The Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia have partnered to create a four-year medical education program in Athens to help alleviate a statewide shortage of physicians that threatens the health of Georgians. The GRU/UGA Medical Partnership combines the significant instructional and research resources of UGA, the state’s flagship land-grant research university, with the expertise of GRU, Georgia’s only public medical school.
First- and second-year students study basic science and clinical skills in a program that parallels the Augusta curriculum of GRU. Third-year clerkships are underway at area hospitals, doctors' office and clinics, and fourth-year clerkships are currently being finalized. The first class of medical students in Athens began classes in August 2010.
In addition to increasing the number of physicians in Georgia, the partnership will expand research collaborations between GRU and UGA, creating new insights into the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Georgia currently ranks 40th in the nation in the ratio of physicians to population. It also faces a number of health challenges, including a high infant mortality rate and high rates of obesity and heart disease. Through expanded medical education and research, the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership is addressing these issues to improve the health and prosperity of our state.