“Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” ~ Harry Truman


Upcoming events


April 22 – Earth Day

April 27 – UFS/MCGRI Awards ceremony

April 29 – RAFT Debate

May 4 – MCG Hooding

May 5 – GHSU Graduation

May 13 – MCG State of the School

May 20 – President’s Inauguration

May 26 – 9th Annual GHSU Tech Fair




Homecoming weekend at GHSU …

Homecoming at GHSU is a culmination of many pioneers of the past and leaders of the future from different areas who come together to celebrate ‘coming home’ to GHSU. There is much wisdom to be gained also from the family and friends that attend and support our institution and our medical college as well. GHSU and the community were abuzz this past weekend with events for all of the colleges of GHSU. All told, we had over 1100 Alumni, family and friends of GHSU participate in the time-honored events of Homecoming. GHSU sponsored the Homecoming Dance featuring a local band and it was a fun time. We also had a Saturday luncheon for all colleges which was a great time for our guests to meet Dr. and Mrs. Azziz and their family. Along with the activities and events for all, each college held their own specific events. We, at MCG, had over 350 people who attended our Homecoming events and activities. My wife, Leonie and I had such a wonderful weekend. We hope all our colleagues enjoyed it as well. We held class reunions from 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001 as well as the Dean’s Reception and Alumni Association Banquet.

We appreciate and admire the support we receive from our Alumni. ‘Their’ legacy will continue on for years to come. Dr. Scott Bohlke passed the gavel to Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Chair, Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Primary Care and Community Affairs to begin his term as President of the MCG Alumni Association. We want to thank Dr. Scott Bohlke for his tireless and excellent service as President this past year. It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with him. I also want to thank the Alumni Association for their support and guidance to me as I began my tenure as Dean. I look forward to our continued growth and to strengthening our relationship.

There were several meetings and events over the course of the weekend and I want to highlight a few of them. At the Alumni Association Board Meeting, student education and several other topics were discussed. Did you know that we are the 6th largest college of medicine? Or that so far this year, we have interviewed 523 applicants and accepted 230 for an average GPA for the group of 3.73 and MCAT of 31.3? These are impressive statistics. We also had 176 students that went through the National Match and 24% of those stayed in Georgia with 40% of those matching at MCG. As highlighted in a prior Dean’s Diary, those that went to residency programs elsewhere went to great schools nationally. We were very pleased that 36% of those matched in Primary Care. We also discussed our upcoming Hooding ceremony with nationally renowned Dr. Pauline Chen as our guest speaker … more on this later. We also provided our alumni at the Alumni Board Meeting and at the MCG Foundation Board Meeting with updates in research and clinical programs as well as recruitments in both areas. We also updated our colleagues on several reaccreditation surveys (TJC, SACS, and AAHRPP) that we recently have gone through and have done extremely well, noting ways of improvement and best practices. Our quality program, long term strategic planning , and the leadership of our institution and medical college were also highlighted at the meeting. These initiatives have been detailed in prior Dean’s Diaries.

The MCG Foundation Board also held its board meeting during the Homecoming weekend. Our Foundation’s leadership supports the advancement of education, research and patient care at MCG. We are very fortunate in that we have a strong, supportive foundation and alumni that stays engaged in our college. Dr. Mayher passed the gavel to Dr. Alva L. Mayes, Jr. who will serve as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation. We welcome and appreciate his leadership now at the helm. Also, we want to thank Dr. Jim Osborne and Mr. Brian Nozolino for their leadership, support and guidance.

Also during Homecoming weekend, we celebrate and remember our alumni that have passed away during the last year. This is one of the most solemn yet positive events of the weekend. Not only did we remember but we celebrated and recognized the successful lives and achievements of our alumni. It also gave us a chance to comfort our family and friends. Their legacy will live on and we will continue to build upon their foundation.

We offer our sincere thanks to Ms. Betty Meehan and Mr. Scott Henson and their entire team for a super Homecoming weekend. We appreciate all the effort of our colleagues that went into making this weekend a success. We are already looking forward to next year.

Homecoming Leaders …

We are also privileged to have the opportunity to acknowledge our leaders at homecoming. We are delighted to congratulate Dr. Billy Mayher as our Distinguished Alumni for Loyalty and Dr. Robert Castleberry as our Distinguished Alumni for Professional Achievements. Dr. William (Billy) Mayher is a 1964 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. Dr. Mayher, a retired neurosurgeon who has given immensely, served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Medical College of Georgia Foundation. Dr. Robert Castleberry graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1971. He was acknowledged for his inspiring work in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. We were also very delighted that our esteemed colleague and leader Dr. Joseph Hobbs (MCG Class of 1974) became President of the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association. Joseph’s Presidential remarks to a packed room of MCG Alumni on Friday night were gifted and truly inspirational to all of us. Please congratulate Dr. Hobbs and wish him well in his Presidency when you see him next. It is a distinct honor and for sure he will excel as Alumni Association President. On Saturday, Dr. Hobbs informed the Alumni Board of Directors of his goals as President- these include increasing Alumni Association membership, attracting younger colleagues to Alumni Association membership, achieving a better interface with our Faculty Senate, and extending outreach to our students, both at the Augusta campus and regional campuses. It is incumbent upon all of us to support Dr. Hobbs in this vital role. I would very much appreciate you discussing directly with Joseph how best you/we can explicitly support his Presidency and these important goals over this year. We are so very proud of our Distinguished Alumni, Dr. Mayher, Dr. Castleberry and our new President, Dr. Hobbs.

Consortium of Leadership … May 13th State of MCG Presentation …

Consortium of Leadership … Consortium – An association or a combination. Leadership – The action of leading a group of people or an organization. Have I piqued your interest yet? Then please mark your calendar, set your alarm, or have a wakeup call and plan to attend the State of the Medical College address on May 13 at 12 noon in the Lee Auditorium. Lunch will be provided. This ‘address’ is for all members of MCG, whether you are faculty, staff, residents, students, or alumni. Faculty typically attend these presentations. In addition, this year I am reaching out to our staff, our residents, and our students and to our alumni … It would be great to have strong representation among all of our ‘GHSU family’. I welcome the opportunity to recognize our collective accomplishments over this year – as well as our aspirations for the coming academic year – in the State of the Medical College of Georgia Presentation, lunchtime, Friday May 13th (not sure how we got the coveted Friday 13th slot!) Please encourage your colleagues – faculty, staff, residents, students, and alumni – to attend. More information regarding the event will be forthcoming. We look forward to seeing you on Friday, May 13.

A Word of Congratulations …

Lieutenant Wendall Edwards and Captain James Moon recently wrote a letter congratulating Drs. Sheldon Litwin and Vishal Arora and their team for conducting a mini health fair sponsored by Perimeter Protection Department for WSI-SRS. Lt. Edwards and Capt. Moon used words such as “success”, “pleasure”, “details”, “useful”, “outstanding job”. It is always a pleasure to brag when our team is recognized and brought to the forefront out in the community. Congratulations to Drs. Litwin and Arora, and their entire team.

AAMC … MCAT … New test? …

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently released preliminary recommendations for a new version of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The current version has been used since 1991 with the new version being in place until 2030. The advisory panel “MR5 Committee” was made up of 22 members that were appointed in 2008. Outreach events with stakeholder groups, expert opinions, advisory groups, reviews and surveys from undergraduate and medical school faculty, administrators, residents, and medical students were used to come to the conclusion of the 14 preliminary recommendations. The recommendations also preserve what works, eliminates what does not and gives attention to concepts that physicians are most likely going to need. The proposed recommendations regarding the content and format were to enhance focus on: Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Properties of Living Systems, Physical, Chemical, and Biochemical Properties of Living Systems, Behavioral and Social Sciences Principles and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. There were recommendations to introduce the new exam in 2015. There was discussion on how this would help prepare prospective examinees and pre-health faculty for the new exam, with special attention to the educational needs of students at under-resourced institutions. This would help medical schools track and conduct research on the value and validity of the new exam for student selection at their schools.

These recommendations balance the testing between the natural sciences, behavioral and social sciences, and critical analysis and reasoning. They also stress the necessity of broad reading in preparation for medical school. Problem solving is addressed by demonstrating the student’s scientific thinking, research and statistics skills. We understand that these important preliminary recommendations are featured at the AAMC regional meetings and will be discussed at the AAMC annual meeting in November 2011. It is intended that the AAMC leadership will present final recommendations to the Board for approval in February 2012.

Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) … ready, set, go ….

Last weekend, our medical students had a unique opportunity for learning ‘in the field’. Dr. Michael Caudell, chair elect for the American College of Emergency Physicians, Wilderness Medical Section supervises the GHSU medical students who design and develop the MedWAR course. Our Emergency Medicine department sponsors the event which, this year, occurred on April 16 at Fort Gordon. It was a fun event and was well attended. This is a unique event which combines wilderness medical challenges with the growing sport of adventure racing. The race was also developed as a tool for teaching and testing the knowledge, skills, and techniques of wilderness medicine, and for promoting teamwork and collegiality among competitors. The event’s mission is to provide medical students, residents, health care professionals, and wilderness enthusiasts with a practical, interactive, and enjoyable curriculum for learning, applying, and evaluating emergency medical knowledge, skills, and techniques in a wilderness setting. And congratulations to the GHSU – for the 2nd year in a row, we had the winning team. WooHoo!

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,