ALBANY, Ga. -- There is help coming for those in Southwest Georgia hoping for a career in medicine.
An interactive forum will be held Thursday at Phoebe Northwest. It's titled, "What's up, Doc? What You Need to Know About Medical School."
The forum, which is being conducted from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., will allow the top decision-makers from Georgia medical school admission offices to come together to let interested parties find out what they need to know about getting into medical school.
"This is for anyone interested in learning more about medical school and what it takes to get into medical school," said Jan Shiver, preceptor coordinator with Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center (AHEC).
There, these decision-makers will act as panelists that will be able to answer questions from attendees. These panelists are either deans of admission or directors of admission from the state's medical schools.
The institutions being represented will include Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University-Medical College of Georgia, Mercer University School of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine-Georgia Campus.
Among those who will be at the forum are the eight participants currently in the Pathway to Med School program who are shadowing area physicians, working on research projects and attending informational sessions to prepare them for the medical school admissions process.
In that group is Luke Couch, who is pursuing a career in medicine after working in the insurance industry.
"This program (Pathway to Med School) will give me a competitive edge because I am doing things that will appeal to admissions departments," the Dooly County native said. "In my insurance career the only time I helped people was during a time of loss.
"I wanted to get closer to the front lines, so to speak."
From the perspective of someone who is wishing to go into medicine, the forum is a good start, Couch said.
"It will provide a lot of information that really isn't available from anyone else," he said. "The information is coming straight from people that will be evaluating applications."
Those unable to attend the forum in person will still be able to participate in the event online via a live webinar.
"We do have people from other parts of the state that attend remotely," Shiver said.
"This forum should go well. We usually have 75-100 participants locally, and almost as many (participating online).
The material will be more relevant to those in Georgia, but it could be applicable to anyone wishing to apply, Shiver said.
The forum will be free and open to the public. Those that plan to attend in person are encouraged, but not required, to register in advance. Those that plan to participate in the webinar are required to register, at which point instructions will be give on how to participate.
To register, contact Southwest Georgia AHEC at (229) 439-7185.