In order to meet the evolving educational needs and professional career imperatives of its students, the Medical College of Georgia is undergoing development of a novel curriculum, called MCG 3+. The development is done with the approval of MCG’s accrediting body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
MCG 3+ creates individualized medical education options for our students, while ensuring continued achievement of MCG’s established MD program competencies. Beginning with the Class of 2024, and following completion of the core MCG 3+ curriculum in three years, students will have three career-enhancing pathways from which to choose:
PATHWAY 1: MCG 3+ PRIMARY CARE
The option to graduate and enter the PGY-1 year of a primary care residency program in Georgia (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology). This pathway’s goal is to provide students with the skills and competencies essential to primary care practice, provide purposeful career mentoring by primary care faculty, and facilitate the transition of participants into the PGY-1 year of a preferred career residency program. Another important outcome of this MCG 3+ Primary Care UME-GME continuum is to reduce the financial burden on students with well-established primary care career intentions by allowing them to meet all MCG MD graduation requirements in three years.
PATHWAY 2: MCG 3+ DUAL DEGREE
The option to complete the core curriculum in 3 years, then complete a dual degree program at Augusta University in their 4th year of study. Students may choose from several well-established dual degree programs in business (MBA), public health (MPH), education (MEd), and biomedical science (MS). This pathway’s goal is to prepare students for careers in academic medicine in alignment with their interests and the need for leaders in academic medicine.
PATHWAY 3: MCG 3+ ADVANCED RESIDENCY PREPARATION
The option to complete the core curriculum in 3 years, then utilize the 4th year to participate in career-oriented advanced clinical training and research, through a focus on the skills and competencies essential to their desired residency program. The goal of this pathway is to immerse these students in purposeful career mentoring by departmental faculty, affording students the opportunity for advanced clinical and research preparation for their specialty of choice.
MCG has a statewide network of more than 350 clinical education venues at hospitals and clinical practices (see map Figure 2). In 2015, with LCME approval, MCG established an LIC educational track at its Rome regional clinical campus in NW Georgia. This LIC parallel track has successfully attained educational equivalence with other traditional clinical clerkships elsewhere in the MCG campus network. The NW campus LIC was demonstrated to be comparable in all respects at the 2016 LCME reaccreditation site visit and remains so since based on current evaluation and assessment data.
In order to extend the educational benefits of this successful LIC parallel track to students in the MCG 3+ Primary Care Pathway, MCG will establish 5 additional LIC’s in Augusta, and at its other regional campuses in northeast, northwest (including Atlanta), southeast, and southwest Georgia. MCG will leverage its current voluntary clinical faculty network and establish new educational partnerships with teaching hospitals and/or multi-specialty group practices to develop these LIC experiences for MCG 3+ Primary Care Pathway students.
The MCG 3+ curricular redesign will achieve three important goals: 1) guide more students toward primary care careers in Georgia to the furtherance of MCG’s mission to improve the health of Georgians; 2) allow the MD program to translate the lessons and successes from its case-based learning track at our Medical Partnership campus in Athens*, and from its longitudinal integrated clerkship track at our campus in Rome; and 3) provide students with multiple 4th year options designed to enhance their careers and/or UME-GME transitioning.
* AU/UGA Medical Partnership will continue a 4-year curriculum.