Georgia Regents University (MCG)
By: Charyse Magdangal
1. What is your name, your professional title, and your relationship to the university?
I am Jacquelyn Dogan. I am the Admissions Counselor and Recruiter for the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia Regents University. We do have two four-year campuses, but there is one admissions office. I represent both the Augusta and Athens campus.
2. What are some essential problems in the healthcare field, and how is the university working to change that?
One of the interesting things that many of our students are facing is that they are going through the four years of medical school and having issues being placed in residency. We are working to expand our class size to accommodate the need for additional physicians in the workforce. Currently, we have 230 students that we accept every year. We are working to increase to 300.
Something we strive to do is adjust our curriculum every so often. Our curriculum committee meets to review the different things that make our students most competitive so they can get into competitive residencies. Our students typically match at about 95-96% into various programs every year.
3. Do you have a specific mission?
Absolutely. Generally, our mission is to provide leadership and excellence in teaching discovery, clinical care, and service. Basically with us, we are heavily focused on research and academic medicine. We want to be able to ensure that future physicians will not only be able to treat patients, but to also be in the lab to be creating the treatments the patients will use.
4. What is a brief description of the application process?
There are three steps I always tell students. It’s a little oversimplified, but it helps students remember what you have to do. First step is to complete the AMCAAS application. That’s the primary application for most med schools across the nation. Secondly, complete the secondary application. That comes straight from the MCG admissions office. It asks
some additional question about “Why MCG?” in addition to just medicine. Thirdly, send in all your supplemental materials- letters of recommendation, MCAT score, volunteer and clinical exposure, experiences and those hours. Lastly, keep check on your application. Make sure we receive everything. Make sure that when it’s complete so when we start reviewing files- if you’re accepted for an interview, you have everything, because we send additional documents when your receive an interview. Don’t slack off just because you got your interview.
5. Are there any special programs for which this medical school is noted?
We have two different sets of programs. Before you’re a medical student, we have the SEEP program, the Summer Educational Enrichment Program. Undergraduate and high school students can participate in during the summer. Once you’re accepted to MCG, we have the Pre-Matriculation Program, which students can participate in seven weeks in the summer before they begin medical school. It will prepare you for what medical school is going to be all about. You do receive a stipend for both of those programs to help defray costs for books and housing.
Once you are medical student, we have several strong programs for student support. We have supplemental instructional programs. We have lots of academic support through our office of Student Multicultural Affairs.
6. Can you tell me the differences in curriculum between the Augusta campus and the Athens campus?
Basically, with our curriculum you are learning the same things, but it is different in the way that it is taught. In Athens, there’s a lot more of the small-group learning and problem-based learning. In Augusta, you are going to get that experience as well, but we are still more traditional and more lecture-based. We just opened our brand new Education Commons building, which allows for more problem-based learning and small groups. Even though we have about 190 students, we do break them into our brand new academic houses and learning communities. They’re about 20 students each, so you get the small group experience. You work with them to do different volunteering activities as well as academic activities.
7. What are the opportunities for research?
If you are heavily interested in research, you should consider doing MD/PhD, which is one of our dual degree programs. You do all of your medical school training at MCG/GRU, and then you do your research at one of the other four research institutions. We have them at Georgia Tech, UGA, Georgia State, and GRU.
Regular medical students also have the opportunity for research. They can either do it independently with advisors or researchers across campus, and they can also do the Dean’s Research Program. Most students complete that after their first year of medical school.
8. How are students evaluated academically?
The first year at MCG/GRU is pass/fail. Subsequently, it’s a letter grade.
9. How would you describe the academic environment?
Our environment is very supportive. Once you are accepted, most students say that is very family-oriented. Students do bond with their colleagues, and they respect each other and work with each other. It is competitive, but it’s more of a friendly competition, because we want everyone to succeed. It’s not as cut-throat as others may be.
10. What are your clinical sites when you do clinical rotations?
You can do your clinical rotations in Athens or Augusta or any of our three regional clinical campuses. The three regional clinical campuses are located in Albany, Rome, and Savannah. Across the entire state, we have over 135 practice sites.
11. What does a well-rounded student mean to you?
It definitely means that you are able to do it all. You are able to maintain a strong GPA. You are able to get a strong MCAT score. In addition to that, you are able to balance your life. You may have worked. You may have done a lot of extracurricular activities. You may have been able to get in the clinical hours, exposure, clinical shadowing. And some research
if possible. For us, well-rounded is not all about grades. It’s about other things that are important to you. These things that make a you a well-rounded student so that why you can be a well-rounded physician who will be able to interact with patients of all backgrounds.
12. Is there any special advice you would give to someone applying to your school?
Be genuine, and be yourself. We do not want the cookie-cutter student. We want a very diverse class. We want you to be genuinely interested in medicine and be able to verbalize that and express that to us. One of the things we do look for in our students is uniqueness. For example, if you are a classic pianist- that could be something you’re very interested in- we want to heat about that. If you’re interested in sports, that’s something you can link up with your patients about. Well rounded to us means just that- not just academically, but out in the community and doing all those other great extracurriculars.