The new master of biomedical science program will begin July 26 at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) in Fort Smith. The program will provide “rigorous post-graduate training in basic science” to students who want to become physicians or further their careers in medical professions but who are not ready for a medical degree program.
“ACHE was founded in 2014 with a mission to educate and train a diverse group of highly competent and compassionate healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Kenneth Hensley, MSB program director at ACHE. “We believe we can accomplish this mission by recruiting students who truly understand the struggles faced by medically underserved populations.”
Because some “promising applicants to medical professional programs” do not have the academic history needed, they might not be able to get into medical school at this time.
“Maybe an applicant had to work through college or took some time off to care for a family member,” Hensley said. “Their grades and test scores, though good, will not get them into a medical professional school; and if they do get in, they may be at a competitive disadvantage to other students.”
This is where the MSB program would be beneficial. It is designed to help these students by filling in educational gaps and teaching necessary study skills, Hensley said.
“The MSB is a one-year program designed to de-risk entry into medical or other professional schools,” said Hensley.
Students in good academic standing in the MSB program will able to interview at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM). Tuition cost for the inaugural year of the program is $5,000 plus fees.
“We are setting tuition low for the first year to reflect our understanding of the financial challenges these students face,” Hensley said. “ACHE’s mission is about raising standards while lowering barriers and providing pathways forward.”
The program will admit 50 students the first year; classes will be held in the ARCOM building.
Arkansas Colleges of Health Education is a private, non-profit institution located on 228 acres in Chaffee Crossing. It welcomed an inaugural class of 150 osteopathic medical students in August 2017. Those students will begin their third year in August and graduate in May 2021.