Character developed

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~Helen Keller


October 28, 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

A Big Welcome … or Two …

This past Monday was the first day at MCG for Ms. Naiomi Tejada, (4th year student) who came to us from Juan Batista SOM in Puerto Rico. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to receive such a fine colleague. When you see Naiomi, please join us in welcoming her to MCG.

Please also join us welcoming the new CEO of Doctors Hospital, Mr. Doug Welch, his wife Amanda, and their son Ben to our community. We are fortunate to have Mr. Welch at the helm of Doctors Hospital.

Lots of Congratulations Are In Order …

We are very pleased that Project GREAT (Georgia Recovery-based Educational Approach to Treatment) in our department of Psychiatry has been selected by the American College of Psychiatrists to receive the “Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education for 2012.” This prestigious national award recognizes outstanding creativity in psychiatric education. An innovative goal of Project GREAT is to incorporate people who receive mental health services into advisory, teaching, and care-giving roles. Congratulations to all.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mark Hamrick as the new Senior Vice President for Research. Dr. Hamrick will oversee our research enterprise. Congratulations also to Dr. Gautam Agarwal on the appointment as Chief, Section of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Agarwal, a faculty member since 2007, specializes in minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery.

Congratulations also to Mr. Gary Colberg, CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick for being named 2011 CEO of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. Mr. Colberg is an avid supporter and wonderful partner with GHSU.

We also want to applaud our Department of Surgery/Plastic Surgery section for being awarded Continued Accreditation for three years by the Residency Review Committee. Our thanks to our GME office and faculty, staff, residents, and students that prepared for this site visit.

Alumni and MCG Foundation Meetings… Building Our Legacy of Leadership …

We had a great turnout from our MCG alumni, MCG Foundation, and student body as they met for board meetings and receptions this past weekend. It was enlightening to hear from our student body of the many activities that are going on as well as from our Alumni on their engagement with the Medical School. It was appreciated that we are gaining momentum here.

Update … Student Advocacy in Supporting our Community …

In a previous Dean’s Diary we told you of an upcoming golf tournament hosted by our student leaders and St. Vincent de Paul Downtown Health Center. $3625.00 was raised for the Monday evening clinic, Latino clinic, Women’s clinic, Asian clinic, and the St. Vincent de Paul Health Center- clinics in which our students collaboratively provide access to quality health services to the underserved CSRA populations. Well done by our students!

Posters Highlighted …. Medical Scholars Research Day …

As we previously mentioned, we will highlight some posters presented during the Medical Scholars Research Day. Shannon Leung with mentor Dr. Andria Thomas presented ‘An exploratory study of pediatric patient views regarding what medical students should know about communication with them in clinical interactions.’ Participants (pediatric patients) highlighted how doctors should be amiable professionals and acknowledge their patients’ feelings. Themes of character skills, and communication predominated. Dr. Thomas remarked, “As a mentor, the experience of advising a summer research scholar was invigorating. Shannon’s enthusiasm and fresh perspective on research made the process very enjoyable.” Ms. Leung acknowledged “having the chance to apply my medical knowledge to a clinical setting was a nice way to sum up my first year of medical school”.

Quality and Professionalism …Practicing What We Preach …

Our thanks to Drs. Jim Rawson and Bill Kanto for an excellent Physician Wellness program symposium. The expert covered boundary violations, inappropriate prescribing of drugs, and disruptive physician behaviors.

This program, attended by faculty and residents, advanced professionalism in medicine ( and how to avoid the ‘slippery slope’ behaviors which put us at professional risk. A training video for all will be forthcoming.

Check It Out …

Emory’s School of Medicine and The Halle Institute for Global Learning are sponsoring a France-Atlanta Scientific Symposium on “Geriatric Nephrology in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities” on November 7 at the Rollins School of Public Health. The event is free and (register online here), open to the public. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Upcoming Dates and Events …

November 3 – Inaugural Lois T Ellison, MD Lectureship in Physiology

We invite you to attend the Inaugural Lectureship where Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch will be guest speaker – Health Sciences Building – 4 pm.

November 4 – State of the College of Dental Medicine – 12 noon – Lee Auditorium

Please join us as Dean Drisko gives the State of the College address. Call the dean’s office at 706-721-2117 for more info.

November 4-9 – Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Annual Meeting

AAMC will hold its annual meeting in Denver, CO this year. On Sunday evening November 6, MCG will host its annual reception honoring Dr. Ruth-Marie Fincher and Mr. David Hefner.

November 8 – Informational Research Meeting – First Year Students, Faculty & Mentors

Please join us at 5 pm in CL 1101 for this important meeting. Contact Dr. Richard Cameron ( or Dr. Kathy McKie (

November 11 at 1 pm – Cadaver Memorial – Lee Auditorium

This is an excellent memorial led by our students to say thank you to the donors and their families for their selfless act of donation.

November 17 at 5 pm – PPG Membership Meeting – Alumni Center
Please join us for the semi-annual PPG Membership meeting for updates from the last meeting.

December 2 – ‘A Red Carpet Affair’ GHSU MCG Talent Show, 6:30 to 9 pm – Lee Auditorium

Everyone is encouraged to attend. Esteemed panel of judges (Drs. Azziz, McKie, and Ganapathy). All proceeds will be donated to the Christmas Party benefiting children with HIV infection. Contact Vijay Palvia, Director ( for more information.

December 2 – 2012 SGEA Conference Submission Deadline

University of Kentucky COM will host the 2012 Regional Conference of the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) ‘Best Practices in Medical Education: Bring Us Your Best, April 19-21, 2012. The best initiatives and practices in place at medical schools across the southern U.S. will be delivered through oral presentations, small group discussions, workshops, demonstrations, and poster sessions. To submit a proposal, view submission guidelines and examples, or register for the conference, visit our website at

On a final note, we laid to rest ‘one of the good guys’ this week, Deputy J.D. Paugh. We have learned of his great contributions and we hope that our community finds strength in the memories that J.D. left us.