The Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership is addressing the critical shortage of physicians in Georgia and expanding research partnerships between the two institutions. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the partnership.
The GRU/UGA Medical Partnership is a collaborative effort between the Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia that is addressing the critical shortage of physicians in the state. The partnership established a campus in Athens that began educating 40 medical students per year starting in the fall of 2010. By 2020, the partnership is expected to train 60 students per year in Athens, for a total of 240 medical students.
The partnership is the most viable and affordable strategy for addressing Georgia’s shortage of physicians, with each institution bringing its expertise. According to consulting firm Tripp Umbach, the synergies between GRU and UGA make the cost of educating medical students in Athens the lowest in the nation – approximately half the average cost per student for U.S. medical schools.
The first class of 40 medical students began classes in August 2010. By 2020, the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership is expected to educate 60 new students per year – for a total of 240 students – in Athens.
The first class of medical students in Athens enrolled in classes in August 2010 and will graduate in 2014.
Students interested in attending the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens can apply through the GRU Medical College of Georgia Office of Admissions. To learn more, please see our admissions page.
The GRU Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is dedicated to providing guidance and assistance for students to help ease the financial burdens associated with their education. To learn more, please see our financial aid page.
Third- and fourth-year clerkships for students from the Athens campus are located at clinics and hospitals in Northeast Georgia, including three regional hospitals - Athens Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s Health Care System and Northeast Georgia Health System.
The medical education program in Athens will be operated under joint governance by GRU and UGA. The campus dean of the Athens program, Dr. Barbara Schuster, reports to GRU Medical College of Georgia Dean Dr. Peter F. Buckley with accountability to Dr. Jere Morehead, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Georgia.
The Athens program was established under GRU’s accreditation and GRU will have the lead responsibility in governance issues pertaining directly to accreditation. GRU is coordinating the program’s interactions with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national body that determines accreditation of all allopathic medical programs.
UGA will have the lead responsibility for identifying and developing appropriate facilities for the program in Athens. From the fall of 2010 to the summer of 2012, students were educated in the Interim Medical Partnership Building, a renovated historic building on the banks of the North Oconee River in Athens. in 2012, the Medical Partnership relocated to the UGA Health Sciences Campus, located on the 56-acre former U.S. Navy Supply Corps School property, located on the medical corridor of Prince Avenue in Athens.
The Navy Supply Corps School occupied a 56-acre site in Athens, which was designated for closure as part of the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in 2005. That year, the Secretary of Defense recognized the Athens-Clarke County Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) as the sole authority for the development and reuse plan for the site. In 2007, the LRA voted unanimously to approve the UGA proposal to establish a health sciences campus at the site. The Navy vacated the site in early 2011, and a U.S. Department of Education official signed the public conveyance deed transfering the property to the University of Georgia. The UGA Health Sciences Campus will house the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership and the UGA College of Public Health.
Yes. The GRU School of Medicine is expected to expand its class size in Augusta to 240 students per year by 2015, an increase of 26 percent over the school’s current class of 190 students. GRU is expected to have 300 medical students per class by 2020, an increase of 60 percent over its present student enrollment.
Tripp Umbach, the nation’s leading medical education planning organization, estimates that a projected shortage of 1,500 primary care physicians in underserved areas would cost the State of Georgia $5.4 billion annually in delayed healthcare costs. According to Tripp Umbach, each physician that provides primary care in an underserved area saves the state $3.6 million annually for care that would have been provided in an emergency room. The full report can be found here.
If implemented fully, the plan recommended by consulting firm Tripp Umbach will generate more than $1.6 billion additional dollars annually and support more than 10,000 additional jobs statewide. According to the report, every $1.00 invested by the State of Georgia in 2020 in medical education will result in a return of $2.54 in state tax revenue.
Tripp Umbach estimates that the regional economic impact of the Athens campus will be more than $567 million annually by 2020. The consultant’s report estimates that medical education, research and clinical expansion in Athens will support 3,000 new jobs and generate $17 million in local government revenue by 2020. Tripp Umbach also estimates that medical research growth in the Athens area will result in more than $180 million in commercial investment by 2020. The full report can be found here.