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University Hospital welcomes GHSU resident physicians June 28, 2012

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June 28, 2012

University Hospital welcomes first round of GHSU resident physicians

AUGUSTA, Ga. – A strengthened academic affiliation between Georgia Health Sciences University and University Hospital becomes effective July 1, with five of the first 32 medical residents starting rotations at University Hospital. The number of residents is expected to grow in the upcoming years.

“University Hospital is very proud to be a partner in this initiative with GHSU, especially as this country faces an expected physician shortage over the next decade,” said James R. Davis, President and CEO of University Health Care System. “By providing this training opportunity to these young physicians, we hope to encourage them to put down roots here, helping take care of our community for years to come. This is good for GHSU, good for University Hospital and good for the community."

“We are exceedingly pleased with the progress and passion for this affiliation that significantly expands the training of GHS Health System residents at University Hospital,” said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, GHSU President and CEO of GHS Health System. “The leadership, physicians and staff at University Hospital already are incredible partners; our residents and graduate education leadership are excited; and our alumni are happy that University Hospital, where many of them received exceptional clinical training, is once again our partner.”

University officials said the relationship will enhance the quality of medical resident education, lay the groundwork for more medical students to complete clinical rotations at University and eventually enable the education of more physicians in a state that ranks 41st in both the number of active physicians and residents/fellows per 100,000 population, according to the 2011 State Physician Data Book of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

William Farr, M.D., University’s Chief Medical Officer, noted the first round of residents will have the opportunity to work with some of University’s leading physicians in a variety of specialties. “We will have one internal medicine resident with the hospitalist service, two OB/GYN residents and two surgery residents on one- to two-month rotations throughout the year,” he said. “They will be working with our physicians who will serve as their attending on the various services and who have clinical faculty appointments at the Medical College of Georgia.”

“This is a timely and important strategy for many reasons,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at GHSU. “This is great for the hospitals, it’s great for the residents and it’s great for Georgia. It’s also a bit like back to the future because what we aspire to is the kind of heart and soul relationship that existed in prior generations that many of our alumni grew up on.”

GHSU and University Hospital announced in June 2011 their intention to strengthen their academic affiliation and in September signed the five-year agreement that becomes effective July 1. University Hospital, a 581-bed community not-for-profit hospital established in Augusta in 1818, served as GHSU’s primary teaching hospital from the university’s founding in 1828 until GHSU opened its own hospital in 1956. Most recently only a handful of medical students and residents have gotten clinical experience at University Hospital.

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