“The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The State of Your Medical College…
We talked a while back about the fact that we had moved your State of the College address from its usual time in May, amid all the end-of-year celebrations, to August and the start of a brand-new academic year. Well about this time next Friday – noon, Aug. 12, Lee Auditorium – we will be serving up this annual opportunity to recap the amazing contributions of you, our faculty, staff, students and residents, and to take a glimpse at the bright future ahead. This year will feature heartfelt thoughts about the impact of our medical school from some of our alumni as well as one of our terrific students. Just like these weekly writings give pause to recognize your progress on the important fronts of medical education, discovery, patient care and service, this annual event provides a much-deserved opportunity for each of you to relish for a bit the impact of your collective effort on the well-being of our state and well beyond.  Lunch and the preshow will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.! We hope you can be in the room with us but if that is not possible, please try to join us remotely here.

Is amazing… Because of you…
Speaking of our alumni, we mentioned last week that our Class of 2020 was officially onboard this week and that our terrific Alumni Association would be front and center that first day and every day for this next generation. While our alums do so much terrific work for their medical school and their chosen profession, we must say some of our favorite efforts have to include hosting our senior students when they are in their area of the country doing residency interviews. This can include anything from sharing a meal, to taking them on a tour around town to opening their home to students. Of course, another amazing way they share is by opening their practices to students as a place to study how to be a great physician by learning alongside one. Dr. Matt Rudy, who was actually President of the Class of 2010, shared with our newest students how “staying connected here through the alumni association helps me remember why I do what I do, even when nights in the ER get crazy and I’m being pulled in all directions.”  No doubt Dr. Rudy and that is what we call great grounding. Our endless thanks again to our Alumni Association and another hearty welcome to the Class of 2020.

Because of the work you do… 
We were just talking about how the work that each of you do has such as broad impact. In fact, one of our alums you will be hearing from next Friday speaks so eloquently about the multiplier effect of teaching students and residents. You know you want to be there to hear him! This terrific added bonus certainly also applies to being part of a research team that is making differences in what we know about our bodies and disease. Just this week a captivating tale is playing out across our world about a new approach that appears to directly and effectively target in this case, two proteins that help prostate cancer thrive. But our scientists share that theirs really is a model for battling a wide-range of cancers head on. Our Dr. Hong Yan Liu, a biomedical engineer in the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, the fearless leader of that center, Dr. Jin-Xiong She, along with Dr. Daqing Wu, a cancer biologist at our Georgia Cancer Center, were leads on these truly amazing effort in which they are continuing to make progress as we speak. We like how Dr. She said the unique design of this therapy pretty much gave it two arms to get a good grip on the cancer. Pretty smart going that mimics how our own antibodies can get such a powerful hold on invaders. Please check out stories by Research & Development magazine and the Augusta Chronicle. Great going.

The knowledge you have and share…
Speaking of our alums and our faculty – and we are privileged to have such a large contingent who are both – our Dr. Bill Jacobs, a 1981 graduate of our medical school who is chief of addiction medicine and a renowned expert on this increasingly-important health topic, will be leading off an upcoming Leadership Program on Opioid Abuse and Addiction for the Richmond County Medical Society with a discussion of addiction science. The Aug. 20 conference is one of the society’s terrific efforts to help ensure physicians have the information they need to optimally practice medicine. Other conference highlights include the keynote address by Lori Murphy, program development director for the Medical Association of Georgia, who will discuss the state medical society’s role in improving health. Our Dr. Jim Rawson, chair of radiology, will discuss population health, system dynamics and opioid addiction. We of course appreciate the Richmond County and state Medical Associations for taking up and on this important topic and our faculty for, per their usual, lending their expertise. More details can be found here.

And the commitment you bring…
You know, for all you do, somehow many of you will still do more when needed. And, your active participation in the Faculty Senate is absolutely a need for our medical school. Not only is the monthly meeting an invaluable time to talk with other faculty and learn even more about your medical school, the committee work of this group, such as Student Promotions, Admissions and Curriculum Oversight, is essential to this or any medical school. We say all that because it’s true and so we can also brag about three new senators-at-large elected to the Executive Committee, Drs. Katie Davis and Gaston Kapuku, both from the Department of Pediatrics and Georgia Prevention Institute, as well as Dr. Ramon Parrish from the Department of Family Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Mumtaz Rojiani from the Department of Medicine was elected to the Rules & Bylaws Committee. We thank each of these individuals for their service and their commitment to Georgia’s public medical school.

Because of the stories you are helping write today…
Speaking of great going, check out the latest edition of the semiannual newsletter for our Medical Partnership campus in Athens here. The publication has a bit of a new look and feel along with a new name, Partnership Pulse. Since you may have noticed that we happen to really like communicating, we are super-pleased to add this publication to the fine portfolio about our medical school and the amazing individuals who are the Medical College of Georgia. Kudos to Editor Jennifer Adams, Editorial Assistant Kirsten Gunter, Designer Jennifer Stowe and Photographer Andrew Tucker for making it happen. Of course we also want to thank the illustrious campus dean, Dr. Shelley Nuss, for her leadership. Good job.

And a legacy that will never be lost
Finally today, even though we are a bit late on this, we felt compelled to note the passing of Chris Sizemore. Ms. Sizemore is known widely as Eve, the focus of a famous book and movie about this very real individual who battled multiple personality disorder. Because of the stigma of mental illness then – which unfortunately often lingers today – she chose not to identify herself when the 1957 book, authored by distinguished MCG psychiatrists Drs. Corbett H. Thigpen, a 1945 graduate of our medical school, and Hervey M. Cleckley, a 1929 graduate, was published and when the movie, The Three Faces of Eve, came out that year. But 20 years later, Ms. Sizemore told her own story and shared her identity with the world in the memoir, I’m Eve. Today we say goodbye to the last of these famous three individuals, our two pioneering clinicians and their brave, determined patient. Please know that we are planning an event Sept. 27 and 29 at our Harrison Commons in recognition of their historic impact.

Upcoming Events

Aug. 12 – State of the College address, noon, Lee Auditorium!

Aug. 15 – Career Development 101 for Early-Career Research Investigators, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Room 108 of the Greenblatt Library. The event will highlight research related resources, provide networking opportunities and career development skills. Contact Dr. Lisa Middleton by July 15 to attend. Sponsored by the Georgia Cancer Center, Educational Innovation Institute, Office of Leadership Development and Office of the Senior VP for Research.

Nov. 4 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Nov. 5 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.

Sept. 1 – MCG Alumni Association Athens Regional Reception, home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Ellison, 6 p.m.

Sept. 8 – Augusta University 6th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, Marriott Convention Center. Register here.

Sept. 14 – Career Development 101 for Clinical and Teaching Faculty, 1:15-4:30 p.m., Room GB 1120D in the beautiful Harrison Education Commons. Participants will learn more about teaching strategies to promote learning in clinical and other settings, identifying campus resources related to scholarship and research; and describing a timeline for promotion and expectations for tenure and non-tenure tracks. Cosponsored by the MCG Office of Faculty Development and the AU Educational Innovation Institute. RSVP to EDI@augusta.edu.

Sept. 17 – Alumni Association 125th Anniversary Celebration, Marriott Augusta, 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner.

Sept. 24 – Augusta University Day of Service

Sept. 26 – Medical Student Research Symposium, noon to 2 p.m., Harrison Commons

Sept. 26 – Student/Resident Research Symposium, 5-7 p.m., second floor of Russell Hall, Augusta University – University of Georgia Medical Partnership

Sept. 27 and 29 – Recognition of Dr. Hervey Cleckley, the famed former MCG psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. The showing of “The Three Faces of Eve,” 5:30 p.m., Sept. 27, Harrison Commons, GB-1110; Lecture, “Dr. Hervey Cleckley: The Medical College of Georgia’s Renaissance Man,” with Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29, Harrison Commons, GB-1110, reception follows in the Harrison Commons lobby.

Oct. 1 – The 2nd annual Pink Pumpkin Party, a family and community event by the Georgia Cancer Center to raise breast cancer awareness and education and honor survivors. Check out the Pink Pumpkin Party and the Pink Pumpkin giving page for more information.

Oct. 6 – Alumni Association, Albany Regional Reception, Doublegate Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 13 – Alumni Association Savannah Regional Reception, Savannah Golf Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 18 – Reception and plaque presentation honoring the family of Bowdre Phinizy and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, who’s generous gift in honor of Meta’s father, Leon Henri Charbonnier, marked the inception of MCG’s very first endowment, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Commons

Oct. 25 – Alumni Association Rome Regional Reception. Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

Enjoy your first August weekend!

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