EDQ Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2015 - Page 8

Athens’ St. Mary’s Health Care System teams with GRU/UGA Medical Partnership to train the next generation of internists The Program. GRU/UGA Medical Partnership, a collaborative effort between Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia, has taken a big step towards addressing the critical shortage of physicians in Georgia through the creation of The Internal Medicine Residency Program along with St. Mary’s Health Care System. Applicants to the program were recently matched and the first accepted class will begin their residency education in Athens on July 1, 2015. importance of educating and training additional physicians and encouraging them to stay and practice in our state. The Difference-Makers. The inaugural class for Athens internal medicine residency has a strong connection with Georgia. Five of the ten selected individuals attended the University of Georgia for their undergraduate degrees, and one is a “Double Dawg” who also received his graduate degree through the “Being the site of the first medical residency program in Medical Partnership Class, graduating in 2015. Others accepted Northeast Georgia is a tremendous honor for St. Mary’s,” said have ties to Emory and Georgia Tech and other southeastern Bruce Middendorf, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. schools. “Residents bring new energy and enthusiasm into our clinical “We are very pleased that in the first year of our joint areas. At the same time, working with these new physicians is residency program, all 10 available positions have been filled,” exciting for our medical staff. We are looking forward to said Don McKenna, St. Mary’s President and CEO. “To me, this welcoming our first-ever residents and to working with them to speaks volumes about the attractiveness of our new program further raise the bar for clinical excellence at St. Mary’s and to the next generation of physicians. We are proud to be an across Northeast Georgia. This is a great day for our integral part of this effort to bring more medical doctors to community.” Georgia and to the Athens region in particular.” Residents are physicians who have completed medical school and are ready to begin a supervised training period which leads to medical licensure. This group of physicians will complete a three-year Internal Medicine residency at St. Mary’s, practicing alongside experienced doctors to gain sophisticated knowledge, skills, and experience in their chosen field. Internal Medicine residents focus specifically on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in adults. Economic Impact of the Program. A 2008 report to Georgia’s Board of Regents found that our state would face a shortage of 2,500 physicians by the year 2020 if capacity for medical school students and residents were not expanded. A physician shortage affects more than just the quality of healthcare available to citizens – it also adversely affects the local and state economy. Researchers at UGA’s Carl Vincent Institute of Government found that the average private physician practice provides 13 jobs, $640,000 in personal income for those jobs, and a total economic impact of $1.5 million. Using University of Georgia’s trademarked modeling system to estimate the economic impact of increasing the number of trained physicians by 500 a year beginning in 2016, they determined an increase in economic output of about 8.6%, without a measureable effect on the average amount of economic activity generated per physician. These findings underscore the 8 “It is a compliment to the community of Athens and the area physicians that so many applications were filed, and our team worked hard to identify individuals who would be the best fit for this program. These 10 individuals will help address the need for more physicians in the State of Georgia” said Michelle A. Nuss, M.D., Campus Associate Dean for GME at the GRU/ UGA Medical Partnership. These residents will arrive in Athens on June 24, 2015, for orientation and will begin work in the hospital on July 1, 2015. The internal medicine residency program can accommodate 10 residents in the inaugural year, with another 10 in 2016 and 10 more in 2017 for a maximum of 30 residents total. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT www.AthensBusiness.org 706-613-3233 8 8