Hobbs, Joseph, MD (1)

Medical College of Georgia trailblazer to receive Hall of Fame award

Story and photo courtesy Augusta University

The University System of Georgia Foundation will present Dr. Joseph Hobbs with the prestigious Regents Hall of Fame Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award on Sept. 8 in Atlanta at the annual Board of Regents Gala

Hobbs dedicated 45 years of service and leadership to the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University, imparting an enduring legacy, according to a news release from Augusta University.

“The citizens of our community, our state and beyond are the beneficiaries of his life’s work,” said Brooks A. Keel, president of Augusta University. “Dr. Hobbs is a man of great accomplishment but even greater humility – always focused on how his service benefits the overall mission of the Medical College of Georgia and its commitment as Georgia’s only public medical school. It’s my privilege and honor to congratulate Dr. Joseph Hobbs on the 2023 Regents Hall of Fame Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award.” 

Hobbs became interested in science and medicine in junior high and spent Saturdays at MCG shadowing a couple of physician scientists. After high school Hobbs accepted a full scholarship to Mercer University, where he earned a biology degree. 

In 1970, Hobbs was one of just seven African American students accepted to the Medical College of Georgia, where he graduated in 1974. A trailblazing physician, Hobbs stayed on to complete his family medicine residency at MCG and was one of the first African Americans to become a chief resident, full-time faculty member, tenured professor, and, ultimately, the first African American department chair at the institution, a position he held for over 22 years. 

“As the distinguished chair of the MCG Department of Family Medicine (recently renamed the Department of Family and Community Medicine), Dr. Joseph Hobbs taught and influenced thousands of medical students and cared for even more patients,” said Dr, David C. Hess, MCG dean. “A passionate caregiver and innovator, he propelled the Family Medicine Center to national recognition for patient-centered approaches, and he advocated for the profession while serving as president of its two most prestigious organizations. He also saw great value and took immense pride in a weekly health clinic he and his students established for Augusta’s homeless.” 

Though he retired in 2020, Hobbs continues to serve Augusta University as a strategic advisor, helping identify more clinical training opportunities for MCG students. He was also the voice for MCG’s Medical Minute, a health and science segment that was broadcast across Georgia Public Radio from 2014 through August of this year. 

The USG Foundation will also present a Regent’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning award to Robert Bledsoe, PhD, a professor in the Department of English & World Languages in the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Augusta University. The award centers on investigating what and how students learn in order to develop innovative teaching practices that lead to significant learning gains.  

“His dedication to discovery and leadership in active-learning pedagogy are making a significant impact on the lives of our students,” said Neil J. MacKinnon, Augusta University’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Bledsoe influences others to employ best practices in the classroom and to apply evidence-based approaches to their own teaching.” 

The USG Foundation is committed to advancing the work of the University System of Georgia, comprised of 26 public higher education institutions, through leadership, engagement in philanthropy, asset management, and institutional advancement. The USG Foundation Board of Regents’ Scholarship Gala celebrates the extraordinary achievements of public higher education in Georgia while raising funds for need-based scholarships.

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