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Preferred Medical Group fosters healthcare opportunities within Phenix City, Columbus community


Preferred Medical Group providers are more than just white coat doctors, working 8-5 in the office. Our expert physicians make themselves readily available as active resources and advocates in the community, to educate and advocate about health-related issues, to answer your questions and to provide helpful suggestions on everything from parenting to treating complex medical problems.

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Dr. Ritu Chandra, the founder of Preferred Medical Group is a board-certified pediatrician. She is recognized as an official Partner in Education with 13 schools, in the Phenix City and Russell County school districts. She also partners with other community organizations, including Head Start and church daycare programs, the Phenix City-Russell County Library, and the New Beginnings Program for teenage expectant moms.Dr. Chandra and her public relations manager, Amanda Bradshaw, attend and sponsor monthly school events including PTA talks, Spring Flings, Fall Festivals and Career Days and are always willing to assist with special projects. For Relay for Life 2015, our patients and staff are raising $1,000 in honor of our head nurse, Ms. Wanda Stephens, a three year cancer survivor.

Dr. Chandra also actively advocates for children at the state legislature.

Preferred Medical Group providers write bi-monthly blogs for our website and for Muscogee Moms, sharing advice on topics ranging from how to treat the stomach virus to talking to your kids about the “birds and the bees.”

Dr. Michelle DeRamus, our in-house licensed child psychologist, adds a fresh perspective and recently published a mini-series on the special challenges that military children face. She helps children with anger, anxiety, ADHD and depression, and specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. DeRamus volunteered her time in March for complimentary therapy sessions to help Russell County High School students who were affected by a tragic automobile accident that killed two students.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Dr. DeRamus will be giving a talk, Learning Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder and How They Affect Behavior, on April 28th at 6:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Autism Hope Center. More details about the talk can be found here on our website,

Preferred Medical Group hosts a Parent Advisory Committee, which meets quarterly. We invite our parents to provide us with their feedback and to give us ideas about how we can better meet their needs. The Committee meetings are open to all the families of our current patients. The next meeting is this Thursday, April 23rd at 5:15 p.m. EST at our Phenix City Children’s office.

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Dr. Chandra and Dr. Vernekar also maintain a continuous commitment to teaching. They are both Assistant Professors at the medical schools of Mercer University and Georgia College of Medical Sciences (formerly Medical College of Georgia). They also teach students from University of Alabama’s PA School, Nurse Practitioner students from Troy University and University of South Alabama in Mobile, DO students from The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn.

Our doctors encourage young people to choose a career in the healthcare field. Therefore, we facilitate shadowing opportunities for high school and college students who plan to pursue a career in the medical field during summer months. These interns work with our nursing and front office staff to gain valuable hands on experience in a physician’s office.


Shadowing opportunities are limited, so we encourage students to apply early. Email a copy of your resume and a letter explaining your interest in the medical field and your career goals to: 

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