The Medical College of Georgia (often referred to as MCG) is the flagship medical school of the University System of Georgia, the state’s only public medical school, and one of the top 10 largest medical schools in the United States. Established in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia, MCG is the oldest and founding school of Augusta University. It is the third-oldest medical school in the Southeast and the 13th oldest in the nation. With 22 departments, it offers both a Doctor of Medicine (MD) as well as MD-PhD, MD-MPH, and MD-MBA degrees. Its ranking in research is # 83, and its ranking in primary care is Not Published.
In response to the state of Georgia’s worsening shortage of physicians, the school has undergone tremendous growth in recent years. Beginning in 2010, MCG expanded to include multiple regional campuses across the state. In addition to its main clinical campus in Augusta, clinical training is offered at campuses in Albany, Rome, Savannah/Brunswick, and Athens. The Athens campus is a full, four-year campus and houses 40 of the school’s 230 first-year students as part of a partnership with the University of Georgia.
MCG was founded in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia by the Medical Society of Augusta to address a need to train new physicians. Its first seven students enrolled in a one-year course of lectures and clinical training hosted in the Old Medical College building, leading to the bachelor of medicine degree. The next year, the governor signed a legislative act altering the charter of 1828 by expanding the curriculum to two years, culminating in a doctor of medicine degree, and changing the name to the Medical Institute of Georgia. The school changed its name in 1833 to its current name, and for the next 80 years continued to operate with an emphasis on research and training physicians.
Many discoveries were made by faculty, including the first hysterectomy performed in the United States and the first documented case of sickle cell disease.
In 2015, more than 2,600 students applied for 230 first-year slots. Admitted students in 2015 had an average grade point average of 3.73, and MCAT score of 31.3, above the national average for students accepted at a US allopathic medical school.
The main campus resides in Augusta, Georgia on the Health Sciences campus of Augusta University. All first- and second-year students attend classes at either the Augusta main campus or the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens.
The new educational home of MCG, the J. Harold Harrison, MD, Education Commons, opened in 2014 and features a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, auditoriums, and classroom space for up to 300 students.
In a student’s third and fourth years, they can choose to study on the main Augusta campus, based at Augusta University Medical Center, or to study at a regional campus for their clinical rotations. MCG has four satellite campuses:
The Southeast campus, in Savannah and Brunswick, opened in 2011 with seven third-year students beginning rotations at two medical centers and hosts nearly 40 students annually.
The Northwest campus is located in Rome, opened in 2013. Students work with the Harbin Clinic, Floyd Medical Center, and Redmond Regional Medical Center, with some classes and training provided on facilities provided by the centers.
The Athens campus is part of the AU/UGA partnership and began first hosted students in 2010, aimed at growing the number of physicians the state produces.
The Southwest campus in Albany, was the first residential campus opened in 2010. It marked the school’s first efforts to increase the number of physicians produced in the state of Georgia, a problem the university had vowed to address.