As the state’s only public medical school, statewide growth of medical education is a priority at The Medical College of Georgia.
The educational experience is anchored by MCG’s main campus in Augusta, as well as regional clinical campuses for third- and fourth-year students and another four-year campus in Athens in partnership with the University of Georgia.
Expanding partnerships with physicians and hospitals throughout Georgia ensures that students experience the full spectrum of medicine, from urban tertiary care hospitals to small-town primary care practices.
The expansive and largely rural state of Georgia is among the top 10 states in the nation for population size and growth yet ranks 39th in the number of active physicians per 100,000 population, according to the 2017 State Physician Data Book of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The physician shortage is exacerbated by the reality that, like the general population, Georgia's physicians are aging with the state ranking 35th in the percentage of active physicians age 60 and older.
To help address the need for more doctors, in 2006 the AAMCAssociation of American Medical Colleges called for a 30 percent increase in medical school enrollment. The year before, in 2005, MCGMedical College of Georgia had opened its first clinical campus in Southwest Georgia, the Southwest Campus based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, GA. The Southwest Campus is strategically located in a relatively rural area of the state where physician shortages are most acute. Data confirm that physicians who come from and/or train in rural areas are more likely to practice in rural areas.
In 2007, MCG announced the Southeast Campus, which is now based at St. Joseph's/Candler Health System in Savannah and the Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick.
In January 2008, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents accepted a medical education expansion plan for the state calling for the university's medical college to expand statewide, including opening the four-year Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens. This campus focuses on small group learning approaches leveraging its small class size.
The first 40 freshman students started at the Medical Partnership in fall 2010. This enabled growth of MCG's class size from 190 to 230 students.
Later in 2010, officials from Rome, GA, and Augusta University announced establishment of the Northwest Campus, which became operational in 2013.
Today, MCG's diverse educational clinical experiences include more than 350 urban and rural sites across Georgia where students experience the full spectrum of medicine.
As of this year, the Class of 2026 has 264 students, with 60 students on the Athens partnership campus and 204 here in Augusta.
Interest in Georgia's public medical school is strong, with nearly 3,200 applications for 230 positions in the class of 2022.