SAVANNAH – Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) on June 3 dedicated its three Savannah campus simulation labs in memory of Savannah native and longtime MUSM and Memorial Health University Medical Center faculty member David B. Byck, M.D.
MUSM’s state-of-the-art simulation facilities provide hands-on experience coupled with guided debriefing to prepare students for their future roles as medical doctors. The labs, located on all three campuses, allow learners to practice invasive procedures without the risk of patient harm.
Dr. Byck, who passed away in November 2020, served for more than 30 years as an OB-GYN at Memorial, where he held a variety of leadership positions, including chief of the medical staff, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the OB-GYN residency program.
In addition to his service to Memorial and MUSM, he was a past president of the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. He was a beloved leader, partner, physician and mentor, as well as a tireless advocate at the state level for women’s reproductive rights and investing in ongoing medical education programs.
Dr. Byck was also influential in Mercer locating its second medical school campus in Savannah.
MUSM began a clinical relationship with Memorial in 1996 by sending third- and fourth-year students to Savannah to complete clinical requirements. In 2008, the campus expanded to become the only full four-year medical program in the southern half of Georgia.
At the dedication ceremony, it was also announced that Dr. Byck’s wife and family have established the Dr. David B. Byck Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund at Mercer in his memory.
“Dr. David Byck was an exemplary physician, educator and friend. His commitment to excellence and compassionate care for women was recognized by all who knew him. We are grateful he was a member of our faculty,” said Jean Sumner, M.D., FACP, dean of the School of Medicine. “Through the scholarship and simulation labs, Mercer students, faculty and residents will be inspired to strive for the high quality of care Dr. Byck exhibited.”
The Dr. David B. Byck Memorial Scholarship will benefit a deserving medical student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a particular focus on rural health and medically underserved populations and communities.
“David was a native Savannian who worked tirelessly to improve his community and trained an entire generation of health care providers in OB-GYN, doing both with kindness, enthusiasm, patience and integrity,” said his wife, Peggy Byck, M.D., a Savannah internist. “He was a natural leader and educator who was known for doing what was right and decent. Despite his many accomplishments, his family and friends were at the forefront of his attention. We always felt his intense love and devotion to us, and he served as the rock we held onto ever so tightly. Described by many as a man of incredible principle and a true role model, a source of light in every room he entered, David’s legacy was that of loving and being passionate about what you do but also that family is everything.”
Dr. David and Dr. Peggy Byck met while attending the Medical College of Georgia. After marrying in 1986 and completing their residencies in Birmingham, Alabama, they moved to Savannah, where they began their long and distinguished careers at Memorial.
To learn more about the Dr. David B. Byck Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, contact Nicole Kummer in the Office of University Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or (478) 301-5648.
About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)
Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened additional four-year M.D. campuses in Savannah in 2008 and in Columbus in 2021. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Centers in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences in Macon and a master’s degree in family therapy in Macon and Atlanta.