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School of Medicine Columbia

New assistant dean appointed for Florence Regional Campus

Alan G. Sechtin, M.D., has been named a new assistant dean of medical education at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, in this role he will oversee the school’s Florence Regional Campus. Sechtin will take over for. William Hester, M.D., who has served as assistant dean over the campus since its founding in 2014. Hester plans to retire after more than 50 years in the medical field.

Executive Dean Les Hall, M.D., regards Dr. Sechtin as a highly respected physician and leader who has a great heart for medical education. “We look forward to working with him as he builds upon the firm foundation that has been laid for the Florence Regional Campus by Dr. Hester and the entire medical education team in Florence.”   

The Florence Regional Campus was founded in 2014 to help address the shortage of primary care providers in rural and underserved areas of the state. Each year 12 third-year Doctorate of Medicine students move to Florence to complete their clinical rotations. Students in the program get direct interaction with their preceptors and unprecedented hands-on experience with patients. All the students who have trained in Florence have gone on to match into their residency specialties of choice, and two-thirds have matched into primary care residencies.

Dr. Sechtin, who began his medical career in family medicine after receiving his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1982, later returned to residency at Penn State University to retrain in radiology. He continued his fellowship training in abdominal imaging and breast imaging at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and further fellowship training in breast imaging at MUSC. He is board certified in radiology and currently provides care to patients through Carolina Radiology Associates in Florence.

Dr. Sechtin is excited about this new opportunity to work more with medical students. “I love to teach. To have Dr. Hester as a mentor and to become part of the legacy that he has established is amazing for me.”

He is also ready to meet the challenges teaching can bring. “The ultimate idea is that one day these students will be our colleagues. Through our efforts in the teaching field, they will be well-prepared to meet their goals and be able to take care of us as we get older,” Dr. Sechtin says.

Dr. Sechtin’s goals for the program include having the medical students participate even more in the community and have a strong understanding of the value of giving back. He would also like to see the number of students participating in the Florence training program increase, as well as grow the ability to offer more types of rotation experiences in hopes of encouraging more students to stay in the area to provide services to patients.

Dr. Hester is pleased to have Dr. Sechtin follow him into the role. “I am confident he will do a good job representing the UofSC School of Medicine and he will be an excellent resource to our students now and in the future.”

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