For Dr. Peter Buckley, it is all about “momentum.”
The dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University gave his second State of the College address Friday by citing the statewide and local impact in a rapidly moving environment.
“We have been on a remarkable pace of change,” Buckley said. The school is building a “hub and spoke” model with regional campuses in Athens, Savannah and Albany and one opening next year in Rome. That creates the opportunity to work with physicians and community leaders around the state and the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens.
“We are interested in not just an education hub and spoke; we are interested in a true multifaceted partnership that embraces providing clinical care and collectively meeting our mission and our honor to the state of improving the health of Georgians,” Buckley said.
That means working with other colleges and disciplines to move toward integrated training and clinical care, Buckley said.
Patients “are seeking a team of care, and they are seeking people who work well together,” he said.
It is bringing in others, too – a meeting Friday included faculty members from Augusta State University, which is merging with GHSU.
MCG is helping to develop 400 residency positions approved by the Georgia Legislature. It means renewing once-strong ties with University Hospital, where residencies were pulled back years ago and have been slow to return.
Beginning in July, residencies in general surgery, obstetrics, internal medicine and a hospitalist rotation will begin, said University Chief Medical Officer William Farr. Buckley surprised Farr by bestowing on him the 2012 MCG Community Advocate Award during the address.
At first, five to eight residency slots will be filled, but University is authorized and partially funded for 15, Farr said.
“It takes some time to ramp up to that,” he said.
MCG is working to build on its research and is rapidly adding faculty members, going from a low of 453 in 2010 to 495 this year, Buckley said.
“We’ve got a vision; we’ve got a direction; we’ve got a momentum,” he said.