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October 20, 2008   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Dean selected for medical partnership campus in Athens
Magnify Barbara Schuster-4-13-2009
Dr. Barbara Schuster is dean of the new MCG/UGA Medical Partnership Campus, which will enroll its first class in fall 2010 in Athens.  Photo by Andrew Tucker

Dean selected for medical partnership campus in Athens

Toni Baker

Communications Director, Medical College of Georgia

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By Toni Baker | October 20, 2008
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Dr. Barbara L. Schuster, an internist and seasoned medical educator who chaired the department of internal medicine at Wright State University's Boonshoft School of Medicine in Ohio for a dozen years, has been named dean of the Medical College of Georgia/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Campus in Athens.

"We are happy to have Dr. Schuster, a proven and passionate educator, physician and administrator, lead this innovative campus that will leverage the significant strengths of Georgia's health sciences university and the state's flagship institution of higher education," said Dr. Daniel W. Rahn, MCG president and senior vice chancellor for health and medical programs for the University System of Georgia. "Expansion of physician education is critical to the health of our citizens and to the future of our rapidly growing state. The new, four-year medical partnership campus in Athens will contribute significantly to this initiative."

"Dr. Schuster is exactly the right person to lead this critical initiative to help address the shortage of physicians in Georgia," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "Her background and experience have prepared her for the challenge and opportunity of building the MCG/UGA Medical Partnership from the ground up. I am pleased that our partnership with the Medical College of Georgia has taken this important step."

Schuster, who just completed a year as a Robert G. Petersdorf Scholar-in-Residence at the Association of American Medical Colleges, assumes her duties Nov. 1, according to School of Medicine Dean D. Douglas Miller. The Athens campus plans to enroll its first students in fall 2010 as part of the School of Medicine's plan to increase its class size 60 percent to a total enrollment of 1,200 by 2020 and help meet Georgia's need for physicians.

Schuster's selection follows a national search that began in the spring. Recruiting is under way for 14 additional positions for the Athens campus, including chairs of basic and clinical sciences and an initial cohort of faculty, according to Miller.

"Dr. Schuster is recognized nationally as a strong advocate of undergraduate and graduate medical education," said Miller. "She will be the glue that brings the two institutions together to maximize educational opportunities and outcomes for our students and Georgia's future physicians. Her success in working with residents and medical students in a consortium model of hospitals in Dayton will help her build relationships with hospitals and physicians in the Athens-Gainesville communities which are essential to the success of this new campus."

"I am very excited and pleased that Dr. Barbara Schuster has accepted our offer to become the first campus dean of the MCG/UGA Medical Partnership," said UGA Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr. "She possesses the expertise, experience and managerial and personal attributes to provide the leadership essential to address the education of physicians to meet Georgia's increasing shortage of doctors. I look forward to working with her, the Medical College of Georgia and the local medical community in advancing this partnership."

"I think this is a great opportunity and good for the state of Georgia," Schuster said. "No partnership exists like this. It's a wonderful way to think about expansion for other states."

Schuster has served as professor and chair of at Wright State University since 1995, stepping down as chair in 2007 to pursue the AAMC sabbatical.

Previously she served for 15 years on the faculty at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, where she also completed medical school and an internal medicine residency. She completed a Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship in Bethesda, Md., in 1994.

She has served as medical director of the University Health Service at the University of Rochester, medical director of the University Medicine-Pediatrics Practice at Wright State University and president of Wright State's faculty practice plan.

At both institutions, she worked with graduate medical education programs in which residents learned at multiple hospitals. The University of Rochester's internal medicine/pediatric training program she directed has named an award in her honor. She received the 2003 Excellence in Medical Education Award from Wright State and the Teaching Excellence Award from Wright State's class of 2005.

Schuster chaired the AAMC's Council of Academic Societies from 2003-2004, served on the association's Executive Committee from 2002-2004 and received the AAMC's 2007 Distinguished Service Award.

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