That’s because the new Georgia Regents University satellite campus will start training the first eight medical students who will gain clinical experience in various of Rome’s medical facilities as part of a statewide plan/expansion to increase the state school’s class size to handle 300 students a year by 2020, from the present 190, to meet expected demands/needs.
(There are, as most are aware, non-public medical schools training physicians in Georgia as well.)
Still, having five colleges with campuses in a single county has to be pretty remarkable, particularly as Floyd County has a population of just under 100,000. Sure, Fulton (Atlanta) has far more, and so might some other larger counties even if “beauty colleges” are ruled out, but one has to wonder how many of Georgia’s 159 counties have this much variety in higher-education activity and opportunity. Not many is a good guess, but as far as can be determined via Internet searches, nobody has compiled such a “rating” yet.
The official name of what’s coming, and is apparently included in current state budget funding with the intention of spending about $1 million a year to run it, is the Northwest Georgia Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University. That is a mouthful and something far shorter will be required to describe it. Even NWGCCMCGGHSU is outlandish. And they won’t field sports teams either, so Hawks and Vikings and Bobcats and Highlanders won’t ever be playing the Scalpels or whatever.
THE “CAMPUS” will occupy a portion of the James D. Maddox Heritage Hall of Georgia Highlands College at 415 E. Third Ave. (once in the long agos both Rome Middle School and Rome Girls High School) and will, on paper if not in size, join those of Berry College, Shorter University, Georgia Highlands and Georgia Northwestern Technical College. None of those have medical schools, of course, but all of them now have nursing programs, with GNTC also having all sorts of health-sciences technical certificates/degrees — most offered in a stand-alone building that actually looks and is equipped like it might be a small hospital.
Of course, the actual reason the new campus is locating here is hardly a secret. Rome is the medical center of this entire section of the state, with Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center, Harbin Clinic and much, much more that have always looked to grow and expand in what is offered to potential patients.
The Triumph HealthCare long-term acute-care facility (attached to FMC) and Harbin Cancer Center are but the two most recent major examples.
Outside of the medical school’s home base in Augusta, such satellite campuses as soon to appear in Rome have only been developed thus far in Savannah and Albany. As noted by Michael Shaffer, the GRU legislative lobbyist recently, some hospital administrators have been reluctant to welcome medical students, whereas “Rome has been incredible.”
THAT MAY have something to do with familiarity with the process and acceptance by patients of having students helping to attend them. Since 1976, FMC has had a three-year family medicine residency program.
However, NWGCCMCGGHSU will be something quite different. This is both rather new under the medical sun and special. Greater Romans and those in this health center’s wide area for potential patients will find more than a little about what this is all about on a web site devoted to the new Rome campus at www.georgiahealth.edu/medicine/expansion/rome/.
The key is that “Rome’s cohesive medical community will enable development of a longitudinal integrated curriculum for the campus, an emerging medical education model that stresses patient-centered care and tends to produce more primary-care physicians.”
Basically, it means that medical students will be coming to Rome in their third and fourth years. In year No. 3 they will have “clerkships” in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, emergency medicine plus an elective.
Everything from prevention to hospice will be part of this educational mix.
In Year 4, the students will do four-week rotations in emergency medicine, critical care and adult ambulatory medicine as well as an internship from among family medicine, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology with time remaining going to clinical and research electives.
PARTICULARLY notable is that local physicians, students and patients will be paired for an entire year, with the concept being that all can learn from each other. The objective is, it could be said, to improve on the humanization of health care on the future front lines. Students will experience various areas/fields for longer periods, be guided by an experienced practitioner, get to know their patients better (the old “bedside manner”) and even see how the “case” turns out.
Even more exceptional to consider is that all those areas of study have to exist in abundance in this health-care center or such a “classroom” could not exist.
By the way, although starting with eight students, when originally announced it was foreseen that there could well be as many as 20 a year in the near future.
This is, of course, the dawning addition of another “building block” being attached to a quite remarkable health-care edifice (and economic engine) that was probably never foreseen when, 150 years ago, Rome first became a medical center and hospital city for both the Confederate and Union armies.
Neither did any residents expect, some years later when first Shorter and then Berry were founded, that Floyd County would wind up being home to five college campuses offering such a wide array of opportunities to study human endeavors that have led to so much advancement.
NOW THEN, will the greatest minds in medicine please come up with an easier way to say NWGCCMCGGHSU!