My personal journey with the Medical College of Georgia began in Augusta at the old University Hospital, long before MCG’s current teaching hospitals were ever conceived.
My father was a junior medical student at MCG when the car he was driving, with my mother in the passenger seat, was t-boned by a car full of nuns, who I am sure bore my mother no ill will.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but my mother went into labor later in the day and I was born in University Hospital a few weeks premature.
After my dad graduated from MCG and did a rotating general internship in Greenville, South Carolina, he moved back to his hometown, and like many others right after WWII, hung up his shingle. He joined an older physician and they taught each other as they took care of the people in the community. MCG’s legacy was a familiar part of my childhood — I grew up hearing about the medical school, seeing that unique skull and crossbones ring on his hand and watching him practice his art.
When it came time for me to apply to medical school, I, of course, followed his lead and applied to MCG — best move I ever made. After medical school, I trained in surgery at the Naval Regional Medical Center at Portsmouth, Virginia, with residents, students and faculty from all over the country. I felt like my MCG education prepared me better than many and certainly better prepared me clinically. That was MCG’s legacy at work in me.
As campus associate dean at our medical school’s Southeast Campus in Savannah and Brunswick, I am now privileged to be a part of instilling that legacy in future generations of MCG-trained physicians.
As president of the 130-year-old MCG alumni association, I was honored to speak to our newest colleagues at this spring’s Hooding Ceremony. I told the medical school’s 185th graduating class that they were now the bearers of that nearly 200-year-old legacy.
They will be mentors and role models to many who will follow their lead as they grow and mature. I know they will lead wisely, as so many of you have and continue to do.
They are the word of mouth ambassadors and representatives of our medical school. Our reputation depends on them. I know that their knowledge, experiences and input to this association will influence the course for many more generations to come. Their contributions, like yours, will be invaluable to our medical school’s growth.
I hope that they, and you, will continue to stay engaged with your medical school and help us ensure that every medical student continues to benefit from the same support and superior education that you received.
My best to you always.