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UGA regents greenlight new medical school at Athens campus

Plans for a new medical school were approved Tuesday for the University of Georgia's Athens campus by the school systems's Board of Regents.

The board that governs Georgia’s public colleges Tuesday authorized the University of Georgia to establish a medical school at its Athens campus.

The state Board of Regents gave unanimous approval to what would be Georgia’s second public medical school. The other is the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

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Gov. Brian Kemp and other state officials have said a new medical school is needed because Georgia faces a shortage of doctors.

"The School of Medicine will significantly expand the pool of medical professionals in Georgia, attract more top-tier scientists and researchers to the state, and produce more physicians to serve underserved and rural Georgia communities," UGA President Jere Morehead said in a statement.

The state House has approved $50 million for design and construction of the UGA School of Medicine in an amended fiscal 2024 budget that is awaiting a Senate vote. That is roughly half the money needed to build the school.

Officials will also seek accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which sets standards for U.S. schools that award medical doctorate degrees.

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