Viewpoint: MCG expansion is welcome

It is an encouraging bit of news to hear that the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine is taking steps to meet health care demands for our state.

According to the MCG, Georgia is currently ranked ninth in population and 44th in physicians per capita. MCG is the only public medical school in the state,

The MCG announced that it is expanding to create satellite clinical campuses based in Albany and Savannah for third and fourth year medical students in underserved areas of the state's southwest and coastal regions.

The Board of Regents accepted the plan to increase enrollment at MCG by 455 students. The first residential campus is expected to open in Albany next July. Although the Albany campus at Phoebe Putney will not have classrooms for first and second-year students, this expansion means a boost in physicians to the area and an overall boost to Georgia's physician shortage.

MCG states that this unprecedented expansion of medical education will allow the college to carry on its mission of improving health and reducing the burden of illness on society well into the new millennium… and it will also expand Albany as not only a college town but as a medical town.