Medical College of Georgia makes plans for new campus in Savannah

"I feel like it will actually encourage more people, especially even myself,” said Jabari Harris, a graduate.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 4:58 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia’s only public medical school has received funding approval to open a new four-year campus in Savannah, an expansion that will provide greater access to education and training for medical students and ease the state’s ongoing shortage of physicians.

The new campus of Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia is expected to enroll its first students on the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University by fall 2024, pending approval for accreditation.

The campus will be in the existing Armstrong Center and the Health Professions Academic Building of Georgia Southern’s Waters College of Health Professions.

Located down the street from Savannah’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, it would be MCG’s third four-year campus in Georgia. The MCG educational experience is anchored at its main campus in Augusta, with another four-year campus located in Athens in partnership with the University of Georgia.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on Tuesday approved $1.7 million for renovations at Georgia Southern’s Armstrong Campus to help make the new campus a reality.

The money was included in the fiscal year 2024 state budget passed earlier this year by the Georgia General Assembly and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on May 5.

Four-year campuses provide the full spectrum of medical education, from basic sciences to clinical experiences.

The new campus would allow MCG to accept 40 more students per year, increasing its class size, already one of the nation’s largest, to 304 students per class.

Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, R-Newington, commented Wednesday on the plans.

“Georgia ranks 40th in the nation for both the number of active physicians and the number of primary care doctors,” Burns said. “Georgians experience this reality every day. Data shows that 82 Georgia counties have no OB/GYNs, 65 counties have no pediatricians and nine Georgia counties have no doctor at all. This must change, especially in rural Georgia.”

That’s why he says it’s a good thing to increase opportunities for AU to train more students.

“Georgia needs more doctors,” Burns said, “and I’m proud we are making this investment in our future.”