September 26, 2008

Residency Training Faces Cuts at MCG The Program is a Key Part of a Plan to Prevent a Doctor Shortage.


AUGUSTA -- Residency training at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics is potentially facing another blow as the company that operates the clinical system is threatening to cut funding by more than $2 million, officials said Wednesday.

Graduate medical education, or training after medical school in various specialties, is a key component of ambitious plans in Georgia to increase overall the number of doctors trained in the state to avert a looming shortage. But a compromise funding proposal reached earlier this year between the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, MCG and MCG Health Inc., which operates the health system, is now "off the table," said Don Snell, CEO of MCG Health. In light of proposed 6 percent state budget cuts, MCG Health officials unveiled plans Wednesday to cut its support of graduate medical education by $2.1 million. MCG School of Medicine Dean D. Douglas Miller said that would come on top of a $6 million cut the school is facing based on the 6 percent state cut.

"This simply adds to that," Miller told the health system's administration at a meeting of its executive committee. "Passing these things back to the college creates issues."

Snell said the funding or potential cut is subject to revision and the health system is again open to a compromise.

Donald Leebern Jr., a member of the Regents and chairman of MCG Health's board, said the Regents will discuss their budget next month.

Miller said he is still optimistic that no residency positions will be cut. A summit next month involving all of Georgia's medical schools might also point to a statewide solution, he said.

(c) 2008 Florida Times Union. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.