AU/UGA Medical Partnership, St. Mary’s fill all positions in Internal Medicine Residency Program

Athens, GA – May 4, 2020 – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary’s has filled all openings for its new class of medical residents for the sixth time in its six-year history.

The new residents will begin practicing at St. Mary’s Health Care System on July 1 under the supervision of advanced resident physicians and physician faculty from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, as well as area community-based teaching faculty.

“This is a unique time to be entering the practice of medicine as a new physician,” said Jason Smith, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. “Residency is the final step before becoming a fully licensed and independent practitioner. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these new physicians, and our Class of 2020 who will be graduating in June, will have a unique perspective that will be with them for their entire career.”

The AU/UGA Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) is Northeast Georgia’s first modern graduate medical education program and received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education in October 2016.

“We are honored once again to have received so many truly exceptional applicants to our program,” said Achilia Morrow, MD, MPH, Program Director for the IMRP. “The supportive medical community, dedicated volunteer faculty, exceptional staff, and commitment of St. Mary’s Health Care System to quality care truly make this an excellent program to learn and train physicians in Northeast Georgia.”

The IMRP Class of 2023 and the schools at which they completed their medical education are:

·      Maxlorenzo Agbayani, MD, West Virginia School of Medicine, Martinsburg

·      Taylor Attar, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Vance Barksdale, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine

·      Eliud Pabon Borgos, MD, University of Medicine and Health Sciences

·      Sarah Brown, MD, Ross University School of Medicine

·      Sydney Huggins, DO, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas

·      Niyanta Patel, MD, Ross University School of Medicine

·      Nicolas Pham, MD, University of Medicine and Health Sciences

·      Krishna Shah, MD, American University of Antigua College of Medicine

·      Julia Zorko, MD, Ross University School of Medicine

In addition, the program matched with two physicians who will complete one year of training with the program: Deirdre McDonnell, MD, from St. George’s University School of Medicine, and Harrison Grace, MD, from the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

“We are proud to have these physicians join our residency program. They truly impressed us with their maturity, compassion, scholarly achievements, and dedication to improving the community,” said Dr. Morrow.

As the Class of 2023 arrives, the Class of 2020 graduates. One of the physicians, Amir Shirazi, MD, will be joining Athens Hospitalist Group July 1 and will practice at St. Mary’s Hospital. A second physician, Sarah Nuzzo, MD, will remain with the program a fourth year to serve as the 2020-21 Chief Resident.

“This is another exciting year in the history of the Internal Medicine Residency Program,” said Montez Carter, St Mary’s President and CEO. “We are confident this next class will continue the tradition of compassion and excellence demonstrated by their predecessors. St. Mary’s is proud to be an integral part of the IMRP and its success in bringing more medical doctors to Georgia and to the Athens region.”

The IMRP is a joint effort by the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s, the program’s Major Participating Site. The program’s goal is to address the physician shortage in Georgia. Residents are medical school graduates who are entering the final stage of their medical education: a three-year, hands-on program with progressive levels of responsibility that ends in certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

“I could not be more excited to welcome this incoming class of residents” said AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean Michelle Nuss, MD. “They each bring a new perspective and talent to our program. I know they will bring great things to our community here in Athens and to the whole state of Georgia.”

In addition to the care they provide at St. Mary’s Hospital, the residents work hand-in-hand with physician faculty at Community Internal Medicine of Athens, located in the Resource Medical Center at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave, Athens. This full-fledged outpatient practice provides primary wellness care, sick care and chronic disease management for adults, and accepts most major forms of insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and self-pay, with financial assistance available to those who qualify.

Third-year medical residents also complete clinical rotations in Greensboro, Ga., providing inpatient care at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital and outpatient care at Oconee Valley Healthcare. For more information, visit

For more information about attending the Medical College of Georgia at the Medical Partnership campus

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