About 60 percent of physicians will open their offices within 60 miles of where they do their residency.

This statistic was the genesis for the Georgia South Family Residency Program, a Graduate Medical Education program focused on family medicine practitioners and based at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

Georgia South accepted its first class in July 2016. Three doctors, graduates of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, came to Moultrie to do their residency, the hands-on training that would allow them to operate as independent physicians.

On Saturday, Colquitt Regional Medical Center celebrated those first doctors as they graduated from the three-year residency program.

Dr. Jessica Brumfield will remain with Georgia South as a faculty member. A native of Mt. Hermon, La., Brumfield was appointed to the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors in 2017, when she’d been a resident at Georgia South less than a year.

Dr. Michael Magat, an Atlanta native, will take a role as a hospitalist at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Marco Hur will leave the area to become a physician in New Jersey. Born in South Korea, Hur lived in Atlanta before coming to Georgia South.

So, two out of three graduates — 67 percent — will take their first jobs in the town where they did their residency. Right in line with the statistic that gave birth to the residency program.

Congratulations, first of all, to three wonderful physicians. Drs. Brumfield, Magat and Hur, you have excelled in your own training, preparing yourselves to meet a growing need in the country. You have also paved the way for those who will come after you, making smoother their transition from educated physicians to experienced physicians. It’s always hardest being the first.

Congratulations also to Jim Lowry, who first proposed residency programs across South Georgia back in 2010 when he was president of Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

Congratulations to Jim Matney, Lowry’s successor at the hospital, who made Georgia South a reality in partnership with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Georgia South positioned Moultrie to attract a satellite campus of that same medical college, which will open in August. Congratulations to PCOM both on the success of these three graduates and the anticipated success of the satellite campus.

Saturday’s celebration marked a milestone in the evolution of Colquitt Regional Medical Center into a teaching hospital.

We salute everyone involved in this amazing endeavor. Moultrie is richer for having this program here.

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