Special Assignment: The Future of MCG Part 2

News 12 at 11 o'clock, November 8, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga--- News 12 told you how the Medical College of Georgia needs to produce more doctors to keep up with a growing demand. Now, we look at one of the ways we're losing our future doctors to other states, and it happens close to the end of their training.

It's called match day. It's the day med students across the country find out where they'll be doing their residencies. But for every student who chooses to head out of state, Georgians could be losing a future doctor.

"Its been quoted that two-thirds of residents will practice in the state where they train." says Medical school Dean Doug Miller.

That's right, more than 60 percent of the med students who choose to do their residencies out of state will end up staying there.

The med school dean says we can't really expect all our local med students to stay in Georgia. "That's 8 years of their lives, chances are they may want to see another part of the world."

But, that's not to say we can't do a better job and that's where University hospital comes in.

Dr. Randy Smith, a 1970 graduate of MCG, wants to see more students do their residency training at university. "if we like them, and they like us, chances are they're gonna stay in the community and we know 60 percent stay in the vicinity where they do the residency program."

the trouble is MCG and University Hospital haven't had a strong working relationship in years.

Rogers, "So how many MCG students are assigned to University today?"

Smith, "Today we have 2 residents in OBGYN."

3 residents actually, but University can take 14 and they're willing to push that number to 41, even though it'll cost a lot of money.

Smith, "We've got a very positive education over here and we feel like it's worth MCG taking a strong look at us."

MCG is making a move to strengthen it's ties with it's nearest neighbor, at least the 2 hospitals are talking.

Rogers, "Describe MCG's relationship with University, healthy or anemic?"

Miller, "I think its healthier than its been in years."

Dr. Smith, "I say it's healthy."

This MCG Alum and Chairman of the Board of University Health System. says it's time to rebuild a local relationship that's been in place since 1828.

"My role now is the facilitator to try to get these 2 institutions back together." says Smith.

Back on the MCG campus, News 12 caught up with a group of first year med students and took an informal poll about where they'd like to work one day.

"I'm from Roswell and I'd like to practice in Georgia."

"I'm from Lawrenceville and I'd like to practice there."

"I'm from from Augusta and want to practice in Georgia."

"My name is Brian, I'm from Utah and I'd like to practice in Georgia."

Four out of four, leaning strongly toward a medical career in Georgia. We can only hope the feelings will continue right through match-day.

So how does University fit in with the plan to expand in Athens? Dr. Miller, the Medical School Dean says he expects to take full advantage of University's offer years before any future expansion in Athens.

So what difference does it all make to you? Well, that depends on how long you're willing to wait to see the doctor.

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