Special to the Journal
ALBANY, Ga. - Nine Pharmacy students will be touring the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Five second-year Pharmacy students have already committed to live and complete their clinical rotations in Southwest Georgia during their third year at UGA and there are open slots for five more.
Dr. Iqbal Khan, professor and assistant dean of the UGA satellite campus, says that by 2012, there could be as many as a total of 28 third- and fourth-year pharmacy students completing their clinical training while residing in this region.
On Tuesday, the guest students will tour Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, including the Pharmacy, and the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency Program. They will also hear about the housing opportunities in Albany before returning to Athens.
When the clinical campus at Phoebe officially opened earlier this year, Dr. Svein Oie, dean of the UGA College of Pharmacy, said the development of the satellite campus in Albany took 10 years to come to fruition.
“In the fall of 2012, we plan to have third- and fourth-year residential students, who will do their first and second years in Athens and then move to Albany for their clinical training,” Oie said. “Our goal is to train students in this area in the hope they would stay and work in this area.”
UGA plans to expand the new campus to as many as 50 graduate-level pharmacy students and five full-time faculty, as well as part-time and volunteer faculty.
“We now have the resources to make this a strong regional pharmacy program,” Oie said.
The new campus allows for distance learning that connects Albany pharmacy students with students and faculty in Athens, Augusta, Atlanta and Savannah.
Phoebe President/CEO Joel Wernick said the intent of the pharmacy campus is the same as for similar educational programs at Phoebe, specifically the MCG South Georgia Clinical Campus and the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency Program, and that is “to provide the people to care for the citizens of this area of the state.”
Phoebe’s Chief Nursing Officer Laura Shearer says the beneficiaries of the new pharmacy campus are students, faculty and citizens. Students, she said, can learn in a rich environment; faculty members sharpen their knowledge in skills in preparation for students who “are constantly asking what and why”; and citizens benefit from the availability of skilled clinicians resulting from the educational facility.