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MCG Southwest Campus honors Class of 2013

From left, Andrew White, a graduating senior from the Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus, receives the Medical Student Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills from Dr. Granville Simmons, associate dean for the campus, at a dinner Tuesday evening. White is one of 16 students from the MCG Southwest Campus who will receive his medical degree in Augusta next week.

From left, Andrew White, a graduating senior from the Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus, receives the Medical Student Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills from Dr. Granville Simmons, associate dean for the campus, at a dinner Tuesday evening. White is one of 16 students from the MCG Southwest Campus who will receive his medical degree in Augusta next week.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The 16 graduating seniors of the Georgia Regents University Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus said goodbye to faculty and friends at the Class of 2013 graduation dinner at Doublegate Country Club on Tuesday evening.

The dinner included recognition of both faculty and students through the Most Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award and the Medical Student Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills. The awards were followed by an overview of the Physician Leadership and Advocacy Presentation senior projects completed by each of the students in the class.

The PLAC presentations covered topics such as international medicine, the Southwest Public Health District's Centering Pregnancy program, the Georgia Free Clinic Network, evaluation of home care interventions for patients with congestive heart failure and when to refer patients with certain skin conditions.

Dr. Phillip Allen of Albany ENT received the faculty award, and Andrew White received the student award.

White, a native of the Albany area, is moving on after graduation in Augusta next week to a general surgery residency in Jackson, Miss.

"I didn't expect it," White said of the award. "I am humbled to be honored by the faculty. As you reach this point, it makes things seem so real."

The Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus was established in Albany as MCG's first regional clinical campus in 2005 as a means to ramp up medical education efforts throughout the state. In 2010, the campus received residential status, which enabled up to 20 students to remain in the region for the majority of their third and fourth years of medical school rather than being limited to rotations that lasted just several weeks at a time.

Since 2010, Allen has served as a clinical assistant professor for the department of surgery at the campus, which is based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. He also served as the president of the Dougherty County Medical Society in 2012, as well as the vice president of Phoebe's medical staff from 2010-2012, information provided by the institution shows.

"It is quite an honor," Allen said of the award. "There are a lot of talented doctors who love being a part of the Medical College of Georgia. Interacting with the medical students is wonderful; it is a great way to challenge yourself and interact with a new generation.

"What we have here is special. It is a win-win for everyone. (The Southwest Campus) gives students a chance to interact in a way they may not be able to on the main campus. There are not a lot of people in the general public at large that know what we have here."

There were a number of students from the Class of 2013 as well as the Class of 2014 who nominated Allen for the award he received Tuesday, several of whom submitted comments explaining the reason for their nomination.

"He invests a lot of time teaching his students, and he is great at it! I probably learned the most I've learned on any rotation during the two weeks I was with him," wrote Zahra Pirani, a member of this year's graduating class. "He is very energetic and passionate about his work, and his enthusiasm is contagious."