Medical Educators See Need for More Residencies; They Want to Graduate More Doctors and Keep Them in the State

By Larrabee, Brandon | The Florida Times Union, August 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Medical Educators See Need for More Residencies; They Want to Graduate More Doctors and Keep Them in the State


Larrabee, Brandon, The Florida Times Union


Byline: BRANDON LARRABEE

ATLANTA - More hands-on opportunities for Georgia's medical students are needed in order to expand the number of doctors being educated in the state, college administrators, national education groups and others told a legislative committee this week.

Medical College of Georgia President Dan Rahn also suggested to the House Medical Education Study Committee that the school would likely be unable to handle future class sizes in Augusta without changes.

Much of Wednesday's meeting, though, focused on how to graduate more medical students and keep them in Georgia. Key to that effort, educators said, is making sure that students complete their hands-on clinical experiences, called residencies, at one of the state's hospitals.

"Where people do their residency can impact where they practice," said Ben Robinson, executive director of the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce.

Georgia is one of the leaders in the nation at keeping students from leaving the state when their education is complete, Robinson said. But the state lags badly in educating the number of students needed to keep the per capita number of physicians at the national average.

Residency opportunities, though, will have to be expanded if the state's medical schools take on more students, presidents and other administrators told the committee.

"Our challenge, really, in expansion is our challenge in finding clinical sites," said John Maupin, president of the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Looming over the meeting were concerns about the financial health of Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, which some say could be forced to shutter its doors if changes aren't made quickly. …

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