Arkansas State Board Approves Partnership for Osteopathic School

by Lee Hogan  on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 2:32 pm  

Residency Spots or Medical Schools?

In a February interview with Arkansas Business, Dan Rahn, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the state's only medical school, admitted there is a shortage of physicians in Arkansas with large parts of the state going underserved, but said the focus should be on adding residency slots instead of opening medical schools.

Rahn said there were 528 graduates nationwide in 2013 that did not find a residency program, which is a requirement for medical students to become a licensed doctor.

If the residency issue is not dealt with, Rahn said the state runs the risk of "educating new graduates within the state of Arkansas who aren’t actually going to contribute to solving the problems in Arkansas." 

The Umbach study agreed with Rahn's sentiment, listing the expansion of residency training as a need in the state.

"Arkansas State must work with state universities, hospitals, health centers, government entities and businesses to add residence positions statewide," the study said.

According to a 2010 study conducted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ for Rural Health, the state ranked 48th among states in physicians per capita. Currently, there are 30 osteopathic medical colleges in the country.



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