Live and Learn

Dr. J. Roy Rowland (MCG ’52, 89 years old) has lived a long and valuable life … and he’s far from finished. On at least his third career over 63 years of work, Rowland knows how important it is to keep abreast of new developments in his field.

So for many years, he has taken continuing education courses at his alma mater in order to keep at the top of his career game.

“Everything changes so rapidly,” he said. “I take classes regularly to continue my licensing and keep up to speed.”

He estimates he’s taken about 380 hours of continuing education courses over the years — the equivalent of about 25 semesters of college course work. Classes have been located on the university campus, at the Marriott in downtown Augusta, and on Kiawah and Hilton Head islands.

“What I get at the MCG continuing medical education courses keeps me current in my field,” he said. “I’ve found the courses to be convenient and in pleasant venues.”

Sixty-Three Years … and Counting

For nearly three decades, Rowland practiced family medicine in Dublin, Georgia, a city of about 16,000 situated midway between Savannah and Atlanta and about 18 miles from his hometown of Wrightsville. More than 2,000 babies came into this world with an assist from “Dr. Roy.”

Always passionate about helping people, in 1975, Rowland decided to turn his attention to finding political solutions to issues he cared about. He ran successfully for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives and served there — while maintaining his medical practice — from 1976 to 1982, when he ran for the U.S. Congress. Upon winning, he gave up his practice to move to Washington, D.C.

Rowland was deeply involved in health care issues during his 12 years in Washington, serving on the Veterans Affairs Committee and spearheading bipartisan legislation to create a network of community health centers to provide care to Medicaid patients and the under- and uninsured.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.

–Henry Ford

Though the legislation didn’t pass, since returning to Georgia, he has continued his quest more locally. For the past 16 years, he’s worked with The Community Mental Health Center of Middle Georgia, which covers a 10-county midstate area and provides mental health, addictive disease, and developmental disability services to the population.

Rowland doesn’t ever plan to stop learning.

“I’ve always thought the brain is like striated muscle,” he said. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”

Learn More About Continuing Education

• Learn a language, earn a professional certificate, master a computer program, join a musical ensemble, attend a summer camp. Lifelong learning opportunities for adults and youth through GRU’s Professional and Community Education (PaCE) program are almost limitless.

• Dozens of course offerings in the health sciences are designed to help professionals across a wide range of careers keep current in their fields and maintain licensure.

• Courses are offered on campus, online, and off site for maximum ease and convenience.

• Visit or call 706-721-3967 or toll-free 1-800-221-6437 for more information.

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