MCG dean honors alumnus and longtime medical educator

(l to r): President Brooks Keel, Dr. Robert Nesbit, Dr. Peter Buckley

A Medical College of Georgia alumnus and Athens, Georgia, urologist and a retired vascular surgeon and longtime medical educator were honored Friday, by Dr. Peter F. Buckley, dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Dr. Mark Ellison
Dr. Mark Ellison

Dr. Mark F. Ellison, a 1982 graduate and past president of the MCG Alumni Association, received the Community Advocate Award during Buckley’s annual State of the College Address Aug. 12. Dr. Robert Nesbit, a professor emeritus of surgery who has been director of the Surgery Clerkship since 2001, received the dean’s Professionalism Award.

“Dr. Ellison has been a tireless advocate for his medical school, both at its home base in Augusta and at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens, where he was an integral part of establishing a second four-year campus for Georgia’s public medical school,” Buckley said. “And Dr. Nesbit’s 40-plus years of unwavering dedication to the education of the next generation of physicians is truly inspirational to us all.”

Before coming to Athens in 1990, Ellison served as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Surgery at his alma mater and still serves as a urology preceptor for students at the Medical Partnership. He and his wife, Betsy, are frequent hosts of MCG Alumni Association regional events.

The Augusta native received his undergraduate degree with honors from Wake Forest University. After graduating from MCG, where he was president of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, he completed his residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington and a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is certified by the American Board of Urology with a subspecialty certification in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Robert Nesbit
Dr. Robert Nesbit

Nesbit joined the MCG faculty in 1974 and has been actively involved in medical student education ever since. He was chief of Surgical Services at the Augusta VA Medical Center from 1983-95 and chief of the MCG Section of Vascular Surgery from 1994 until his retirement in 2000. He chaired the MCG Student Promotions Committee for seven years. 

After retirement, he became more active in preclinical teaching, participating in Essentials of Clinical Medicine and becoming a core clinical educator in 2005. He has been on the Admissions Committee since 2001. A year after retiring, he was asked to become director of the Surgery Clerkship and has served in that position since. He has been a member of the Curriculum Oversight Committee since 2002 and chair of the Phase 3 Curriculum Committee since 2005.

As clerkship director, Nesbit discovered there was no formal organization of surgical clerkship directors nationwide. He helped found the Surgery Clerkship Directors Committee of the Association for Surgical Education and became the first chair of that committee, which is working to produce a North American surgical clerkship curriculum. Nesbit, who believes all lectures can be interactive, is also involved in a grant-funded project to improve the “WISE MD” Web Initiative for Surgical Education program. 

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Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Senior Communications Coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or

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Written by Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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