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City welcomes six pharmacy students

From left, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at The University of Georgia Dr. Svein Oie talks with Dr. D.W. Adcock, medical director at Colquitt Regional Hospital, and Dr. Iqbal Khan, professor/assistant dean of the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus, during the dedication ceremony at the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus on Jefferson Street in April 2011.

From left, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at The University of Georgia Dr. Svein Oie talks with Dr. D.W. Adcock, medical director at Colquitt Regional Hospital, and Dr. Iqbal Khan, professor/assistant dean of the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus, during the dedication ceremony at the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus on Jefferson Street in April 2011.

ALBANY — It’s been said that one of the things the Albany area desperately needs is the recruitment of more health care professionals.

Another step is being taken in that direction.

Six students arriving in Albany on Monday will be representing the inaugural class of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy students who will be completing their third and fourth years of training on its Southwest Georgia clinical campus, officials have announced.

While the university’s pharmacy program has had students going through short rotations in the region for 10 years, this year’s incoming students will be the first to be able to complete their third and fourth years of training in the Albany area.

All of UGA’s pharmacy students spend their first two years at the institution’s main campus in Athens before going to a regional site.

The Albany campus provides classroom and student laboratory space for the Doctor of Pharmacy program, and the graduate certificate residency program in south Georgia.

The pharmacy students are instructed by full-time UGA clinical faculty, as well as about 70 preceptors.

This provides them with experience in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community pharmacies and ambulatory care clinics in Southwest Georgia, officials say.

“I am thrilled and excited to be the founding dean for this program. This has tremendous opportunities for these students,” said Dr. Iqbal Khan, professor and assistant dean of the UGA College of Pharmacy Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus, in a statement.

“We’ve had fourth-year students rotating through this campus, but the incoming students will be here for two years.”

The campus also includes distance learning equipment, allowing Albany lectures to be broadcast to and from Athens and Augusta, according to officials.

The UGA Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus is located at 1000 N. Jefferson St., across from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Also located at the site is the Medical College of Georgia Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus, which officially opened as a two-year residential clinical campus in 2010, for third and fourth year medical students of the Augusta institution.

A ribbon cutting for the pharmacy campus headquarters was held in April 2011, a move officials have hoped will ultimately attract more pharmacists to the Southwest Georgia region.

Officials revealed that each of the six students toured the facilities in November prior to selecting the Albany campus for their two-year graduate program.