“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”

-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Our Nation Needs More Physicians… You absolutely know that our focus is the next generation of physicians. Well a report released earlier this year by the Association of American Medical Colleges says our nation faces a shortage of 46,100-90,400 docs by 2025, a mere 10 years from today. As with most great things, the demand will simply exceed modest projected growth. The large, looming shortage appears to show no favorites, with an estimated shortfall of 12,500-31,000 primary care docs and 28,200-63,700 non-primary care specialists. AAMC President Darrell Kirch rightly states such a big issue requires a multi-pronged strategy, which absolutely includes increased graduate medical education funding.

 

And Soon We Will Be Training a Few More…

That brings us to our great news! Our GME guru Dr. Walt Moore shares that effective this coming July, four new residency positions for our medical school and hospitals will be funded through the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. While the previously cited report indicates we need more of essentially everything, this will enable us to add two additional residents in internal medicine and one each in emergency medicine and orthopaedic surgery. We currently have nearly 490 resident and fellow positions in 45 different areas and 86.5 of those positions (meaning full-time equivalents) are already funded by the VA in a wide range of specialties from ophthalmology to dermatology. We so appreciate this invaluable support from the VA, especially from Associate Chief of Staff for Affiliations and Education, Dr. Michael Spencer (a 1984 MCG graduate!), and our terrific GME office led by Dr. Moore and Candice Henderson. Great news and great job! Read more about the shortage here http://bit.ly/1DTZGWJ.

 

Our Partners in Athens…. Already Are

Speaking of new internal medicine residents, this fall has been a busy one for the brand-new group that came on board this past July at the GRU/UGA Internal Medicine Residency Program in Athens in partnership with St. Mary’s Health System. Drs. Tenzing Phanthok and Heather Brody presented at the recent Georgia Chapter of the American College of Physicians meeting. Dr. Phanthok’s poster, “All that Wheezes is Not Asthma: All that Wheezes is Obstruction,” presented the case of a young adult female with a past clinical history of wheezing and treatment for worsening asthma, who really had a double aortic arch, a congenital defect that can cause her exact symptoms. Dr. Brody’s “Cocaine and Coma,” shared how a trip to the emergency room enabled a 60 year-old man with a history of severe hypothyroidism and illicit drug use, to be diagnosed with a life-threatening form of untreated hypothyroidism. Dr. Soma Mandal traveled to the 2015 American College of Gastroenterology conference in Honolulu to present her poster, “Vegetarianism and Risk of Colorectal Carcinoma: A Systematic Review.” Her work indicates that a vegetarian diet high in fish has a lower risk of colorectal cancer than other types of vegetarian diets. Talk about hitting the ground running! We again thank our University System of Georgia for its commitment to growing GME throughout our state and new partners in this effort such as St. Mary’s.

 

And Per their Awesome Usual… Our Faculty Are Helping Inspire More Still

Our Dr. Cargill Alleyne, per his usual, is absolutely on it when it comes to inspiring future generations of these types of go-getting physicians. This time it’s not with his skill in the operating room, clinic and/or research lab, but as a writer of children’s books. “Bart’s Heart”, see http://amzn.to/1PO6psj, follows his work, “Ned’s Head,” and is written to help inspire children’s excitement in learning more about the amazing bodies we call home. Super cool stuff here and yet another dimension to the amazing individuals who are the Medical College of Georgia.

 

Our Medical School… Has Such a Proud Tradition of Amazing Individuals…

Speaking of great neurosurgery leaders, this one could say more with a look or a laugh than many of us can manage with a long lecture, shares our Neurology Chair Emeritus Dr. Tom Swift.  Dr. Marshall Allen was neurosurgery chief from 1965 until 1994, one of the longest serving neurosurgery chiefs anywhere, Dr. Alleyne tells us. He was a graduate of Harvard Medical School, a prolific educator who loved sharing his specialty with the next generation. He was a prolific writer as well, in fact, like our Dr. Alleyne, he wrote two fiction books, in addition to many, many articles and textbooks. He was president of the Society of University Neurosurgeons and the Georgia Neurosurgical Society as well as the Optimist Club. He was married to Dorothy Herron for nearly 60 years. He was a great supporter to our medical school before and after retirement, when he remained a regular presence at department functions and established the Marshall B. Allen, Jr., MD Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, which Dr. Alleyne now holds. We send Dr. Allen’s family and many, many friends and colleagues our sympathy and support on the passing of this terrific individual and thank his family for sharing so much of him with us.

 

Who Make an Indelible Mark…

Again, we have had and do have just so many, many great leaders, and it’s particularly awesome when they get the national recognition they absolutely deserve. Dr. Joseph P. Bailey, long time chief of our Section of Rheumatology and a 1955 MCG graduate and absolute first-class supporter of his alma mater and profession, has received the American Medical Association’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award for meritorious service in the science and art of medicine. Absolutely no doubt. There simply is no better advocate for medicine and for MCG than Dr. Bailey, who is now Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Medicine. We would have to dedicate several editions of this weekly communication to him to even begin to scratch the surface of what Dr. Bailey has accomplished. AMA President Dr. Steven J. Stack said, “He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving patient care as a leader in organized medicine.” We must say again, hear, hear; thank Dr. Bailey again for his unwavering commitment; and congratulate him for such a well-deserved honor.

 

And Always, Always… Give it All They’ve Got

There are simply so many wonderful things about being part of a place with such as long and amazing legacy. And, as we can’t help but say often that it’s fine individuals like Drs. Allen and Bailey and each of you who really define our medical school. This reality was crystalized for us yet again this week when we were privileged to honor some of the longest-timers among you. It was truly an inspirational gathering honoring folks with 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service. All told for the university and our health system, 201 faculty and staff members were recognized for 4,815 years of service! That included at our medical school, folks such as Toni Smith, business manager at our Georgia Prevention Institute. Not only is she adept at helping run a top-notch research organization, but Toni is always kind and helpful in the process and her boundaries seem to expand to wherever there is a need for her help. There was Dr. Anthony Murro, who has helped so many fight the good fight against seizures, and Dr. Les Bertrand, who helps take care of the often complex and always compelling orthopaedic needs of children. Thank you hardly seems sufficient when addressing this caliber of individuals, but please know that we thank you all for your dedication and service and for making this medical school and this world just a better place. We thank Susan Norton and our other colleagues in Human Resources for making this event happen.

 

For A Better Today… And a Stronger Tomorrow

You know you always go that extra mile, and this week we had some great people working late – per usual – to help ensure our medical school’s future. It was the Strategic Plan Leadership Retreat, a follow up gathering to ensure that we remain on course and that our medical school is even more amazing in the years ahead than it has been in our proud 187-year history. This insightful process began in 2013 and resulted in a comprehensive plan for the future of our mission, vision and values that we had in hand by this time last year. We said then we would do what we did this week, which was take a pulse to make sure we were on target and we are! Great meeting that included super special guest speaker Dr. J. Michael McGinnis, whose contributions, like so many of you, date back decades. Currently he is Executive Director of the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Consortium on Value & Science-Driven Health Care, please see http://bit.ly/1X2xIos. Great job all and we absolutely appreciate the continued leadership of Chief of Staff Jeanette Balotin, co-leaders Drs. Barbara Henley and Jack Yu, and Strategic Management Expert, Dr. Tony Robinson from the Hull College of Business on this way-securing effort. We must particularly thank Laurie LaChance, administrative assistant in the dean’s office, for her amazing leadership and support in pulling this well-run and important event together.

With Students Who Rock…And Roll us Toward Better Health

We promised two weeks back that our students, per their awesome usual, would provide an absolutely marvelous memorial service this past Friday to honor our body donors. They absolutely delivered. On Nov. 13, it was a house packed with the family and friends of 162 individuals who have donated their bodies. It was a house packed with our students, faculty and staff who absolutely understand these individuals’ invaluable gift. See http://bit.ly/1PEtr6r. Second-year class president, David Davis, reminded us of their amazing insight as well in recognizing that their time in their bodies is limited but the impact of their bodies can be lasting. Absolutely.

 

Epilogue…

And finally today, we shake our heads yet again at the devastation that has occurred in France. But we must also stand and clap our hands for the remarkable resilience of this beautiful country and its people. Our hearts are with you.

 

Upcoming Events

 

Dec. 3 – The university’s Christmas Tree Lighting, 6 p.m. at the Summerville Campus.  The Summerville Neighborhood Association is a partner in hosting an evening of family and community fun that will also include caroling, refreshments, trolley rides and a Santa visit.

Dec. 6-8 – Liaison Committee on Medical Education Mock Site Visit

Dec. 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Dec. 10 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium

Jan. 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus. 

Jan. 12 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Jan. 22 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 24-27 – LCME Site visit

Feb. 1 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Feb. 18 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting and Awards Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 25 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Macon, Idle Hour Country Club, 3:30 p.m.

March 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

March 18 – Match Day, location TBD!

March 25 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

April 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

April 15 – MCG Alumni Association sponsors the Raft Debate. More to come.

April 29 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend.

May 6 – Dean’s State of the College Address, noon, Lee Auditorium.

May 12 – Hooding 2016, Keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, location and time TBD.

Have a great weekend!

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