UAMS Gets $4.6M to Address Rural Physician Shortage

UAMS Gets $4.6M to Address Rural Physician Shortage

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received a $4.6 million grant to improve access to quality health care in rural Arkansas by expanding efforts to train and retain primary care physicians.

UAMS' Arkansas Medical Education Primary Care Partnerships project is funded by the four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The project is working to:

  • Recruit and retain more medical students from rural and underserved areas of the state, because those students are the most likely to return to practice in those areas;

  • Create more opportunities for students to experience primary care practice in rural and underserved communities across Arkansas through service projects, mentoring, a new Honors Track in Rural Primary Care and more;

  • Increase the number of rural clinical rotation sites and preceptors available to teach students in federally qualified health centers, critical access hospitals and other rural clinics and settings;

  • Provide training and faculty development opportunities for new clinical faculty and preceptors at new clinical sites; and

  • Strengthen partnerships with the Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, and historically black colleges and universities at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Philander Smith College in Little Rock.

Participating in the project are the UAMS College of Medicine, UAMS Regional Campuses across the state and the UAMS Department of Family & Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Christopher Westfall, UAMS executive vice chancellor and College of Medicine dean, is the program director. Co-directors are Marcia Byers, Ph.D., director of clinical innovation for UAMS Regional Campuses; Dr. Daniel Knight, chair of the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine; and Dr. Leslie Stone, director of medical student education for the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine.