LITTLE ROCK -- The Baptist Health-UAMS Family Medicine Residency program has received a full 10-year accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The program was started in 2019 to provide more positions to train medical school graduates and address the physician shortage in Arkansas, especially in rural areas. Studies show that physicians are more likely to practice close to where they did their residencies: 75% stay within 75 miles of where they trained.
The family medicine residency launched in summer 2019 and trains up to 12 residents per year over the course of the three-year program. Twelve new residents have matched into the program for 2020 and will begin in July. When full of trainees at the three-year point, it will be one of the larger family medicine residency programs in the nation.
In a further sign of dedication to the project, Baptist Health opened a new building in January 2020 in North Little Rock built specifically for the medical education program.
Julea Garner, MD, of UAMS is program director of the Family Medicine Residency. She said the 10-year accreditation drew only positive remarks from the accrediting agency.
The review committee said it was evident from touring the program that this was a huge collaborative effort from top to bottom at both institutions, and the commitment to the program on all sides was evident according to Garner.
While Arkansas graduates a large number of medical students, there are not enough residency slots for those students to stay in Arkansas. Projects like this Baptist-UAMS partnership aim to address that gap.