USC and GHS officials said the launch of the expansion will not be financed with state funds and instead will be funded by GHS and by future-student tuition. Dr. Jerry Youkey, vice president for medical and academic services at GHS, said expanding the program at GHS is cost-effective because substantial infrastructure, including clinical faculty through its University Medical Group and 98,000 square feet of medical-education facilities, is already in place at the GHS campus.
Pastides said all those factors entered into the decision to expand in Greenville.
“This in no way represents a diminution of our commitment to our fine medical school in Columbia,” Pastides said. “In fact, the expansion in Greenville and Columbia is an endorsement of its outstanding tradition of educating primary-care physicians.”
Pastides said the expanded programs in Columbia and Greenville will emphasize the primary-care fields, including family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine and psychiatry, and focus on recruiting South Carolinians and encouraging them to remain in the state and practice in underserved rural areas.
“Increasingly, our school and the Medical University of South Carolina have had to turn away qualified applicants,” Pastides said. “Those applicants either abandon their plans for medical school or go elsewhere. Either way, our state loses a pool of potential physicians, and we cannot afford to let that continue.”