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.
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.
“Baptist Health has been a leader in providing care to Arkansas residents for nearly 100 years. When the opportunity arose for Baptist Health to help train more of the physicians needed in the state, we enthusiastically endorsed the program,” said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “We are grateful for the partnership with UAMS and appreciate the tremendous help they are providing to the continued success of these programs.”
“It is gratifying to see that this spirit of teamwork between UAMS and Baptist is enabling us to successfully fulfill our mission to train future family medicine physicians and increasing the pool of doctors who may choose to remain in Arkansas to practice,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA.
The joint residency project between Baptist Health and UAMS is the first time the two major systems have collaborated on this scale.
Earlier this year, Baptist Health opened a new building in North Little Rock built specifically for the medical education program.
Arkansas lacks an adequate number of family medicine physicians, ranking 46 out of the 50 states in physicians per capita. Studies project these trends will worsen in the coming decades.
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.
Accreditation ensures that graduate medical programs across the United States meet common quality standards. The process includes written documentation and site visits for in-person evaluation by a review team made up of volunteers from the specialty.