(The Center Square) — Augusta University plans to establish a four-year Medical College of Georgia campus at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah.
The school plans to use nearly $1.7 million in bond funding included in the fiscal 2024 state budget to renovate office, classroom and lab space. The campus will be established in the Armstrong Center and the Health Professions Academic Building, part of Georgia Southern’s Waters College of Health Professions.
“Georgia ranks 40th in the nation for both the number of active physicians and the number of primary care doctors,” Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, R-Newington, said in a statement. “Georgians experience this reality everyday – data shows that 82 Georgia counties have no OB/GYNs, 65 counties have no pediatricians and nine Georgia counties have no doctor at all. This must change, especially in rural Georgia.”
“Increasing opportunities within the University System of Georgia allows Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia to educate and train more students and meets a clear need to make sure our communities receive better health care,” Burns added. “Georgia needs more doctors, and I’m proud we are making this investment in our future.”
Officials expect to enroll the first students at the new campus by Fall 2024, pending approval by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for medical schools in the United States and Canada.
Georgia Southern will provide roughly 23,000 square feet of space — 13,000 square feet of shared anatomy lab and classroom space and 10,000 square feet of student group workspace and offices. With the new campus, MCG plans to accept 40 more students per year, increasing its class size, among the largest nationwide, to 304 students per class.
Spokespeople for various schools and the University System of Georgia could not confirm the ongoing budget for the new campus.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor