“More than ever, we need to be a community for each other…”

 – Dr. Darrell Kirch


Dear Colleagues and Friends,


Medical schools are important to overall “social good”…

 What a privilege to be in Seattle this past week at the Association of American Medical Colleges annual meeting. Dr. Darrell Kirch, our great friend and former dean who is president and CEO of the AAMC, gave an outstanding Presidential Address,In Search of Community, (access it here: http://bit.ly/2f7scN5), reminding us that our nation’s academic medical centers– our medical schools and their teaching hospitals– are by virtue of their mission and the nature of the individuals who chose to be a part of them, building stronger communities. This is in ways you might expect. And maybe in some surprising ways as well. Like Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine’s partnership with Flint, which would ultimately help expose and address the horrific problem of lead in the water of that city. As Dr. Kirch told us, “…At each and every medical school I visit, I see the better angels of our nature at work – strengthening community bonds with learners, with colleagues, with patients, and most of all, with the people living just beyond your doorstep.” No doubt, Dr. Kirch. We appreciate his leadership and yours in making our nation’s medical schools, including proudly MCG, and our communities ever better. Thank you.


MCG faculty are at the forefront…

Many of our faculty were front and center as presenters at this annual gathering of our colleagues from the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals. One new and very busy face was our interim associate dean of admissions and awesome alumnus Dr. Kelli Braun. Dr. Braun, along with colleagues Dr. Lara Stepleman, a psychologist who co-directs our Educational Innovation Institute, and Dr. Steven Swift, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, talked about their perusal of issues like whether faculty and residents agree on perceived surgical training needs and how to develop a milestones-based needs assessment tool to guide that all-important training. Of course, these are just two of our many fantastic faculty who shared their amazing and innovative educational research and insight in Seattle. Thanks to each of you for your absolute dedication to making your medical school great and for representing us so well on a national stage!


Sexual Medicine Society of North America award renamed for… our Dr. Lewis

Speaking of super stages, the Sexual Medicine Society of North America has renamed its Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of our very own Dr. Ron Lewis, a longtime faculty member in the Section of Urology and a definite pioneer in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction.  The society also graciously – and rightfully – named Dr. Lewis the first recipient of the newly renamed award, for his outstanding contributions to his field, to this society and for his dedication to cultivating the next generation of physician scientists in the field of sexual medicine. No doubt! Dr. Lewis has long been a national player in his field and even helped establish the society in 1994, served as its president in 2010-11 and still chairs its Publication Committee. A true giant in his chosen profession, he’s also a member of the Male Health Task Force of the American Urological Association and chairs the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Andrology. We were honored to recognize him with our Lifetime Achievement Award just three years ago. Thank you for your service to your profession and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Dr. Lewis.


Making exercise fun can help young people with autism, ADHD stay active…

Staying on a super stage for just a bit longer, just last Friday, Matthew Lustig, a fourth-year student at our Medical Partnership in Athens, presented his research on helping kids with neurodevelopmental disorders get more exercise at the American Medical Association Research Symposium in Orlando. Through an internet questionnaire he sent via Facebook to groups associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, Matthew found that, as with many things, simply having fun was a great indicator of whether these young people would stick with it. Finding an activity they are good at also helps. Read more about his findings here, http://bit.ly/2g3EB6T. Super important stuff since many interventions for disorders like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism stress increasing exercise. Matthew had some great help from Dr. Julie Martin, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist who is the site clerkship director for pediatrics at the Partnership campus who helped him put his survey together and our Dr. Martha Tingen, who helped him organize his work. Our stellar students and faculty continue to amaze and inspire us all.  Congratulations on your achievements Matthew and thank you Drs. Martin and Tingen for fostering the thrill of discovery in the next generation.


Youth Leadership class visits campus…

 Speaking of inspiring the next generation, we recently played host to the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Augusta class for its annual Health Care Day. This group of 40 high school juniors were hand-selected by the chamber for its leadership program that’s designed to motivate potential young leaders and enable them to take an active role in their community. They started their day with us in the beautiful Harrison Commons with simulation center exercises, were later engaged by a presentation on genomics and personalized medicine by Dr. Ashok Sharma, and participated in an amazing and life-changing exercise on health care ethics by Dr. Jeffrey Flowers and Chaplain Brennan Francois, of our pastoral care team. Their day wrapped up with a “fireside chat” with some of our incredible medical students. Many thanks to Denise Kornegay, our associate dean for Area Health Education Centers, and her terrific team of volunteers for engaging these students, many of whom could be sitting in one of our university’s classrooms in a few short years, and exposing them to their opportunities in health care education.


St. Mary’s Internal Medicine Residency Program receives continued accreditation….

We wanted to let you know that we received word this week from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education that the Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary’s Health Care System, which is co-sponsored by our Partnership campus in Athens, has received full continuing accreditation! The ACGME’s Review Committee also commended the program, which accepted its first class of residents in 2015, for its demonstrated substantial compliance with the ACGME’s program requirements and institutional requirements with no citations – something that’s extremely rare, especially among relatively new programs. Truly excellent work! Special thanks and congratulations to Program Director Dr. Pete Yunyongying, Dr. Shelley Nuss and our partners at St. Mary’s, who collectively helped develop this already impressive program.


A note of thanks…

As we pause next week to reflect on the many things we are thankful for, please know that your tireless hard work and dedication to your profession and your steadfast support of your medical school are chief among them. May you all have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving holiday with those you hold close. We’ll see you week after next.



Upcoming Events


Nov. 24-25 – Thanksgiving holidays. Campus closed.

Dec. 1 – Ambulatory Care Services 12th Annual Silent Auction to benefit the American Heart Association, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Terrace Dining. Help with gift baskets and other items for auction is needed. Contact Steve Galles, sgalles@augusta.edu or Judy Howard, jhoward@augusta.edu for more information.

Dec. 23 and 26 – Christmas holidays. Campus closed.

Jan. 2 – New Year’s Holiday. Campus closed.

Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Campus closed.

 Jan. 19 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium

Feb. 7 – 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of MCG: Commemorating the Past and Envisioning the Future with guest speaker, Dr. David Satcher, former US Surgeon General. 5:30 p.m., Harrison Commons. Reception following.


A safe and joyous Thanksgiving to each of you.

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