, to think about inequality and injustice, and to remember that this profession has the ability to make a tremendous, positive impact if we decide to commit to the work. Service always brings me back to that purpose, and that is why doing service is so important to me.”- Kalpana Reddy, Class of 2019.

CD 101

Did you know: Over 40 faculty attended the Eii sponsored Career Development 101 events this year! Both CD101 for Early Career Investigators and CD101 for Clinician Educators adopted a meet/greet plus practical tips approach to the agenda.  

Presenters were provided with 10-15 minutes to introduce themselves and the resources that their offices provided (e.g., Leadership, Greenblatt Library, IRB, Grants,/Contracts, Eii). In addition, each presenter provided attendees with 2-3 practical suggestions for their clinical, teaching, research or career development. Attendees appreciated briefly meeting the representatives from various campus programs, learning who to contact later, and having a few tips that they could readily apply in the coming year. Lisa Middleton and Ralph Gillies opted to move to this quicker paced model recognizing that recently hired faculty need to be aware of several available resources and important timelines but likely will seek a more in depth understanding at a later date.  Way to go Eii! For more information on this event and other Eii sponsored events, contact Dr. Ralph Gillies at rgillies@augusta.edu

Admissions Update and a few fun facts on the Class of 2020

We are off to a great year in the Admissions Office and it began by welcoming our class of 2020 last month. This year, we matriculated 230 students with 190 assigned to Augusta and 40 for our AU/UGA Partnership Campus in Athens. Not only is the class friendly and just all around awesome, they’re smart too! The average GPA is 3.8 and the average MCAT score is 31. The class has students from eight states and 34 of the 139 Georgia counties are represented. They have come to us from nearly 70 colleges and universities and most have performed some type of research and/or published already! Some are non-traditional students who did not have typical pre-health backgrounds and some are the first in their family to go to college or medical school. Based on their many hours of volunteer work, helping the less fortunate and serving the underserved in various ways is very important to this class. Quite a few class members have been all around the globe participating in extensive medical volunteerism efforts, as making a difference in the lives of others is extremely important to them. We are so very excited to welcome the Class of 2020. Please join me in making this class feel right at home at MCG.

We are also extremely excited to report that the Early Decision Program for the class of 2021 has already accepted 19 students. With eight students accepted to the academic track and 11 accepted to the rural program on the SW campus, we are on track to have an awesome class of 2021.

Fall is an exciting time at MCG with White Coat around the corner and a hint of cooler weather in the air! Cheers!

*June 2016*

MCG Admissions Office Leadership Change: Thank you to Dr. Stallworth, welcome Dr. Braun

We wish to express our thanks to Dr. Leila Stallworth, who has served as MCG Interim Associate Dean for Admissions during the 2015-2016 academic year, for her outstanding leadership of the Admissions Office. She contributed not only to the smooth operations of the admissions office with the recruitment and selection of an amazing class of 2020, but also as a trusted member of the academic affairs team. She represented MCG well as the admissions leader during our LCME visit.

Dr. Stallworth has decided to focus her efforts on the educational programs in the Department of Pediatrics, in particular, serving as Associate Program Director for the Pediatrics residency, and will step down from her position in the Admissions Office on June 30, 2016. We wish Leila our very best, as she will continue to be a leader in the Department of Pediatrics, teaching residents and students, and caring for patients in the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. We are also grateful that she will continue to serve as a member of the Admissions Committee.

Dr. Kelli Braun, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been named Interim Associate Dean of Admissions at MCG effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Braun, a Georgia native, earned her undergraduate degree for the University of Georgia, majoring in microbiology. She earned her M.D. degree and completed her residency in OB/GYN at MCG.

Since joining the faculty in 2008, and has been active in both undergraduate and graduate medical education. Dr. Braun is the Associate Clerkship Director for Medical Student Education. As Director of Simulation for the OBGYN residency program, she is nationally recognized for her curriculum design and low-fidelity modeling for teaching surgical procedures. She is a graduate of the Surgical Education Scholars program of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Her simulation curriculum was awarded the Outstanding Presentation for Graduate Medical Education at the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (AAMC) Annual Meeting in Austin, TX in April 2016.

In addition to her busy clinical practice, Dr. Braun is the director of the educational research track for the Educational Research Fellowship in the Education Innovation Institute (Eii). She is the principle investigator for the TRUST Study (HALT Medical), a nationwide clinical trial for radiofrequency ablation of uterine fibroids. In preparation for the most recent LCME site visit, Dr. Braun served as the faculty co-chair for the self-study.

New student member of the admissions committee

Kendra Wallace, rising M2 has been chosen to serve as the new student member of the admissions committee.  She was one of 3 very well qualified members of the class of 2019 who were elected by their peers and then interviewed with the admissions office.  “Kendra brings a rather lengthy list of experiences and strengths to the committee.   She finished law school in 2009, passed the Georgia Bar and began her work as a staff attorney to a DeKalb County Superior Court Judge.   Shortly after, she was inspired to become a physician in order to make a positive impact on the lives of the people she encounters on a more fundamental level.  Her experience as a lawyer has given her remarkable writing and speaking skills which will serve her well on our admissions committee.  She is articulate, thoughtful, warm, mature, and will represent MCG proudly to each applicant she encounters,” stated Dr. Leila Stallworth.

Dr. Kathryn Martin: Bringing Public Health into Medical Education Across Georgia

In the early 20th century, public health was part of medicine. Thereafter, the fields of medicine and public health began to diverge. Dr. Kathryn Martin, Associate Dean for Regional Campus Coordination, who has significant background in public health, is working to bring them back together. Her academic journey into public health began in 2000 when she was hired to administer the Rural Enrichment And Access Program (REAP) grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Mercer, where she facilitated small group learning in epidemiology for first year medical students.  She then began teaching in the Master of Public Health program.

Each of the next four summers, she worked with the Georgia Health Policy Center collecting public health data from three rural counties — Candler, Emanuel and Johnson. “Rural health has been a keen interest of mine since my childhood,” says Martin. She was born in Allendale, SC, one of the sickest, poorest and least educated counties in the country. 

Dr. Martin was able to learn firsthand about the state of Georgia healthcare needs, serving as the Deputy Director of the Georgia Statewide AHEC from 1996-2000. She worked to recruit and train community doctors around the state to serve as medical school preceptors, including many who were located in in rural private practices.

She continued her involvement with the Georgia Rural Health Association and the Georgia Public Health Association throughout, and served as President of the Georgia Public Health Association from 2013 to 2014.

Over the last four years, Dr. Martin has made steady progress in bringing public health to MCG students. She has led the curriculum initiative to create public health intercessions for first and second year medical students.  She engaged 18 district health directors in Georgia, as well as the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, and her team at the state office, to assist in this process.  

As part of the intersessions, and with thanks to Dr. Martin’s leadership, our medical students have created outstanding public service announcements (PSAs) on the top health issues in Georgia and have written a community health assessment of Augusta/Richmond County Georgia.  

Now Dr. Martin, along with Dr. Greer Falls, second year class dean, is planning MCG’s first “Public health bus tour across Georgia” this September for our second year medical students.   Students will be exposed to public health issues through a regional lens while learning about the uniqueness of each campus.

Dr. Martin has also spearheaded the public health nurses training that has been taking place in the Education Commons this summer. Public Health nurses and colleagues are being trained in hypertension and diabetes, two of Georgia’s top health issues. As part of this project, approximately 90 nurses from around the state have received training in hypertension and diabetes thus far with another 60 scheduled later this summer.

Dr. Martin reminds us that “while academic medicine in the United States grapples with the concept of integrating public health into clinical medicine, MCG is a leader in this endeavor, with real world/real time learning opportunities across the 57,000+ square miles of our statewide campus.”

Thank you to Dr. Martin for her dedication not only to the Medical College of Georgia, but also to the state of Georgia and the public healthcare needs of our citizens.

Alumni Association New Website- Check it out!

Did you know that the MCG Alumni Association has a new website that has recently been launched? Jennifer Scott, Senior Communication Coordinator, is part of this newly developed site and is excited about the information it will share with our students, faculty, staff and alumni. “Our MCG Offices of Communications and Alumni Affairs worked with the university’s advancement team to rebuild the MCG Alumni Association’s web site recently. The goal of the site was to create a tool of engagement for our alums, so they could read stories about their classmates and current students, learn about upcoming events, tell us about their news, pay their dues and even make a donation,” said Scott. Learn more about the site at mcg.augusta.edu/alumni

*May 2016*

Student Receives Arnold P. Gold Summer Fellowship

Rising M2 student, Jiby Yohannan, has received an Arnold P. Gold Student Summer Fellowship for addressing a public health need in an underserved area. Jiby will be working this summer with Dr. Lara Stepleman and her research team on their project, “Assessing the Community We Serve: Equality Clinic of Augusta.” The research team plans to implement and analyze an LGBT health needs assessment survey focused on the CSRA. The team is studying issues that include mental health, substance use behaviors, and perceptions of the LGBT community in the area. It is the team’s hope that this study pilots new initiatives to bridge together the gaps that still exist between healthcare providers and the LGBT population. When asked how he felt about being awarded this prestigious award, Jiby said, “I'm really honored that this project is being funded by the Gold Foundation. I started working with LGBT health as one of the student coordinators for the Equality Clinic. Through this clinic I have learned a lot about the issues that still exist today for underprivileged LGBT patients. There is a lot of progress to be made, and this survey can truly make a difference for the community at large while furthering the Gold Foundation's mission of practicing humanistic and compassionate medicine.”

Successful MCG Statewide Faculty Development Conference in Jekyll Island, GA 

MCG hosted a statewide faculty development conference for voluntary clinical faculty at Jekyll Island on May 19-21.  This year’s theme focused on leveraging advances in technology in medicine and medical education to enhance the teaching of our medical learners. Technology highlighted included online learning, iPhone assisted physical examination, point-of-care ultrasound, and telemedicine.  During the session discussions, presenters and conference participants recognized the importance of integrating this new technology into training while continuing to emphasize the importance of the working relationship between a learner and a faculty mentor in the professional development of the learner.  

The conference had over 125 attendees including campus leadership and community clinical faculty.  As a result, curriculum planning and implementation were discussed at all levels.  In addition, faculty from all of MCG’s regional campuses attended to share best practices and to ensure comparability of learning experiences across the state.  

In addition to informative sessions, the interaction between community faculty, clerkship directors, and academic leadership is what makes this conference successful and enjoyable. Participants have opportunities to talk 1:1 and in small groups to share their best practices and brainstorm methods for implementing existing and new objectives.

Further, MCG is able to express thanks to the many volunteer faculty members who support our educational program.

The Essentials of Clinical Medicine Faculty Retreat – A Time to Reflect and Plan

Each year, all of the physical diagnosis preceptors and small group PBL facilitators from the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course gather to reflect on the curriculum from the previous year and to learn of changes for the upcoming year.  This process of reflecting and planning with colleagues has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to share teaching wisdom and successfully launch curriculum changes.  In addition to the discussions, an invited speaker presents on a topic that further develops the faculty’s teaching skills and knowledge.  This year, Dr. Aaron Johnson, Associate Professor within the Institute of Public and Preventative Health, provided an overview of a brief alcohol screening and intervention program that is being incorporated into MCG medical student training.  While the focus of this program is alcohol, the approach, in particular the motivational interviewing aspect, can be adapted to meet a variety of other healthcare concerns including obesity, medication and treatment adherence, and preventative care.  Kudos to Drs. Shilpa Brown, Carol Nichols, Barbara Russell, and Louise Thai in facilitating this session.  

SNMA Receives Award

The Student National Medical Association, co-directed by Ms. Linda James and Dr. Vanessa Spearman, received an award for Outstanding Service and Volunteerism at the Annual Student Organizations Awards Banquet, sponsored by the Office of Student and Life Engagement. SNMA actively engages in community service and volunteerism throughout the year and strives to significantly impact those from underrepresented and disadvantaged populations in the Augusta community. Most notably, they collaborate with the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs to host a pre-medical/pre-health conference that brings about 300 high school and college students to campus each year for the Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference.

“I am honored to work with a group of students who are strongly committed to outreach and service. Through mentoring and health education to youngsters in the Augusta community, they are inspiring the next generation of health professionals who will help meet the diverse healthcare needs of Georgia and beyond,” said Ms. James of the SNMA program.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Public Health Program- A Success

MCG has now been host to two successful Public Health Nurse Educational Programs that have taken place in the Harrison Education Commons. Public Health nurses from all over the state of Georgia are gathering in Augusta to learn more about Hypertension and Diabetes from our very own physicians that include, Drs. Paul Wallach, Shilpa Brown, Tony Mulloy, and the District Health Director, Dr. Stephen Goggans. Nurses spend two days attending class, having innovative and interactive discussions, learning and refreshing skills in heart sounds, the physical exam and EKGs, as well as performing OSCEs with standardized patients. “I have been to many trainings throughout my career, and this program exceeds any continuing education program I have ever attended. The instructors and information we have learned has been fabulous,” said one attendee. The programs will continue throughout the summer. We look forward to hosting more of our public health colleagues!

I hope your summer is filled with fun, sun, and a little studying! We look forward to keeping you updated on MCG events!

*April 2016*

PLAC Graduation

The Physician Leadership and Advocacy Curriculum program that takes places at the Southwest campus had their awards ceremony on Friday, April 15th. This program focuses on leadership and a desire to help others within the community. The purpose of this program is to expand the knowledge and skills of student leadership and to facilitate awareness of the importance to serve one’s community in order to help improve the health of that community. Throughout the program, students created their own community projects that focus on topics they feel are important and need addressed. Examples of the projects this year included Pre-Professional Mentoring; Sex, Reproduction and Birth Control in Dougherty County schools; Addressing Health Disparities in Southwest Georgia; Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Obesity; Dougherty County Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative. Congratulations to those who have completed this fantastic program!

Public Health Presentations by M2s

The second year students have been working throughout the CSRA to learn about the Public Health disparities that exist in the communities where they reside while in medical school. The students were divided into four groups (schools, community at large, neighborhoods, and overview of the project). Each group looked at their target area and performed the Community Healthy Living Index (CHILI) test, sanctioned by the YMCA that measures opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating in areas of a certain community. To learn more about the CHILI Assessment, visit the Y’s website at http://www.ymca.net/chli-about .

The students very much enjoyed working together on these projects throughout the community. Sadie Mason reflects on her school group, “Being able to learn more about the schools that are educating our future patients, I think, gave us greater insight into the backgrounds that those patients have when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices. Being aware of those backgrounds, knowing where they are strong and maybe a little weak, I think, will make us more effective physicians as we build on that base knowledge in the clinic to provide the best care we can for our patients.”

Dr. Kathryn Martin expressed how important projects like these are to the medical students, “Physicians are often called upon as leaders within their respective communities as resident experts in the field.  This project was one of discovery — for students to learn first-hand about the resources afforded in their local community and how patients — who are also employees, community members, parents, etc. — are impacted by the community in which they live.  For example, if a physician writes an order for walking three times a week and the patient lives in an area without sidewalks or in unsafe areas, the patient cannot be compliant with their physician’s orders.  In turn, if physicians are aware of community resources, he/she then can harness community resources to benefit their patients’ health outcomes in tandem with medications, etc.” 

We were extremely proud of the resourcefulness of our students in this endeavor.  They stepped out of their comfort zones to learn and share with their peers as well as make a positive contribution to our community.  The impact of this project is growing legs as we think together with community leaders how best to utilize this information as they address the needs of its citizens.    

Dr. Lara Stepleman receives Augusta University Service Award

Congratulations to Dr. Lara Stepleman, co-director of the Educational Innovation Institute and Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, who was awarded the 2016 Augusta University Service Award from the Employee Advisory Council. This award recognizes service to an academic, administrative or clinical area. This can include service to the University and Health System community, daily interaction with fellow staff, students, faculty, and/or patients and families, and/or exemplary achievement and performance, excellence in service/personal interaction and outstanding support/initiative and creativity.

Dr. Kelli Braun receives SGEA award at Austin, TX Spring Meeting

Dr. Kelli Braun, Director of Educational Research Fellowship of the Educational Innovation Institute, received an award at the SGEA conference that was held in Austin, TX this month. Dr. Braun was awarded the 2015 SGEA Medical Education Scholarship Award for Outstanding Presentation- Graduate Medical Education for her presentation, "Development of a Formalized Simulation Curriculum for Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents" that was co-authored with Bunja Rungruang, Robert Stager, Barbara Henley and Brent Parnell. This award was given to her for her oral education presentation she gave at the SGEA regarding how the Simulation Committee was formed and also how developed a structured simulation curriculum for our Ob-Gyn resident’s works. During her presentation, she also discussed the challenges that we faced/overcame with this project such as little funding, need for faculty support and most importantly, the development of our own low fidelity models that allow all residents to practice the skill. Congratulations to both Dr. Stepleman and Dr. Braun!

Dr. Tasha Wyatt to be featured in Teaching & Learning in Medicine's 2016 Conversation Starters Series

Dr. Tasha Wyatt, Educational Researcher with the EII, will be featured in the 2016 Teaching & Learning in Medicine’s Conversation Starters series. Only one abstract per region was selected for this honor and we are so incredibly proud of Dr. Wyatt for representing the Medical College of Georgia! Her abstract, “Taking Ownership in the 3rd Year of Medical School: A Pilot Study,” will be highlighted. The AAMC Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation (MESRE) group partnered with Teaching and Learning in Medicine (TLM) to begin a series called “Conversation Starters.” This series features one research abstract from each of the four regional conferences, which is then paired with a handful of experts who brainstorm how to take the author’s research to the next level. The purpose of the series is to highlight the excellent scholarship being reported at regional conferences and to explore how these groundwork studies can be scaled up into research programs or multi-institutional projects that could be proposed for national level grant funding.

The intent of this series is to stimulate inquiry that goes beyond incremental creativity to fundamentally change and transform how we think about various topics in medical education.  

Congratulations to all award winners within the EII! Well done!

Spring has officially sprung and our academic year is coming to a close. Hooding will take place on Thursday, May 12th at the Bell Auditorium. We are looking forward to the exciting and busy Spring season in Academic Affairs!

*Special Edition: 2016 Match Report*

Today we celebrate 223 of our remarkable students as they take the next step in their careers as physicians, including 188 from our home base in Augusta and 35 from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens. They have been educated in all four corners of our state, in Athens, and at our regional campuses in Albany, Rome and Savannah/Brunswick.

Their achievements should be celebrated. Their accomplishments, both personal and academic, have landed them placements at top-tier residency programs across the country, including programs here at the Medical College of Georgia. It comes as no surprise that we regularly hear from colleagues all over the United States how well our students are doing in their residency programs. We expect great things!

Their success on Match Day is something we should all be proud of and is due in large part not only to the students’ abilities, but the learning, care, mentorship, and support they have received from MCG’s faculty and administrative teams, who are devoted to student success.

Our Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs (OSMA) guides the process for developing the MSPE (medical school performance evaluation), letters that summarize medical school activities and credentials in a narrative form, and are used by residency programs as part of the selection process. Associate Deans Dr. Kimberly Loomer (Augusta), Dr. Stuart Shevitz (Year 4 Class Dean, Augusta), and Dr. John Francis (Athens) lead the process for MSPE writing and student advising. Meeting with each student to give them personal advice and counseling, the team of individuals who participated this year in addition to Drs. Loomer, Shevitz, and Francis were Drs. Andy Albritton, Lynette Bauza, Greer Falls, Leslie Lee, Eric Lewkowiez, Kathryn Martin, Shelley Nuss, Leonard Reeves, T. Wayne Rentz, Scott Richardson, Granville Simmons, and Paul Wallach. 

So, what are our students doing?

They matched in 24 specialties and 48 percent are pursuing primary care (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Medicine/Pediatrics)

The top represented specialties and percentages are:

Specialty                                              %

 Internal Medicine                         24                          

Pediatrics                                        16                                          

Family Medicine                              7

Emergency Medicine                      7

OB/Gyn                                             7

Anesthesiology                                 6

General Surgery                               5

Radiology                                           4

Orthopaedics                                    3

Psychiatry                                          3

Dermatology                                      3

And where are they doing it?

  • Students matched to programs in 34 states
  • 28 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their first postgraduate year
  • 28 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their second postgraduate year and beyond
  • 15 percent of the class will remain at our MCG/AU Health programs
  • The numbers of students who are both staying in Georgia and staying at MCG/AU Health has significantly increased over two years ago.
  • The numbers of students matching in primary care residency programs has significantly increased over the last several years.

After Georgia, the top represented states and percentages are:


                State                                     %

                South Carolina                   9

               North Carolina                   6

               Tennessee                          6

              Florida                                  5

              Illinois                                   4

              New York                            4

Other fast fact:

  • As of Match Day 2016, 100 percent of our students have a residency position for July 2016!

March 2016

New Piano in the Education Commons Lobby

You may have noticed the new piano that has been placed in the lobby of the J. Harold Harrison Education Commons Building. This beautiful instrument was purchased with funds from both the Dental College of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia for the enjoyment of our students, staff, and faculty. Please feel free to share your talents by playing the piano! In the picture below, students gather around the piano to listen to our talented M1 student, Geoffrey Pittman, showcase his piano playing abilities. Fun fact: Geoffrey is a self-taught pianist!

 Match is in the Rear View Mirror

MCG students did very well in the Match this year. You all have heard that 100% of our students have residency positions, many more students have chosen to stay at MCG, and stay in Georgia compared to our baseline. Students also matched at “ivy league” and other excellent programs around the country, and will spread the excellent reputation of MCG.

Gold Humanism Event held at Morris Museum of Art

On Saturday, March 12, the Gold Humanism Honor Society held their annual induction ceremony, bringing 27 fantastic new members nominated by their peers in the class of 2017 into the organization. The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes medical students, residents, and faculty who practice patient-centered care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy. The induction ceremony took place at the Morris Museum of Art with guest speaker and Gold Humanism Honor Society member, Dr. John Fisher. It was a wonderful celebration of these stellar students!

The induction ceremony was followed by a reception at the Morris Museum’s permanent collection exhibit. The “Evening of Medicine and the Arts” was a collaborative effort between the Gold Humanism Honor Society at MCG and the Art Department on the Augusta University campus. Students, their families, and faculty from both MCG and the AU Art Department toured the exhibit and evaluated select pieces of art to practice observational and communication skills and open discussion about the interplay between science and art to broaden perspectives and enhance how we approach others in patient care. 

A very special thanks to the AU Art Department and Drs. Michael Schwartz, Scott Thorp, and Tara Chokshi for their collaboration. The Gold Humanism Honor Society was led this year by co-presidents Kelsey Allen and Sam Gottlieb and faculty advisor Dr. Bunja Rungruang from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

Thanks to Sam, Kelsey, and Dr. Rungruang for their efforts in planning and implementing this program.

Pre-Health Students at Georgia Tech

Our wonderful students continue to help us in the Admissions process.  Most recently two medical students, Joey Dolensky M3 and Quante Singleton M1 joined us at the Georgia Tech AMSA Pre-Health Conference and served on a panel discussing their nontraditional paths into medical school.  Thank you Joey and Quante for representing us so well!  Additionally we would like to welcome Kim Cichelli, M1, to the Admissions team as lead tour guide.  She brings amazing experience and enthusiasm with her and will be coordinating our 55 new tour guides from the Class of 2019.

Interprofessional Lecture on End-Of-Life A Success

Professor Kathy Kinlaw, M.Div. visited our campus on March 3-4, 2016 as our Alan Roberts Visiting Professor of Ethics. She is the Co-Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University and Director of the Program for Ethics for the Health Sciences.

Medical, nursing, dental, and undergraduate students were invited and encouraged to attend the session "Conversations and Decisions at the End of Life" on March 3, 2016 at 12-1 pm in the Harrison Education Commons. Pizza was provided by the Vice Dean’s Office along with sponsorship from Academic House 12 led by Drs. Mulloy and Stepp.

The goal of the lecture was to provide an interprofessional dialogue on end of life care via an interactive large-group session with a case presentation. The lecture had a wonderful attendance of nursing students, medical students, residents, and faculty members.

Following the aforementioned guest lecture, Leadership Through Ethics student leaders had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Professor Kinlaw to gain insight and feedback on our student-led program.

This guest lectureship was led by the Medical Ethics Committee under the leadership of Dr. Strong and the Leadership Through Ethics program (an Alpha Omega Alpha funded student project focusing on medical ethics and student leadership). The student leaders of the program include: Emily Butts (MS1), Ellen Encisco (MS1), Vishwajeeth Pasham (MS1), Parth Agrawal (MS1), Connor Sweetnam (M2), Travis Welsh (M2), Lacey Williams (M2), Blake Vander Wood (M2), Brice Hwang (M3), and Brian Sullivan (M3).

Spring has officially sprung and our academic year is coming to a close. Hooding will take place on Thursday, May 12th at the Bell Auditorium. We are looking forward to the exciting and busy Spring season in Academic Affairs!

*February 2016*

LCME Site Visit Complete

Our LCME site visit is complete! Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard for a successful site visit. Thanks to our students and student leaders, the LCME Steering Committee, Dr. Andria Thomas and all who support her. We did an excellent job of representing state wide presence. Our formal LCME communication will arrive following the June LCME meeting.

Admissions Corner

The admissions office is still busy working to seat a great class of 2020 and is already thinking about the class of 2021.  Tour guides from our M1 class are currently being selected and will soon be trained by our “outgoing” M2 tour guides.  This year’s M2 tour guides have been exceptionally enthusiastic ambassadors for MCG and no doubt will train up another great bunch.

House 19 Participates in Valentine’s Day Lunch

On February 10th, students from House 19 met for lunch and a service project. The students made valentines and candy bags for patients at the Georgia War Veterans Home. The bags and valentines were delivered to the patients during their Valentine’s Day party.

19th Annual GME Practice Opportunity Medical Fair for Residents to happen March 16th

The 19th Annual GME Practice Opportunity Medical Fair for Residents will take place on Wednesday, March 16th from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM at the Alumni Center. This fair allows residents and fellows to discuss practice opportunities with over 30 hospitals from across the state. Lunch will be provided to those who register along with the opportunity to win door prizes. Be sure to return registration forms to the GME office (AE 3042) or fax / e-mail to Mary Stephens (706-446-3546/ marys@gru.edu) by March 7th. This event is sponsored by the Graduate Medical Education Office and the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce.

Teaching and Professionalism Development Tools

If you are looking for some helpful tools in teaching a professional development, here are a couple that may be of use to you…


Teaching Physician connects medical schools and residency programs to community preceptors. It delivers videos, tips, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to in-depth information on topics such as:

  • Preparing a practice team for a student or resident
  • Integrating a student into office routines
  • Setting expectations
  • Teaching strategies
  • Giving feedback
  • Evaluating learners
  • Billing issues

Learn more

The site helps preceptors do their jobs more effectively. It also helps medical schools and residency programs recruit, train, and retain community preceptors.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Medical schools and residency programs purchase a subscription to Teaching Physician.
  2. Medical school and residency program administrators submit the names and e-mail addresses of their preceptors.
  3. The system sends a customized e-mail to preceptors notifying them that your institution has purchased a subscription for them to this content-rich resource. The e-mail also provides log-in information with the individual’s username and password.
  4. Each month, preceptors receive an e-mail with a link to resources for the “Precepting Topic of the Month.”
  5. Preceptors complete quizzes/evaluations and earn up to 37.5 CME credits per year.
  6. Throughout the subscription you may view a report letting you know how often your preceptors visited the site. This report is located under the Preceptor Resources tab.

Want a sneak peak at the members-only content? E-mail Brian Hischier at teachingphysician@stfm.org for a temporary username and password to preview the site.


What is NBME U?

NBME U is an online collection of lessons for individuals interested in learning a range of topics relevant to high quality assessment. The lessons are designed to provide brief overviews of assessment topics that are of interest to those in the health professions’ education community at no cost to the learner. Subjects include test design and blueprinting, test material development for common formats, and standard setting. The lessons are brief to accommodate the busy schedules of faculty members. Lessons are interactive and invite you to reflect on your current understanding of the topic and engage in critical thinking rather than be a passive recipient of information. In this way, you will be challenged to engage in active learning and develop knowledge that will endure. The lessons are designed to be educational tools; there is no evaluation component. However, to get the most out of these lessons we encourage you to fully engage and complete all the activities as you strive to further develop your assessment skills.


To begin NBME, click here and register: http://www.nbme.org/about/nbmeu/



Lessons Available on NBME U

Coming Winter 2015


Lesson Title


Test Blueprinting I: Selecting an Assessment Method
Test Blueprinting II: Creating a Test Blueprint
How to Create a Good Score
Test Score Reliability Overview
Validity and Threats to Validity
Combining Scores for Making Decisions
Setting Cut Score
Score Reporting

Method: Multiple-Choice Questions

Purposes, Types, and Educational Uses of MCQ Exams
Assessing Application of Knowledge
Structuring MCQs
MCQ Flaws and How to Avoid Them
Writing MCQs to Assess Application of Clinical Science Knowledge
Writing MCQs to Assess Application of Basic Science Knowledge
Strategies for Organizing Item Writing and Review
Incorporating Graphics and Multimedia into MCQs
Test Statistics and Generalizability Theory for MCQ Exams
Setting Pass/Fail Standards
Item Analysis and Key Validation

Method: Objective Structured Clinical Examination

Working with Standardized Patients (SPs) for Assessment
An Introduction to the Use of Generalizability Theory in OSCEs
Reality Check: Promoting Realism in SPs
Quality Assurance of Standardized Patients
Developing Rating Scales and Checklists for OSCEs
Training Raters
Elements of Case Development
Considerations in Designing Exam Space

Method: Workplace-based Assessment

Educational Frameworks for Assessing Competence
Conducting the Feedback Session
Assessing Routine Behaviors over Multiple Occasions
Encounter-based Methods
Validity Issues: Strategies to Improve Reliability and Validity




Spring is right around the corner so think warm thoughts!! Be on the lookout for our special Match report coming in March!

*November 2015*

MCG Medical Student presents at AAMC About Equality Clinic

Sam Spellicy, one of our MD/PhD students, presented at this year’s 2015 AAMC meeting on our Equality Clinic. Her presentation centered on the interdisciplinary nature of the student run and recently founded Equality Clinic, and how it allows teams of faculty from medicine, dentistry, psychology, physician assistants and public health to care for a predominantly LGBT patient population. Sam feels that her message was heard well. “The response and excitement to my presentation was more than I could have hoped for, as faculty from medical schools across the country probed into the specifics of the clinic, the learning experience for our students, the interprofessional dynamics, and the well balanced care we provide. Based on audience interest, it seems like the sentiment and interest was echoed throughout the crowd which leaves me excited for the future of our clinic and the impact it can hold not only in our direct local area, but across the entire country.” Dr. Wallach was in the audience and was very proud of both Sam’s presentation and the project.

Eii 2016 Faculty Development Fellowship – Teaching Scholars Track

The Eii Faculty Development fellowship is designed for faculty passionate about teaching and who are seeking to expand their teaching skills/strategies and understanding of pedagogy, and we encourage you to apply!

The Educational Innovation Institute offers the faculty development fellowship to provide select Augusta University health professions faculty with a guided training experience that broadens their education related skills and knowledge. As a result of this training, it is our hope that participants make scholarly and educational contributions that enhance health professions education at Augusta University. There are two tracks for the fellowship – Education Research and Teaching Scholars.

The Teaching Scholars Track is a 9-month program designed to expand participants’ knowledge of learning approaches and theories, refine teaching skills, exposure to teaching technology and provide foundation in education-related assessment and scholarship. Sessions are Thursdays 4:15-5:45PM. Drs. Ralph Gillies and Chris White co-direct this track. 

For more information:         
Website           http://www.augusta.edu/mcg/academic-affairs/eii/tsfintro.php
Phone              706-721-8980
Email               Eii@augusta.edu

Admissions Corner

The admissions committee is hard at work identifying, recruiting and accepting MCG’s Class of 2020.   Over 3,000 applications have been received and nearly 400 bright young people have been invited for interviews so far! To date, over 200 applicants have already been on campus, interviewing and checking out our beautiful facilities; be sure to welcome them if you see them walking around!   As you can imagine, many people are involved in this process and we are especially grateful for the students who take time out of their busy schedules to help us especially Shawna McCafferty, M2, Joseph Dolensky, M3 and Jaharris Collier, M4 who all serve as Admission Committee members and interview, review and vote on applicants.  Joseph Rimando, M4 helps with our closed file interviews, Cole Philips, M2 heads up our group of fabulous tour guides who join our applicants for lunch each day and are always such positive representatives of our students. Travis Welsh, M2 organizes our student hosts who unselfishly open up their homes to applicants the night before their interview. Thank you again to all who take time out of their busy work and school schedules to help us. It takes a village!

Additional Study Space Available and Ready in the CJ Building

MCG Academic Affairs is proud to announce that additional study space is being made available to medical students in the CJ Clinical Skills Center. Rooms are available for reservation through Outlook Calendar. Please find instructions here:  CJ_Instructions.pdf

Please contact Deborah Pinion (706-721-4569), Megan Gibson (706-721-3886), or Jenny Katic (706-721-7304) for any problems you may encounter with scheduling a room or entering the suite with badge access.

Thank you and we hope you all enjoy the additional study space!

We are so very proud of all that our students, faculty and staff contribute to our institution. Thank you for all that you do every day!



White Coat Ceremony and Parents and Partners- a wonderful program…again!

For the 3rd straight year, Parents and Partners, a program aimed at giving significant others a glimpse into medical school was hosted prior to the White Coat Ceremony. Parents, partners, and significant others of the Class of 2019 were treated to a morning learning about the Medical College of Georgia, psychosocial development of medical students, the academic, career, and wellness resources available to students. The group then toured the simulation center, the academic learning communities, and enjoyed lunch. Nearly 750 people, including our Athens Partnership students and colleagues, joined us for lunch before our great university photographer captured the Class of 2019 outside the J. Harold Harrison Education Building.  After the Parents & Partners program, the students and families proceeded to the White Coat Ceremony at the Bell Auditorium. The White Coat ceremony is a momentous occasion, marking the 230 students’ transition towards the practice of medicine. Students and guests enjoyed immensely hearing from Dr. Charlie Linder, the keynote speaker as well both the Athens and Augusta Class of 2016 presidents, Provost Caughman, and President Keel who thanked them for choosing us.  A special thank you to Drs. Kimberly Vess Loomer, Lynnette Bauza, and the entire Student Affairs team as well as the over 40 student and staff volunteers for putting on these events. Event photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/1W2sEL9

Greenblatt Library: Connecting Students With Clinical Knowledge On Every Campus

The Greenblatt Library, which serves MCG students in Augusta and around the state, has an embedded library service which provides customized services on behalf of all Medical College of Georgia students.  Librarians are available to assist with finding current evidence for clinical questions regarding patient diagnosis and treatment options.

Students have access to a wealth of online clinical tools including Access Medicine, Essential Evidence Plus, Micromedex, and clinical practice guidelines. Librarians direct students to the right source to quickly address patient care and student learning needs through applying evidence-based medicine principles.

Librarians also assist with research projects where they help in performing preliminary searches, assist in refining a search topic and developing a feasible research question. Students learn from librarians about effective search terms, assist in the evaluation of articles and information retrieved. Librarians also collaborate in manuscript preparation and assist in researching topics for conferences, journal club, and classroom presentations.

Kathy Davies and Lindsay Blake are the librarian liaisons to medical students in Augusta classrooms, clinics, and practice sites across the state.  Julie Gaines provides on-site library services for the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership campus.  Students are encouraged to contact Greenblatt Library to provide quality evidence based information for clinical care and discovery.

Contact Greenblatt Library


Chat questions


Embedded Librarians


Office Hours Tuesday- Thursday 1:00- 5:00

Harrison Medical Education Commons

706- 446-5147



New Wellness Program Taking Flight

The Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs has partnered with Student Health Services to host wellness programs designed to specifically meet the needs of medical students. Victoria Pretlow, an MPH graduate student, working under direction of Dr. Kimberly Vess Loomer and Ms. Leslie Wilcher, Augusta University’s Student Wellness Coordinator, has garnered input from medical students and planned a portfolio of programs for medical students based in the J. Harold Harrison Education Commons Building.  Based on student input, events for fall have already included:  yoga on the lawn, mindfulness as it relates to self and patient care, a flu clinic and hand hygiene training, a smoothie competition with smoothie samples, and the production and distribution of a healthy eating cookbook. November and December events will include an Alcohol Awareness Olympics where students will be challenged to complete tasks and games while wearing impairment glasses, a tobacco cessation event The Great American Smokeout, and a World AIDS Day lunch and learn highlighting the physician needs and services available in the community. A student survey is underway which will drive spring semester wellness program planning. For more information, please contact Ms. Victoria Pretlow at vpretlow@augusta.edu

EMT Training at MCG

This past summer, MCG sponsored a pilot program to allow a small group of students to participate in an Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) training program for the month prior to starting medical school classes.  MCG is one of the few medical schools in the country who have provided EMT training for students prior to enrollment. Upon completion of the month long program, students were encouraged to obtain their National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification and maintain it for the duration of their time in medical school so they are able to participate in direct patient care.

According to Dr. John McManus, Department of Emergency Medicine and EMT training director, this pilot program has many potential benefits. “Medical students have more hands-on clinical experiences earlier than traditional medical programs. Students can work on a rescue squad as well as learn to take histories, conduct exams, and respond to campus disasters as first responders once licensed.” Dr. McManus points out that this also offers interprofessional education. This program provides early clinical skills and memorable experiences for students as they begin medical school. 

Smoking Cessation Book published by student

Did you know that M4 student, Satyam Veean, has published a book on smoking cessation? Along with Dr. Judd Biasiotto, Satyam co-authored Stop Smoking…Now! This book is designed as a learning manual and was written with the intent of presenting a systematic approach for developing control of smoking behavior. This is the approach taken to controlling smoking behavior long term.

Inspired by his grandfather who passed away with emphysema at the age of 75 after smoking for 25 years, Satyam contacted his mentor and co-author, Dr. Biasiotto, asking if he would be interested in co-authoring this book that meant so much to him. “I wanted to combine my scientific knowledge and proven, systematic plan with his psychological expertise to formulate a guide to help people quit smoking,” says Veean. “Our book is unique from most other cessation guides in the market. Firstly, we formulated a book that was written in first person to help engage our audience—we wanted to make this truly a personal experience for the reader. Moreover, we were able to describe the science behind smoking and its harmful effects in a way that would be understandable to the majority. And lastly, we developed a plan that we believe works. Over the years, we have seen many people who have tried to quit smoking, only to start smoking again. We feel that we have developed a plan such that a combination of mental, physical, and emotional reinforcements are all in place to help kick the smoking habit.”

Proceeds from the sales of this book goes to Veean’s non-profit charity, Hearts and Hugs Foundation.

We are so very proud of all that our students, faculty and staff contribute to our institution. Thank you for all that you do every day!

*September 2015*

A Day to Give Back.

September 12th was Augusta University’s Day of Service and our medical students were involved throughout the CSRA. Many academic houses came together to volunteer their time as a team.   House 19 worked at the Gertrude Herbert School of Arts tidying up the outside gardens as well as cleaning inside. “It was a great team building exercise where we, as a house, had an opportunity to help those in the community as well as have fun together,” said Becky Etheridge, House Advisor for House 19. Maryam Robinson ’18, enjoyed working with her house and getting to know her housemates, especially the members from the Class of 2019, outside of school. “The First Years made a great representation for our house on Augusta University’s Day of Service. It was great to work together as a team and make a difference in our community. We did work outside of the big beautiful building and had nice talks catching up on the year and sharing experiences. It was a fun day,” said Robinson.

And across the state-

Two of our third year Southwest campus students, Bailee Blackburn and Alex Pan, volunteered their time on September 12th with diabetes patients within the Dougherty County school system.  The students worked with children who have diabetes, at the Flint Riverquarium, teaching them how to exercise and eat properly as well as managing their medications.

Bailee Blackburn feels the time they spent with the children, teaching them healthy techniques truly made a difference. “It may seem small, but I feel that life changes come best in small doses. If we accomplished the goal of getting them to think more about what they are eating every day, we have made a larger impact than we realize; and hopefully that will help them to make positive choices in the way they manage their disease daily,” said Blackburn.

Alex Pan also feels they made a difference in the small amount of time they spent with the diabetes patients. Alex notes that diabetes is very problematic in our country but more specifically, to the Southwest Georgia population. “As a regional campus, our goal is to promote the health of this underserved region. Diabetes, hypertension and obesity are all health concerns that affect those, both young and old, residing in Southwest Georgia. Therefore, it was important to host an event that catered to both children and their parents. I enjoyed this experience because I was able to have the opportunity to interact with children again. I recently finished my Pediatrics rotation, which I really enjoyed, so it was nice to have fun and educate these children,” said Pan.

Read more about their experience here: http://www.phoebeputney.com/PhoebeContentPage.aspx?nd=1591&news=748

Senior Medical Student Receives Award

Harika Gorti, a senior medical student, will be receiving the American College of Physicians Georgia Chapter’s Award for Outstanding Student in Volunteerism and Advocacy this coming October. This award is selected by the ACP’s awards committee for medical students for “the individual who reflects and affirms the quality of selfless devotion to the welfare of others.” Volunteering and giving back to those in need is something Harika feels very passionate about and thoroughly enjoys doing. One project in particular that is very dear to her heart is one she worked on after her first year of medical school. Harika worked with those who lived in the slums of Bangalore, India teaching them the importance of hygiene awareness. She notes that this was a very rewarding experience but the most fulfilling part was watching the gradual changes that occurred in the community during her time there. For her, witnessing the break of the cultural barrier by observing the women who learned to take control of their bodies was the most rewarding and exciting part of her volunteer work while in India. Harika’s hope is that through her experiences, others can be motivated to provide their services to undeserved places like these, and help their community flourish in good health. This is only one of many volunteer projects Harika has done. Other volunteer work she has done includes work with the American Medical Association and the American Medical Student Association. Congratulations, Harika on a job well done!

Rural certificate is taking flight…

The new Certificate of Rural Community Health program offered at our Southwest Regional Campus is a new and wonderful opportunity providing students a chance to gain the knowledge and skills to practice medicine in a rural setting.  The 12 credit hour Certificate of Rural Community Health program arms medical students with EMT training, scribe experiences, and other highly-relevant projects to prepare them for rural medicine practice.

These 12 credit hours can also be applied toward earning an MPH if the student desires.

We are pleased to report that 4 students (two of whom are from SE/SW Georgia) have already been admitted to the Class of 2020 through our early decision rural track program and will participate. How exciting!

Bus Tours are happening again- and here’s why!

For the past three years, second year medical students have been given the opportunity as a class to visit MCG regional campuses in Southwest (Albany), Northwest (Rome) and Southeast (Savannah/Brunswick) areas of Georgia.  Not only do the students gain an understanding of the unique educational offerings available in these regions of the state, but they also gain tremendous insight into potential career opportunities.   Students are treated as special guests during the visits, meeting with physicians and staff as they tour these health care facilities. While on the bus tours, students are honing their clinical skills as well as meeting with private practitioners regarding career choices.  Additionally, the local hospitals and community clinical faculty are rolling out the red carpet to help students in their selection process.  With current data providing evidence of students’ success from their training on the regional campuses and acceptances into residency programs of their choice, we are anticipating a competitive selection process again this year. 

The response from the members of the MCG Class of 2018 is indicative of comments from David Davis ‘18, Class President, “The bus trips are a great way for our class to see first-hand how the Medical College of Georgia is dedicated to serving the entire state of Georgia.  We are excited to have so many options for our clinical medical training, and certainly appreciate the many opportunities that MCG provides for us as medical students through the regional campus system,” said Davis.

Stephen Jackson ‘16, Class President, has spent the past two years at the Southeast campus in Savannah, and feels the bus trips are a fantastic way to help our students choose which regional campus is the best fit for them during their clinical years. He also notes that these trips are an opportune time for the students to get to know each other, as classmates. “The bus tours are a great way for second years to get a glimpse of life on the regional campuses where they can spend the last half of their medical school careers. The hosts at each campus are gracious, put on a fun show of life at each corner of the state, and really help you picture what life could be like if you chose to attend one of the campuses. I think it’s a great experience for the students to all travel to the campuses together, as it provides a great bonding time for the class. Each campus is so different, it really takes seeing it up close to know what the mission of each is.”

Second year medical students visited Northwest and Southwest Georgia campuses in August and the Southeast campus in Savannah/Brunswick in September.  A second visit to the Northwest and Southwest Georgia campuses is slated for November.  Students will submit applications to the regional campus(es) of their choice after Thanksgiving and will be notified by the regional campus selection committee of their acceptance on Friday before Winter Break. 

As you can see, we all stay busy at the Medical College of Georgia. Fall is here!  Enjoy the cooler weather as well as weekends full of football and studying!

*August 2015 *

LCME Preparations Continue

October is almost here! That means our self-study report will be “in the mail” to the LCME in preparation for our January 24-27th onsite visit. The students, faculty, and staff who have spent countless hours dedicated to preparation of the report deserve many thanks! The work will not end, however, once the report is submitted. The team will spend the next several months collating any updates that have occurred in the new academic year. We want to provide the LCME with the most current information about our amazing educational program. Thank you in advance to those of you who will be providing these updates and who will be meeting with our visitors when they come to Georgia. We look forward to introducing the LCME to the Medical College of Georgia…OneMCG.

Welcome Dinner

The Class of 2019 was welcomed at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and introduced to their house advisors on Sunday, August 2nd.  Students were welcomed by their house advisors who showered them with t-shirts, treats, and a nice dinner. Many of the M2’s helped with the organization of the dinner to make the new students feel welcome. Students heard from Dr. Wallach, Dr. Loomer, Katherine Menezes, M2 Class President, the student liaisons and the house senators. “The students seemed very happy and excited to meet each other and their house advisors. The food, along with the company was great!” said Dr. Lynnette Bauza, First Year Class Dean.

Admissions Corner

Back at the Admissions office, we are now accepting applications for the next upcoming interview cycle -2015-2016. The start of the Academic year began with our annual Admissions Committee Workshop which was held on Tuesday, July 28th. This yearly training session covered the guidelines used for the Admissions process. Dr. Buckley and Dr. Wallach were both in attendance, and shared insights and goals for the upcoming year.

We are approaching our Early Decision Program for the Class of 2020 and we will be conducting interviews this month. All Early Decision Program applicants must be Georgia residents and are not permitted to apply to other schools if they are accepted as part of the EDP.  Applicants competitive for the Early Decision program will either Qualify academically with a GPA and MCAT score that meets or exceeds the national average for the class just matriculated or Pursue the Certificate of Rural Community Health program and to attend the Southwest Georgia clinical campus during years 3 and 4. 

We also have already begun receiving applications for regular decision and it looks to be another busy year.  Interviews will begin in mid-September and continue through late February.

Additionally, the process for selecting students for our BS/MD program at Augusta University will begin this fall as well.       

Medical Student Spends Summer in South Georgia working in Public Health

Vishal Goyal spent his summer in Valdosta Georgia completing a Public Health rotation. Goyal, who has a Masters of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, is interested in pursuing Family Medicine and thoroughly enjoyed his time spent during this public health rotation. “I thought it was a truly remarkable opportunity to work under one of 16 district health directors in GA.  Not only did I gain clinical experience, but I was able to learn more about the greater challenges medicine faces from an economic, social, and political perspective.”

Vishal hopes to work in the public health someday and is grateful for this remarkable opportunity he was given to work under one of 16 district health directors in the state of Georgia, Dr. William Grow. “The rotation was very thoughtfully planned.  Each day was an adventure and I got unique insight into some aspect of the huge umbrella of public health.  I'm very thankful for this experience and it helped solidify my commitment to public health and increasing access to care for our patients,” stated Goyal.  

Check out the article written about Vishal at the Georgia Department of Public Health here:  http://dph.georgia.gov/blog/2015-07-21/dph%E2%80%99s-south-health-district-welcomes-first-georgia-regents-university-medical

It has been a great summer and we look forward to starting a new academic year and sharing the new and exciting activities happening within Academic Affairs through “Progress Notes.” Welcome to the Class of 2019!

April 2015

The Best Match Ever

At many medical schools around the US, it is the custom to speak of the latest match as “the best match ever.” In fact, for the class of 2015, the match of 2015 was the best match. For MCG, the match of 2015, by objective measures, was the best in years. First, the number of students staying at MCG and in Georgia went up significantly. This is an important metric for Georgia’s only public medical school. Using a measure of program competitiveness, the percentage of our students who matched in “top programs” went up. Our match rate was extremely high. So, in all, our match was terrific, and the best in years. Congratulations to our class of 2015, and the faculty and staff who advised, counseled, and supported them through the process.

Statewide Faculty Development Conference June 4-6

MCG voluntary faculty from every corner of the state of Georgia have been invited to join us for our annual Faculty Development workshop this year on Jekyll Island June 4-6, 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity for department chairs, clerkship directors, clerkship site directors, and regional campus leadership to meet with community clinical faculty who generously volunteer their time and expertise to our school.  

The focus of the meeting is preparing our statewide faculty for our upcoming LCME visit, to share learning objectives, discuss methods of assessment and to reward faculty of best practices in clinical education.

Students Win Ultrasound Challenge

Ten MCG students attended the 1st Annual Southeast Regional Ultrafest on Saturday, March 21.  This was a hands-on ultrasound symposium for medical students.  Max Mam and Becky Etheridge assisted medical students in 2 of the 10 ultrasound scanning stations.  It was a great conference and I think our students learned many useful ultrasound scanning tips and techniques.

At the end of the day, there was an Ultrasound Challenge competition. Our MCG students took first and second place!  It was a great way to end the day!

Education Week

Education Week took place this year March 16-20 throughout the Health Sciences Campus. This year we adopted a forum format where educators from across Augusta University shared their program’s best teaching practices and innovations. Thanks to Dr. Ralph Gillies and Dr. Kate Ciarroca with the Dental College of Georgia for their work in planning the week.

  • Monday - Dr. Chad Ray and a panel of residents and students discussed the value of a global health experience in their professional development and education. 
  • Tuesday, Alexis Rossi and Shannon Nix discussed the struggling learners and resources available for assistance. 
  • Wednesday - Dr. Kate Ciarrocca facilitated a four-college panel on service learning opportunities.  The panel included Janet Tankersley-CAHS, Carol Hanes-CDM, Carol Hunter-CON, Eric Ollila-MCG, Charmaine Robinson-MCG.  
  • Thursday - Dr. Kelli Braun facilitated the electronic poster session (including Drs. Mary Arthur, Taylor Phelps, Barbara Kraj, Charlotte Ball, Robert Stager, Sue Ellen Abney-Roberts, Erika Simmerman) as well as a four college forum discussing current technology in education.  That forum included Lori Bolgla-CAHS, Kevin Plummer-CDM, Matt Lyon-MCG, and Amber McCall-CON. 
  • Friday - Dr. Amy House introduced Acceptance and Commitment training as a practical and effective means to reduce risk for burnout in medical learners at Grand Rounds.  

*MCG Revisit Day 2015*

On March 18th, the Admissions Office successfully orchestrated another amazing event for newly accepted students – MCG Revisit Day 2015! 59 accepted applicants, accompanied by spouses, parents, and friends, visited the Health Sciences campus to learn more and affirm MCG as their medical school of choice, network with their future colleagues, and pick the brains of faculty, current students, and staff. One attendee noted that they most enjoyed “getting to know the feel of the campus and the environment that the students and faculty created.” Another commented that, “Match Day results from previous years allowed me to see the potential of MCG for my medical school education.” The day-long event was held in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons providing an opportunity for students to truly experience a day in the life of an MCG student.

The day commenced with Dr. Gina Duncan, Associate Dean for Admissions, welcoming new students and setting high expectations for the day’s planned events. Faculty speakers included Dr. Andy Albritton covering the curriculum, Ms. Linda James on services offered through the Office of Student & Multicultural Affairs, Dr. Richard Cameron discussing the Medical Scholars Program and other research opportunities, Drs. Kathryn Martin, Granville Simmons, and Sandra Mobley touching on regional clinical campuses, with Dr. Paul Wallach, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, wrapping up the morning session. During Session 2, attendees observed Dr. Pamela Fall’s second-year lecture and toured the amazing clinical skills and simulation labs led by Ben Sookhoo, M2 and lead MCG Tour Guide, and his fellow guides. Lunch provided an opportunity to mingle with current medical students and Admissions Committee members, to receive helpful financial aid tips from the Office of Student Financial Aid’s Ms. Edith Marshall, a Q&A session, and a fun MCG trivia contest. After Dr. Duncan’s final remarks, the day ended with a tour of the Education Commons building and the Health Sciences campus. Survey feedback was overwhelmingly positive with a 97% overall conference rating of Very Good – Excellent and one attendee noting that she left campus knowing “this is the school for me!!!”

Special thanks to all our fantastic faculty, staff, and students who lent their time and expertise to roll out the red carpet and help recruit the class of 2019!

Academy of Health Sciences Educators Selects New Inductees:

The Academy honors teaching excellence, provides a forum for educators, and serve as a resource for promoting teaching innovation on campus. 

  • Annette Bourgault, PhD, RN, CNL (CON), Charlotte Chatto, PT, PhD (CAHS), Gerald E. Crites, MD (Augusta University/UGA Partnership Athens Campus), Janet Munroe, MD (MCG),  Judith Stallings, EdD, MHE, PA-C (CAHS), Stephanie Wright, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN (CON), Julie Zadinsky, PhD, RN, CIP(CON)

Technology Corner

Do you need to be able to share files that are too large to send as an email attachment? With MOVEit®, you can share files up to 40 gigabytes in size using a standard web browser. MOVEit® is Augusta University's secure file transfer service that allows you quickly and easily share large data files with your colleagues and students – even those who are external to the Augusta University enterprise. Transmissions are fully encrypted, ensuring privacy, confidentiality and HIPAA-compliance. 

Try MOVEit® at  http://mft.gru.edu / the next time you need to securely share a file, document, or video. Use your Outlook ID and your current password to sign on. Contact the Help Desk at 1-4000 for additional information or assistance.  More information about MOVEit® can be found at  http://www.augusta.edu/compliance/moveit.php

Happy Spring and congratulations to the Class of 2015 on their fantastic match results as well as their upcoming hooding and commencement ceremonies!

Special Edition: 2015 Match Report- March 20, 2015

Today we celebrate 220 of our remarkable students as they take the next step in their careers as physicians, including 181 from our home base in Augusta and 39 from the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens. They have been educated in all four corners of our state, in Athens, and at our regional campuses in Albany, Savannah/Brunswick, and for the first time, Rome.

Their achievements should be celebrated. Their accomplishments, both personal and academic, have landed them placements at top-tier residency programs across the country, including programs here at the Medical College of Georgia. It comes as no surprise that we regularly hear from colleagues all over the United States how well our students are doing in their residency programs. We expect great things!

Their success on Match Day is something we should all be proud of and is due in large part not only to the students’ abilities, but the learning, care, mentorship, and support they have received from MCG’s faculty and administrative teams, who are devoted to student success. This year, a team of individuals met with students to prepare medical student performance evaluations (MSPE), a letter that summarizes medical school activities and credentials in a narrative form. Each student received personal advice and counseling. The Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs, led by Dr. Kimberly Halbur, carefully designed a process for MSPE development and advising, and Dr. Stewart Shevitz led the initiative as the Senior Class Dean. Other members of the Dean’s staff who authored MSPE’s included Drs. Lynette Bauza, Greer Falls, Eric Lewkowiez, Kathryn Martin, Leonard Reeves, T. Wayne Rentz, and Granville Simmons. In Athens, efforts were led by Campus Dean Barbara Schuster and her team, including Drs. Shelley Nuss, Karen Prasse, and Scott Richardson, who met together to prepare the MSPE’s.  

So, what are our students doing?

They matched in 18 specialties and 40 percent are pursuing primary care (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Medicine/Pediatrics)

The top represented specialties and percentages are:

Internal Medicine 17
Pediatrics 13
Family Medicine 11
Emergency Medicine 9
Radiology 6
Anesthesiology 5
Neurology 5
General Surgery 5
Pathology 4


And where are they doing it?

  • Students matched to programs in 35 states
  • 30 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their first postgraduate year
  • 30 percent of the class will remain in Georgia for their second postgraduate year and beyond
  • 20 percent of the class will remain at our MCG/AU Health programs
  • The numbers of students who are both staying in Georgia and staying at MCG/AU Health has significantly increased over last year

After Georgia (30 percent), the top 3 represented states and percentages are:

South Carolina 10
Florida 8
New York 5


Other fast fact:

  • This year’s class had a 97.7 percent match rate.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Nuss, Campus Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the Athens campus, and her colleagues on their successful match of 10 new internal medicine residents at the newly formed program at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.

Best wishes and congratulations to the Medical College of Georgia Class of 2015!

March 2015

Newly renovated space for students to study and relax

A new study and relaxation space for the M3 and M4 students on the first floor of the CJ building is nearly complete. The new space includes private computer cubes for study, soft seating, a kitchen/dining area with refrigerator and microwave, a media room with full cable, and lockers. All M3 and M4 students will have access to this area in late March.

Public and Population Health Intersession

A public and population health intersession was held for the second year medical students and co-facilitated by Dr. Kathryn Martin, Associate Dean of Regional Campuses and Erin Mundy, Director of Community Based Training Programs with Georgia Statewide AHEC, on March 4th and 5th in the J. Harold Harrison Education Commons. The intersession showcased  Gary Colberg, President and CEO of the Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, and the Dean’s 2013 Community Advocate of the Year recipient as well as Dr. Doug Patten, Chief Medical Officer for Georgia Hospital Association and Former CMO at Phoebe Putney in Albany.

Mr. Colberg spoke with the class on healthcare systems and Dr. Patten spoke on healthcare financing.  Both generously donated their time to our students’ medical education, in preparation for their clinical years beginning in July when they “leave the nest” (classroom) and go out into community settings across the state.

“It was a remarkable 3 days with the M2 students learning more about the public and population health challenges and opportunities afforded in Georgia.  Our guest lecturers were so gracious sharing their time, talents and expertise with us.  Having representation from all across Georgia — from NW Georgia, SW Georgia and SE Georgia, as well as our very own colleagues with the Georgia Statewide AHEC network — students gained insight into healthcare policy, advocacy, and infrastructure — the healthcare team members, healthcare delivery in the 21st century and the ever changing and challenging role of the physician in the evolution of same,” stated Dr. Kathryn Martin.

The students were very excited about the opportunity to learn about the topics discussed at the intersession as well.

“This intercession was an invaluable lesson to us as medical students looking to transition into future physicians. It was a time for us to learn about the realistic aspects of healthcare in regards to healthcare costs and benefits, and what we can expect now and in the future. We have also learned about the prominent healthcare issues in GA and what is being done and what could be done with those issues. As we walk into futures with more knowledge and more responsibility, this intercession was a reminder that we should be aware of these issues and that there is always more that we can do to help our state have better health, “Jung Mi Park, Class of 2017.

“The past few days opened my eyes to the policy side of public health and the influence we already have as Georgia’s future physicians. It made me realize that our duties as physicians will not consist solely of treating patients, but will also include educating policy makers since we will be the experts in our fields. As a result of the past few days of lectures, I have definitely been inspired to get more involved in healthcare on a political level to ensure that the voices of physicians are heard,” Diana Peterman, Class of 2017.

Library Hours in Education Commons

Greenblatt Library will offer office hours at the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons.  Beginning March 9, librarians or library staff will be available from 1-5pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Greenblatt Library desk located in the second floor bridge area.  Services available to students at the desk will include, but not be limited to assistance in finding full text articles, searching research databases, applying evidence-based medicine principles, and using bibliographic software (Endnote). 

The new service location in the Medical Commons building will allow Greenblatt Library to assist faculty, staff, and students at a location convenient to office and classroom spaces. 

MCG Student wins prestigious award for research

Did you know Chemelie Ebeledike, Class of 2017, was recently selected to receive an American Physiological Society Excellence in Professional Student Research Travel Award to help her attend the Experimental Biology (EB) 2015 Meeting in Boston this March? A real honor, she was selected to present her work (first author abstract) in an oral presentation at the meeting.  Her project, entitled, "Female sex hormones protect against salt induced increases in immune system activation in Dahl salt-sensitive-rats" led to the proposition that female sex hormones protect against renal injury and the release of HMGB1 mitigating the pro-inflammatory effects of a high-salt diet. Congratulations, Chemelie! Keep up the good work!

Spring has sprung in Augusta! Enjoy the sunshine and the exciting times the next few months will be bringing to our senior medical students! Best wishes on Match Day, and looking forward to hooding and graduation.

February 2015

4th Annual Igniting the Dream Of Medicine Conference coming this month!

The Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs (OSMA) and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) are busy planning the 2015 Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference. On February 28th, approximately 300 high school and college students from across Georgia will gather in the J. Harold Harrison Medical Education Commons Building to learn more about the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University and how to successfully pursue a medical education. The conference provides participants with the information and skills necessary to succeed in the medical and health professions school admission process, focusing on admission requirements, the medical school curriculum, test preparation, goal setting and contingency planning. It provides students and advisors a unique opportunity for direct contact with medical school deans, faculty, residents, professional students, and representatives from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Participants in the one–day conference will participate in an interactive admission information session and mock interviews with members of MCG Admissions Committee; engage in interactive medical simulations and suturing labs; get tips from MCG Admissions Office faculty and staff on goal setting and contingency planning; get candid professional tips from medical students and residents; and learn more about the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

For more information: http://www.augusta.edu/mcg/students/ignitingthedream.php

Northwest Campus Assistant Dean, Dr. Leonard Reeves receives Georgia Bio Award

Dr. Leonard Reeves, Campus Assistant Dean at the Northwest Regional Campus, received a Georgia Bio Award for being the first longitudinal integrated clerkship in the state of Georgia in January at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. The longitudinal integrated curriculum in Rome allows students to follow patients throughout their clinical years instead of the traditional curriculum that has a time restraint of 4-8 weeks per clerkship rotation. 

Admissions Update

Our new Transfer with Advanced Standing Policy was approved in December by the Dean’s Cabinet and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  The new policy is as follows:

“Effective January 1, 2015, the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University will consider requests for Transfer with Advanced Standing from students enrolled and in good standing at an LCME-accredited medical school on a case-by-case basis in situations of personal hardship or other compelling circumstances. Transfer will only be considered into the beginning of the third year curriculum. “

We are also excited to share that 56 students in the M1 class have been selected to serve as tour guides for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Our current lead tour guide, Benjamin Sookhoo, M2, is doing a fantastic job and will be assisting us in training the new group.

NEW for the 2015-2016 application cycle which opens in June 2015---the new MCG Certificate of Rural Community Health Program will now be part of the Early Decision Program. For more information, please contact the Admission’s Office at 706-721-3186.

House 18- Giving back to the community

House 18 has been busy serving the Augusta community at the Soup Kitchen. During the months of November and December, members from House 18 served over 500 meals to those in need. House advisor, Dr. Iqbal Khan noted, “We got such positive comments about the food and the service. I was so proud of our students, their hard work and dedication to this service. It’s fantastic working with such wonderful medical students. They are the BEST.” Eryn Calder, Class of 2017 had a wonderful experience with her housemates, “I was part of the serving team during our visit. We were able to serve about 300 people and I was incredibly humbled by the generosity and kindness that I felt throughout my morning from both those giving and receiving. It was such a great opportunity to get to know the Augusta community. Most of us will practice here and these could be our future patients. It was a fun and fulfilling way to feel connected to our community and I look forward to going again!”

Technology Corner with Davina Smalley : Harrison Education Commons IT Help Desk

Did you know the IT Service Desk located in the lobby of the Harrison Education Commons Building is here for YOU? Read on to learn more…

The IT Service Desk located in the Harrison Education Commons building, is a walk-up Service Desk that provides quick assistance with minor computer issues for students, faculty, and staff. Services provided by the IT Service Desk include: Internet connectivity, software configuration, anti-virus software protection, general computer diagnostics, e-mail configuration and setup, mobile device support, and EndNote software installation.

The walk-up Service Desk hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 7:30pm and Friday 7:30am – 5pm. The phone support number is 706-721-4000.

Looking forward to a fantastic March and Spring Semester! Thank you for keeping us proud at MCG and continuing to be fantastic!

*January 2015 *


Rave Guardian: Bringing the “Blue Phone” to your smart phone

Did you know that a new app is available to you for free through Campus Safety, to enhance your safety while on campus at Augusta University? Rave Guardian is now available for download on your smart phone. According to raveguaridan.com, “The Rave Guardian Campus Safety app allows students to create safety profiles to alert friends and family when they are walking alone. It also features a safety timer to alert campus security when a student does not arrive at a planned destination within a certain amount of time. The app has a panic button that, when pressed, alerts campus security of where a student is.”

Please download this app at your earliest convenience.

Southeast Campus Student published

Samiya Hussain, Class of 2016, has recently published, Implementation of transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography Screening and Primary Stroke Prevention in Urban and Rural Sickle Cell Disease Populations in the journal, Pediatric Blood & Cancer. She concluded that the implementation of primary stroke prevention in rural patients was difficult, that rural transcranial doppler screening in this population was feasible, and that a standard of care could be achieved equal to that in an urban setting. Her research at Augusta University began with the Children's Summer Scholars program during the summer of 2013. After her arrival at MCG, she came in contact with Dr. Cindy Neunert whom offered her a clinical research project in Pediatric Hematology. Samiya worked with her for 9 weeks and then submitted an abstract for the American Society of Hematology 2013 annual conference. Shortly after that, Dr. Neunert and Samiya continued to work on the manuscript and it was accepted in early Fall. “It was truly a wonderful experience and I was truly amazed at how much I learned about the field of Sickle Cell Anemia. I believe my research experience was so wonderful mostly because I had such a wonderful and supportive mentor, Dr. Cindy Neunert. I am also grateful for the research opportunities that Dr. Richard Cameron worked hard to ensure were available to us students. This publication definitely would not have been possible without either of them.”

You can find her article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pbc.25306/abstract

Hussain S, Nichols F, Bowman L, Xu H, Neunert C. Implementation of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography screening and primary stroke prevention in urban and rural sickle cell disease populations. Pediatric blood & cancer. 2014 Nov 8.

Congratulations, Samiya! Keep up the good work!

Town Hall Meeting Held

A town hall meeting was held on Tuesday, January 13th at noon in the new J. Harold Harrison Education Commons Building (GB 1220A). The topic of this meeting was parking and safety, as this has been a concern from medical students. Chief Bill McBride, Karl Munschy and Lee Fruitticher from the parking office, Dr. Mark Allen Poisel, Vice President for Augusta University Student Affairs, along with all Associate Deans in the MCG Academic Affairs Office, were available to answer any questions or concerns students had regarding safety on campus and parking.

Academic Houses- Doing good for the community

Our academic houses have been busy working on their studies as well as in the community. Check out what some of the houses did over the holidays for community organizations.

On Tuesday, Dec 9, House 19 participated in making winter holiday ornaments for the IV poles of the patients in the Children's Hospital of GA.  The children were able to select ornaments to hang on their IV poles while in the hospital. “It was a very rewarding experience working with the medical students on this project,” said house advisor, Becky Etheridge. “The students really enjoy making the holidays a little bit brighter for the children who have to spend their days during this time of year in the hospital. These kinds of actions show me how well these students will thrive in being future physicians.”

House 16 spent an evening in December stuffing stockings for the Salvation Army while also enjoying a dinner together. “We had a lot of fun, and our stockings for the Salvation Army were completely full! I know I speak for all of House 16 when I say it was really special to have the party in our new building, so thank you for allowing us to host the event there,” said Sadie Mason, Class of 2018.

I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse at our busy life in Academic Affairs. May you have a healthy and happy 2015!

*December 2014*


Journal Scout- Check it out!

Want to stay informed of recent innovations or discussions in medical education, but are challenged with the time to do so?  Then Journal Scout is for you!  Journal Scout is a quarterly publication, home grown here at Augusta University, with reviews (i.e., abstracts, citations, reviewer’ impressions) of the latest innovations and findings in health sciences education and research.  The reviewers’ brief impressions (250-500 words) provide readers with a snapshot on the relevance and potential impact of education findings and trends. Journal Scout readers can also post comments about the articles or the reviews or search for archived reviews. 

The first issue of Journal Scout arrived to Augusta University faculty in November.  The reviewed articles are below:
Blogging Your Way to Better Teaching
When Simulation Software’s Feedback Goes Astray
Student Perspective on Social Media in Health Professional Education
Understanding the Basic Scientists’ View is Key to Successful Implementation of Integrated Medical Curricula
What Sports and Music Can Teach Us About Feedback . . .
Flipping the Classroom: Costs, Benefits, and Cautions

For more information on Journal Scout or to volunteer to review for an upcoming issue, please contact Dr. Lori Bolgla, lbolgla@augusta.edu or Dr. Ralph Gillies, rgillies@augusta.edu

Preparing to Teach: An online faculty development series for MCG faculty

The MCG Office of Faculty Development has launched a new online faculty development series called Preparing to Teach.  This series includes brief (5-10 minute) modules covering a range of teaching related topics in both clinical and non-clinical settings and takes approximately one hour to complete.   All MCG faculty are being asked to complete the Preparing to Teach series by March 1st 2015.  Alternatively, faculty may complete a similar teaching development program offered by their department or campus. Click here to access Preparing to Teach and further instructions.  If you have any questions about the series or are having any difficulty accessing, please contact me rgillies@augusta.edu.

Community Service Corner- Check out what our students are doing…

Jennifer Simpliciano, a third year medical student enjoys volunteering in her spare time. In fact, volunteering throughout her undergraduate education is one of the things that led her to medicine. In trying to find some clinical experience during her undergraduate years, she saw an email asking for volunteers for hospice.  Over the next five years, her experience with hospice evolved from a "check box" on her med school application, to an experience that opened her eyes to the needs of an often ignored population.  “Many of the patients just needed someone to be with them and to listen to them, even if they did not make any sense.  Sometimes all they wanted was a hand to hold while they rested.  I learned that there is meaning in every moment of a life.  That is why I chose to volunteer for hospice for so long and continued to do so after medical school started.  It is easy to ignore these people or think they do not understand what is going on, but these are people who deserve a chance to be heard and to be taken care of with respect.  I will never forget what one of my patients told me – ‘There is always something you can learn from every person you meet, even if you can't understand them,’" stated Simpliciano.

We are proud of Jennifer- keep up the good work and continue to change the lives of those you care for!

Curriculum Committee Actions Yield Positive Results for Class of 2015

The data is now in and the results of several grading modifications in the year three program passed by the Curriculum Oversight Committee in the spring of 2013 have been analyzed. Results have been positive, as student performance overall has improved. As a result of the changes, 9% more students earned A’s in clerkships; NBME Subject Exam performance improved so that for all clerkships, our scores were above the national average, which was not the case the prior year. The changes implemented include: creating an NBME subject exam threshold for the B grade at the 30th%ile (thresholds were already in place for “passing” and the A grade at the 5th %ile and 70th%ile respectively), modifying the clerkship evaluation form to improve clarity, offering students the opportunity to retake one exam at the end of the academic year, and changing the score conversion for the exam in a way that was more clear and more favorable for students. These changes resulted in overall improved performance for the class in number of A’s and average exam scores. Hopefully, the learning that went along with this score improvement will reflect positively on patient care over the course of our students’ careers.

Congratulations Class of 2015!


Fall is a busy season of recruitment for the Office of Admissions. This fall Mrs. Linda DeVaughn has represented MCG on numerous visits to colleges and universities throughout the state of Georgia, the southeast region and beyond.  A number of these trips involved presenting at two or more schools or recruitment events.  The following is a list of the schools Mrs. DeVaughn has visited in the past few months:  Ga College & State University, Ga Gwinnett, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, Augusta University Summerville Campus, Ga Perimeter College, Ga Tech, UGA, Clayton State, Ft. Valley, the UC Davis Pre-Health Fair in California, Armstrong Atlantic, Savannah State, Ga Southern University, Southern Polytechnic State, Berry College, UGA, and the University of South Carolina.  We appreciate all of Mrs. DeVaughn’s efforts to help us meet our recruiting goals!

Of special note, in October several members of the committee as well as current medical students accompanied us to Athens to serve on an admissions panel to discuss the admissions process with current UGA students. This annual event is always a success and the contributions of all our participants are much appreciated.   

Esther Holland, our Admissions Counselor, participated in the MAJOR FEST held on the Summerville Campus in early October.  This special event hosted by the office of Academic Advisement, offered opportunities for students and individuals to interact with faculty and staff in the various academic departments and to network.

Another highlight was our annual visit in October to the Summerville campus.  Members of the admissions committee as well as current medical students joined us to hold a Q&A session for undergraduate pre-med students.  Another successful event, the session provided students the opportunity to ask questions pertinent to putting together a competitive medical school application. 

MCG Seep Pipeline Alumnus Receives Prestigious Faculty Fellowship Award

A 1983 SEEP College participant, Lisa Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., received the 2014 Herbert W. Nickens Faculty Fellowship Award at the AAMC Annual Meeting in Chicago this past November. Dr. Cooper joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1994, where she is the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine and a professor in both the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Nursing. She is also director of the John Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities, where she and her team work with the Baltimore community to achieve the center’s namesake goal. Their efforts, funded by the National Institutes of Health, include further examination of how racial and ethnic disparities manifest in cardiovascular outcomes and rigorous clinical trials to reveal proven, patient-centered solutions to alleviate health disparities. Her work has helped revolutionize the nation’s understanding of how these disparities affect health and patient care. This is the second time she has been honored in the spirit of Dr. Nickens, having received an award in his name from the Society of General Internal Medicine in 2006. Dr. Cooper expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in SEEP and its impact in helping her achieve her goal of making a difference in healthcare, according to Linda James, SEEP Director.

I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse at our busy life in Academic Affairs. May you have the happiest of holiday seasons!

*November 2014*

Anatomy Lab Renovation- A Huge Success!

The fantastic new medical gross anatomy laboratories are changing the way we educate medical students.  Each small group of students works comfortably in a beautiful facility with operating room style surgical lights that enable students to see all the intricacies of human anatomy, while working at ergonomic adjustable tables.  Students now have access to modern locker room facilities with showers, and the faculty offices are just steps away from the lab area.  A well-appointed student study space is available adjacent to the lab where students can study in small groups comfortably outside the laboratory area. The state of the art technology in the labs gives us unprecedented educational opportunities in gross and neuroanatomy.  Rather than having to rely on a single atlas or text, large screen computers with internet access at every station promote lifelong learning as students can immediately research literature, images, techniques, or clinical questions unique to their body donor such as how pacemakers and stents are placed or how hip or knee joints are replaced. The unprecedented sound, video, and digital technology also allows faculty to share unusual anatomic variations, conduct reviews with the entire class at once, or incorporate innovative active learning exercises such as radiology labs.  For these collaborative activities, our radiology colleagues (faculty and residents) review radiographic studies together with student groups as they work through assigned studies (including x-ray, MR, and CT) and identify pertinent anatomical structures.  The collaborative support we are receiving from Dr.  Yulia Melenevsky, Dr. Lane Estes, and Dr. Ramon Figueroa is wonderful.  These colleagues take time from their clinical duties to be in lab to assist students in visualizing anatomy using clinical imaging modalities.  These clinically oriented lab sessions are possible because of this state of the art new educational space as well as the participation of our clinical colleagues.  In all, these wonderful facilities promote high quality learning.

Academic House 2

Dr. Janis Coffin and Dr. Kozlowski are thoroughly enjoying being the House Advisors for House 2. Thus far, the house has met twice outside of campus and discussed their academics, plans for the future. First year students found it was a great time to discuss what was to come in the future with their older colleagues. Their meeting at Mellow Mushroom coincided with First Friday downtown which made for a fun night for the whole group with bands, vendors, and activities, Dr. Coffin noted it was a great evening, “I believe that the students enjoyed this meeting, because it was held outside of MCG and had a more relaxed manner,” she stated.

Being an advisor is something both Dr. Coffin and Dr. Kozlowski enjoy. Dr. Coffin stated, “This is my tenth year of advising students. Being a house advisor is an exciting way to provide student support.” 

Dr. Kozlowski has not been an academic advisor as long as Dr. Coffin, but has thoroughly enjoyed his time thus far. “The Academic Houses and House Advisor program is a wonderful way to interact with and support our medical students.  I’m loving it. As a House Advisor, I regularly see first, second, and third year students during our House events or Augusta University functions. The students in House 2 know Janis and me, both professionally and socially, so they are comfortable approaching either one of us for information, advice, or to learn more about our (educational and professional) experiences in the clinic and laboratory.  Janis and I enjoy interacting with students and I think the students enjoy interacting with us,” said Dr. Kozlowski.  

The house has plans for future meetings and social events that include, activities such as bowling, going to the movies, kayaking, and possibly laser tag.

Community Service Corner- Check out what our students are doing…

Our medical students are smart, dedicated and strive to be the best they can be each day. Many of them are also extremely involved not only in the Augusta community, but in their hometown communities and beyond. Throughout the next few issues of Progress Notes, we will be highlighting some of our medical students and their community service work.

Nora Zeidan, Class of 2016, has a passion for serving the community. Nora started volunteering for Camp Twin Lakes six years ago as a freshman in college.  It is at Camp Twin Lakes (CTL) that she discovered her passion for working with children. CTL provides life-changing camp experiences to more than 9,000 of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges. “Working with children who have chronic illnesses has been the driving force for my dedication to medicine. These children have taught me that they do not let their diseases define them.  My very first cabin of campers has recently started their freshman year of college and I am beyond proud to have been a part of their maturation into young adults.  The knowledge and experience I have learned from my campers is something that I don’t think I could have ever learned in the classroom setting.  I volunteer because I get to be a part of the lives of incredible children who continue to show me how precious each day is,” said Zeidan.  

Associate Dean completes five year service with the AAFP

Leonard Reeves, MD FAAFP, Northwest Campus Associate Dean, has just completed his five years of service to the American Academy of Family Physicians on the Commission on Continuing Professional Development, of which the last year he served as Chairman. "It has been a great honor to serve our academy, and I look forward to serving in more capacities in the future," stated Dr. Reeves. Dr. Reeves also serves on the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors and is the past president. He is also an alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates which sets policy for the national academy. Congratulations, Dr. Reeves!

*October 2014*

CD 101 and 202

A successful career requires planning, this is especially true in academic medicine. To assist in this planning process, recently hired faculty from Augusta University’s health sciences colleges were invited last month to participate in Career Development 101.  This half-day event, sponsored by the Educational Innovation Institute, increased faculty’s understanding of the processes and effective strategies associated with promotion, teaching, research and clinical service.  In addition, faculty met key personnel (e.g., IRB staff, research coordinators, P&T committee chairs) who could later be instrumental in the faculty’s career development.  Many people gave great feedback on the session with comments such as, “Useful classroom/clinic information that can be applied immediately.” “(I) feel more mindful of promotion issues.” “Outstanding forum-very helpful, informative, balanced and engaging.” “Great course for new faculty members.  I appreciate being able to have resources available.” Great job, Dr. Gillies!

While this “101” event was intended to be introductory, faculty were encouraged to seek and attend subsequent events within their departments and colleges (e.g., EII workshops, mentoring programs, promotion planning sessions, research and grant development workshops).  These events may not be formally labeled “Career Development 202 or 303” but serve that purpose of assisting faculty as they plan and progress in their careers.  For additional details on CD 101 or related events, please contact Ralph Gillies rgillies@augusta.edu.

Academic House 11- Movin’ and Groovin’

Academic House 11 is on the move throughout MCG as well as in the community. The house began their year with an introductory pizza party where all members of the house were introduced and their first official meeting was held. The house can also be spotted from miles away with their custom made t-shirts and lapel pins for their white coats, so keep an eye out for their house emblem across campus! Most recently, the academic house participated in Augusta University: Day of Service where they met at the Boys and Girls club and spent time cleaning the football field and the basketball court.  They also interacted with respiratory therapy students during this time.

When asked how she felt about being a house advisor, Dr. Shilpa Brown responded, “I enjoy it.  It’s like being a parent for them while they are away from home. We are here as advisors to give advice, talk, listen, have fun with, learn from, and to bond with.  I would have loved the opportunity to have someone meet with, socialize with, and include me in activities when I was a student.  Working with these young folks reminds me again that I made the right choice in becoming a physician.  I also think that Mike and I are very similar yet very different hence we complement each other well adding to the enjoyment of being an advisor.”

Dr. Mike Brands also thoroughly enjoys being a house advisor stating, “My job encompasses research, committee service, and teaching, but the latter always has been the most gratifying because of the direct interaction with students.  Being a house advisor enhances that interaction by encouraging fun and promoting bonding.  This is facilitated in House 11 because we are fortunate to have a very complimentary pairing of advisors.  Moving into the Education Commons will allow the house system to reach its full potential and be of more obvious, tangible value to the students.  They will be around each other more, and it will be easier for the advisors to make regular, casual contact with them above and beyond our planned activities.”

The group has many activates planned for the year and are excited about giving back to the Augusta community. “We are going to try to alternate social and service events. We are very interested in doing some education in our schools along with other community service activities,” said Brown.

Equality Clinic Now Open

Our medical students do a wonderful job of reaching out to help improve the health of our local community. The recent opening of the Equality Clinic is no exception. The Equality Clinic is the first free clinic in the state of Georgia to also focus on and ensure culturally competent care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Working together and supervised by faculty, our Medical, PA and Nursing students provide care within a safe and inclusive environment for those in need.

Dr. David Kriegel serves as the Equality Clinic’s Medical Director, while Dr. William Salazar and Dr. Bruce LeClaire, have guided and supported our students as well as volunteered during the Equality Clinic’s first clinic date on September 11th. Dr. Kriegel, Medical Director, is beyond enthused to have the Equality Clinic up and running, “My role is as Medical Director which, as a student run free clinic, meshes well with my role as Director of Student Education for Family Medicine. Based on the response from the patients from the first clinic, the need particularly within the transgender community, seems to be great. Just having a place that is inclusive, understanding and, most importantly, safe seemed to be greatly appreciated.”

At the first clinic, mental health counseling was offered by Dr. Lara Stepleman and her team. "We are so pleased the Equality Clinic will be providing integrated mental health screening, assessment, and brief treatment as part of this fantastic new initiative. This is a tremendous opportunity for medical students interested in psychiatry and psychology as well as psychiatry residents to work alongside other students in health professions and to develop necessary competencies to better address the health disparities and diverse needs of the local LGBTQ community," said Stepleman.

“It is very exciting that we are able to bring our dreams to a reality and provide care to the community with the support of our faculty, staff, administration, and students,” stated Kyle Friez, Class of 2017

For more information, please visit Equality Clinic's Facebook page.

Admissions Corner

Late summer/early fall is always an exciting time in the Admissions Office, and there is much to share!        

The Admissions Committee is pleased to welcome the following new members: Barbara Robinson, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of OB/GYN; Bobbilynn Lee, MD, Professor, Department of Surgery, Urology; Howard Cohen, MD, Associate Professor, Augusta University/MCG Partnership in  Athens; Sam Kini, MD, Professor, Augusta University/MCG Partnership in  Athens; David Cearley, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery; Puttur Prasad, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Suash Sharma, MD, Professor, Pathology; and Joseph Dolensky, Second Year Student Representative.  This indeed is one of the largest groups we have added to our Admissions Committee in recent years!

Last month, we kicked off the start of the academic year with the annual admissions committee workshop.  This yearly training session covers the guidelines used for the admissions process, including the AAMC Holistic Review, and much more.

Interviews and selection for the Early Decision program were completed in August and the Regular Decision program is now in full swing. Interviews will be taking place until late February and the admissions office will be utilizing a rolling admissions process.

During this busy interview and recruitment season, it is important to highlight the hard work and dedication of the Admissions Office Staff, led by Dr. Gina Duncan: Linda DeVaughn, Esther Holland, Bonnie Bush, Jacquelyn Dogan, Gail Bridges, Bonnie Taylor, and our newest staff member, Linda Owens.  Thank you all for the work you do!!

Finally, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Greer Falls, Associate Dean for the Second Year Class, who has served on the Admissions Committee continuously since 1987 - 24 years!!  His amazing dedication to and love for our medical students is so meaningful to those in Admissions and to the many, many classes of students he has helped bring in.  Dr. Falls will be stepping off of the Admissions Committee this year – (don’t you agree he deserves a break?) - after also having served as Vice Chair of the Admissions Committee since 1989.  Dr. Falls began his faculty appointment in the Department of Pathology on July 1, 1983. He came to Augusta in 1979 for his residency in Pathology (1979 - 1983).  Dr. Falls, we appreciate your tremendous contributions and we are glad that you won’t be far away!!

I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse at our busy life in Academic Affairs. My thanks to all who contribute to the education of MCG students across Georgia each and every day!

*September 2014*


The Medical College of Georgia has a state-wide model of educational delivery. With our main campus in Augusta, Georgia, MCG also has a four-year partnership campus in Athens, and three clinical campuses located in the Southwest, Southeast, and Northwest areas of the state based in Albany, Savannah/Brunswick, and Rome respectively.   The regional campus model offers broad opportunities for our students to experience a rich variety of clinical sites. We are dedicating this issue of Progress Notes to our two-year Clinical Campuses. With thanks to our faculty (many of whom are volunteers), administrators, staff, students, and alumni, please read on to learn more about the campuses and what is going on around the state.

Southwest Campus

Certificate of Rural Health is coming to the Southwest campus!

A certificate in Rural Community Health has recently been approved by the Curriculum Oversight Committee for the SW campus. Approval by the Provost is currently pending. It will immerse medical students into a comprehensive educational experience in rural medicine. It will provide an opportunity to learn clinical medicine in a community-based, rural setting. Working, living, and learning in a rural community will encourage medical students to consider a rural medicine career, hopefully in rural Georgia.

Selected students with a strong desire to practice rural medicine will undergo additional course work unique to rural practice and will complete research projects based in rural areas. They will receive training as EMTs and intermittently work as EMTs in rural communities. Students will also receive training as medical record scribes and scribe in rural primary physician offices. Students will complete the third and fourth years of the curriculum at the SW campus.

And exciting news for housing on the SW campus….

The Phoebe Putney Memorial Foundation just received a $1 Million grant from the Robert Melon Foundation to build a medical student housing complex. The 25 unit housing complex will house approximately 40 medical students and will be located adjacent to the hospital and MCG’s SW campus administrative offices. The addition of this housing will enhance the overall SW experience for students.

 Southeast Campus

HOPE Certificate in SE Georgia

The HOPE certificate program (Health of the Population and Environment) provides an opportunity for participating students to learn about population and public health, and uniquely leverages case studies from local industries. For example, two large ports in Georgia are in Savannah and Brunswick.  Students see a great deal of dermatological pathology due to sun exposure in the commercial shipping industry.  Expert guest lecturers are invited regularly to speak to the students and offer greater insights into public health and community medicine at the local level. 

Student Housing is also at Southeast Georgia Health System, Brunswick GA…

Students on the SE Georgia campus completing clinical rotations at the Southeast Georgia Health System (SHGS) in Brunswick are afforded the unique opportunity to stay in on site housing at the Nunnally House, located on the SGHS campus.  Thanks to the generous gift of Mr. Hugh Nunnally and the leadership of Southeast Georgia Health System’s CEO, Mr. Gary Colberg, the Nunnally House offers beautiful, comfortable and safe lodging to our MCG students. Once students go to Brunswick, it’s difficult to get them back! 

Northwest Campus

Did you know the Northwest Clinical Campus operates on a Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum?

The Northwest campus uses a novel Longitudinal Integreated Curriculum (LIC) to deliver the third year clerkship program. Instead of time-limited discipline specific clerkships in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetirics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery, students follow patients longitudianally over the course of the academic year and learn the traditional discipline based content through the medical experiences of their patients.

Students cannot follow an expectant mother through her pregnancy, deliver the baby, and check on mother and child in an 8 week rotation. Students may see bits and pieces of each of those phases, but to see how the mother deals with weight gain, nausea, vomiting, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and then follow-up with the new baby, cannot usually be seen in a traditional curriculum.

Jamie Oakley, Class of 2016 told us how she thoroughly enjoys her decision to attend the Northwest Campus, “I ended up choosing the Rome location as my clinical campus and have been very pleased with my decision. I initially became interested in the program due to its small size and personalized education. After talking to current fourth years in the Rome program, they had nothing but positive things to say about their experiences. They commented on the great community here – community with their patients, doctors and fellow classmates. Dr. Reeves, Vicki Wiles and Shelia Young, the staff of the campus, were also very helpful in answering my questions and providing me information on the program. One thing I really liked about this campus is that I have received a lot of hands on experience and one-on-one attention from the doctors. I was also attracted to the longitudinal curriculum for the long-term patient relationships it fosters. Overall, I believe I made the best choice for my clinical rotations by coming to Rome. Even though I only started my rotations 5 weeks ago, I have already learned so much and really appreciate the community of Rome and what it has to offer me.”

Bus Tours are happening again- and here’s why…

For the past two years, second year medical students have been given the opportunity as a class to visit MCG regional campuses in Southwest (Albany), Northwest (Rome) and Southeast (Savannah/Brunswick) areas of Georgia.   Not only do the students gain an understanding of the unique educational offerings available in these regions of the state, but they also gain tremendous insight into potential career opportunities.   Students are treated as special guests during the visits, meeting with physicians and staff as they tour these health care facilities.

Between 40 and 50 students in the MCG Class of 2016 complete their third and fourth year of medical studies on one of these three campuses.

The response from the members of the MCG Class of 2016 is indicative of comments from Stephen Jackson, Class President, “The bus tours last fall definitely opened my eyes to the regional campuses, a part of MCG that I had never given much thought to. Each of the campuses offers a different take on medical education and opportunities available to students, and the common theme running through each is the dedication to students. Everyone we met last year on the tours seemed thrilled to potentially teach and mentor students, and the one-on-one attention from attendings can’t be beat. Without the tours, I wouldn’t have ultimately decided to apply to a regional campus.”

The first regional campus bus tour left Augusta at noon on Friday, August 22 with approximately 185 medical students from the MCG Class of 2017 heading to either Albany or Rome, Georgia. Each campus received half of the group for this initial tour and on October 17/18, those students that initially traveled to Albany will visit Rome and those that initially traveled to Rome will visit Albany. A tour of the Southeast campus will occur on October 24/25 for those who are interested.

The anticipation of the upcoming regional campus tour is captured well by the comments of Katherine Menezes, President of the MCG Class of 2017, “My time at MCG has already been witness to evolution and growth in ways I didn’t expect, but that is a trait that defines this state flagship medical institution: challenging itself to be the best it can be. This includes taking the title ‘flagship institution’ to heart and truly showing its students that we are a state-wide school with state-wide campuses, populations, and needs. Now that 3rd year is no longer a distant idea for us, being exposed to locations where we may be spending 4-8 weeks on rotation, is helpful before putting together our rotation lottery in the spring. For many, these regional campus tours are exposure to places we will be for the next two years! I am thankful for our Augusta campus for facilitating our travel experience and humbled by the regional campuses, who have already shown their excitement and readiness to host us. We look forward to meeting all of our colleagues in Rome, Albany, and Savannah!”

I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse at our clinical campuses. My thanks to all who contribute to the education of MCG students throughout the state.

*August 2014 *


Welcome Class of 2018!

We are delighted to have the Class of 2018 join the Medical College of Georgia family. What is so special about our incoming Freshman class? Here are a few “fun facts” about our new class…

The Class of 2018 is full of 230 excited and bright students – with 190 assigned to Augusta, and 40 who will be at our MCG/UGA Partnership Campus in Athens. Students are from nine different states across the nation with 47 of 139 Georgia counties being represented. They’re smart too- the average GPA is 3.73 and the average MCAT score is 31.3! This class comes to us from over 50 colleges and universities and members of the class have performed extensive research and written publications on their research. Some are non-traditional students who did not have typical pre-health backgrounds and many are the first in their family to go to college or medical school. Based on their many hours of volunteer work, helping the less fortunate and serving the underserved in various ways is very important to this class. Quite a few class members have been all around the globe participating in extensive medical volunteerism efforts, as making a difference in the lives of others is extremely important to them. We are so very excited to welcome the Class of 2018. Please join me in making this class feel right at home at MCG.

 Admissions Summit- A Success!

“It’s so good to see you! ...”
“Your inputs added so much to our group discussions...”

Such conversations were heard throughout the group of approximately fifty three guests who attended our Admissions Summit event hosted recently on July 16th

Participants in this group included Augusta University alumni, leadership from our regional campuses, the MCG Foundation, as well as faculty representing various departments on campus. New updates on recent developments in Admissions were also presented. We had small group breakout sessions which included topics of increasing Alumni involvement in the Admissions process, prerequisite course requirements, interview questions, gender balance within the class, and campus assignment processes.  

While back at the Admissions office, we are now accepting applications for the next upcoming interview cycle -2014-2015. Our Early Decision program begins in
August. We are anticipating another great year!


The National Board of Medical Educators has created an online portal of lessons for those interested in learning within a range of topics relevant to high quality assessment. Lessons include: Principles of Assessment, Multiple-Choice Questions, Objective Structured Clinical Examination, Workplace-based Assessment and Competencies. According to the NBME website, “The lessons are designed to provide brief overviews of assessment topics that are of interest to those in the health professions’ education community at no cost to the learner. Subjects include test design and blueprinting, test material development for common formats, and standard setting. The lessons are brief to accommodate the busy schedules of faculty members. Lessons are interactive and invite you to reflect on your current understanding of the topic and engage in critical thinking rather than be a passive recipient of information. In this way, you will be challenged to engage in active learning and develop knowledge that will endure. The lessons are designed to be educational tools; there is no evaluation component. However, to get the most out of these lessons we encourage you to fully engage and complete all the activities as you strive to further develop your assessment skills.” Please note that not all lessons are available at the moment but will be in the coming months. For more information and to create your account, please visit: http://www.nbme.org/about/nbmeu/

Did you know that Dr. Dave Swanson from the NBME is coming to MCG on September 15-16? He will present an Item Writing Workshop with our faculty on the afternoon of September 15th and will meet with faculty from different departments on the morning of September 16th. Dr. Swanson will also be presenting Grand Rounds as part of the EII Educational Grand Rounds Series in the Department of Medicine on September 16th in BC 140. The title of Dr. Swanson’s presentation will be: Designing Assessment Systems to Promote Student Learning: Using the Assessment Tail to Wag the Curriculum Dog. For more information on Dr. Swanson’s visit, please contact Dr. Ralph Gillies at rgillies@augusta.edu.

Student Health Center Information- Dr. Chad Asplund

August marks one year since Dr. Chad Asplund, Director of Student Health, joined the Augusta University community. Dr. Asplund grew up between Michigan and Massachusetts and spent 5 years in the Coast Guard as a “ship driver” where he worked in congressional affairs for the Coast Guard before going to medical school.  He attended medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and completed a family medicine residency at DeWitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, VA and spent 7 years in the Army during which time he was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan for 12 months. Dr. Asplund completed a sports medicine fellowship at The Ohio State University, where he spent 2 years as a team physician for the Buckeyes before returning as a government civilian to Fort Gordon, GA to direct the sports medicine and research programs at Eisenhower Army Medical Center.  He has been at Augusta University for 3 months and his major focus is wellness: Student Focused, University-wide. Thanks for all you do, Dr. Asplund- we look forward to working with you further!

Medical Student Spends Summer in India to Research Blood Disorder

Azam Siddiqui, a class of 2017 medical student, has been awarded a summer research fellowship by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Azam spent his summer working in India researching Thalassemia, a blood disorder where the child is born without the ability to produce normal levels of hemoglobin, resulting in severe anemia (the red blood cell count is much lower than the body’s normal requirement). “This condition becomes life threatening within the first five years of life unless the child receives regular blood transfusions (every two to three weeks). Because the child is unable to make his own red blood cells, he will require regular blood transfusions for the rest of his life. The child will also suffer from growth retardation, skeletal deformities, enlarged liver and spleen, as well as iron overload from the repeated transfusions which may cause organ failure (liver, heart, endocrine glands),” said Siddiqui. During his time this summer, Azam has been working at the Center for Thalassemia and Blood Disorders where he has been seeing and assisting in the care taking of children with this specific blood disease.

Azam is grateful to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for funding his research this summer and is humbled he was chosen as a recipient for this away. “I was honored to receive this award. My ability to do this project was made possible with the grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, so I'm thankful to them for giving me this opportunity,” said Azam.  We are so incredibly proud of Azam and his accomplishments!

It has been a great summer and we look forward to starting a new academic year and sharing the new and exciting activities happening within Academic Affairs through “Progress Notes.” Welcome to the Class of 2018!