James Davis, of Statesboro, Ga., a fourth-year student in the Mercer University School of Medicine Doctor of Medicine program, is spending four weeks in Thomson assisting Dr. Joel Wills as part of community-based medical training required by Mercer.
Filling the role of a community medicine preceptor for the medical school, Wills provides office-based and community experiences that augment medical education with real-world situations. Students participate in these required preceptorships in order to learn more about community medicine, the impact of family dynamics on health, interviewing techniques and patient care, and disease prevention and health promotion.
This is the third time Davis has worked with Wills. The visits during the first year (two weeks) and second year (four weeks) allowed Davis to complete and update assessments of two families, conduct a community needs assessment, complete a chronic- disease management report, and provide clinical care to the preceptor's patients.
During this four-week visit, Davis will prepare a Practice Management Report that determines the feasibility of beginning or joining a medical practice in the community, or he will complete an Alternative Population Health Project of his design and choosing
These community placements demonstrate the commitment of Mercer School of Medicine to its mission of providing medical care for rural and medically underserved areas in Georgia. Founded in 1982, the Mercer University School of Medicine has granted degrees to 1,154 doctor of medicine students, and 62 percent of those graduates practice in the state. Of those, 83 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. The medical school operates two four-year campuses. Clinical experiences for Macon students are provided by the Medical Center of Central Georgia, while in Savannah, Memorial University Health Center partners with Mercer for training and educational needs.