The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine on the campus of Arkansas State University and Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home have reached an affiliation agreement that will allow NYITCOM’s student doctors to train at BRMC facilities during their third and fourth years of medical school.
“We are extremely appreciative of Baxter Regional Medical Center for partnering with us to train future physicians,” Shane Speights, D.O., Dean of NYITCOM-Arkansas said. “Our students will greatly benefit from the quality training they receive in such a highly-regarded hospital system, and I’m confident that BRMC and the Mountain Home community will enjoy hosting aspiring young physicians who are committed to giving back through medicine.”
NYITCOM is the first osteopathic medical school in the state and was established in 2016 with the goal of addressing the significant physician shortage in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. Arkansas ranks near the bottom among U.S. states in health outcomes such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
Three Mountain Home natives are among NYITCOM’s current enrollment, which totals approximately 460 medical students. Samantha Conner (Class of 2020), Alex Hagaman (Class of 2021) and Grant Connor (Class of 2022) all hail from Baxter County.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to train in my home town in a hospital system that is very special to me,” Hagaman said. “I hope to practice in Mountain Home once I complete my medical education, and I’m so excited to have a chance to build relationships with the physicians and medical professionals in the community while I’m still a medical student.”
Andrea Bounds, M.D., who practices at the Regional Family Medicine Clinic in Mountain Home, is among the physicians who will train NYITCOM- Arkansas students through the new agreement.
“This partnership has the potential to be a great recruiting tool for BRMC and for Mountain Home, so this is a win-win for our community and for NYITCOM,” Bounds said. “Personally, I’m excited about the opportunity to teach and make a lasting impression on students. I often reflect on my years in medical school and residency and think of all the people who taught me tools of the trade and how to do certain procedures. I know how grateful I am for those physicians and I’m excited to be able to give back.”
During the first two years of medical school, student doctors attend lectures and labs on campus. For years three and four, students work alongside a licensed physician in a hospital or clinic to receive hands-on training. During their third year, medical students spend four to six weeks training in areas of family medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and internal medicine. NYITCOM-Arkansas has partnerships with over 150 hospitals, clinics and doctors throughout Arkansas as well as Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri, with BRMC the latest to join that group.