The Hospital Authority of Valdosta Lowndes County Georgia met five of eight third-year medical students from VCOM, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (Auburn Campus), on Wednesday.
SGMC Affiliated Physician Jarod Bailey, DO, who is a local Internal Medicine specialist with Valdosta Medical Clinic and VCOM graduate, introduced the students to the Board and thanked them for their support.
Dr. Bailey serves as the Director of Student Medical Education for SGMC’s program and has been instrumental in its kick-off. Students include Rishi Gopinath, Mandy Hargrove, Karin Kuusisto, Erin Parker, Nick Ryan, Michael Saggio, Franklin Schaefer and Juan Serna-Gonzalez. Students will undergo four-week medical rotations at SGMC in the specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, OB-GYN, psychiatry and geriatrics.
Students will be in Valdosta for most of the academic year living in the community and hopefully coming back after graduation to put down roots and become permanent members of the medical staff.
According to Kristi Arnold, SGMC Medical Student Site Coordinator, approximately 20 local physicians are signed-up or interested in teaching these students. “Statistics show that a percentage of medical students and residents return to a location in which they trained,” explained Arnold. “Citing our need for additional physicians, the decision was made to create a medical student education platform at SGMC.”
The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is a private, non-profit osteopathic medical school on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, with two branch campuses located in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Auburn, Alabama. VCOM has multiple site locations which now includes Valdosta.