A new collaborative residency program in psychiatry offered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Baptist Health has received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The accreditation will be reviewed in 2023.
The Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency Program will initially train four residents and then add four residency slots each year until there are 16 residents in training.
The joint arrangement will begin on Baptist Health’s North Little Rock campus in July 2022. While most rotations will take place there, others will be done on the UAMS campus, at Baptist Health campuses in Little Rock and Fort Smith, and at the North Little Rock Community Mental Health Center.
UAMS said it has the longest-running psychiatry residency program in the state that is known for its emphasis on research, while Baptist Health’s program has focused on clinical and community care. The program will combine their strengths.
“There is an enormous need for mental health professionals in general and psychiatrists in particular today,” UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said in a news release. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the new wave of challenges will be the toll of mental health suffering and distress. We are committed to training psychiatry residents ready to tackle these clinical needs and challenges. We also hope to retain psychiatrists in Arkansas after they have completed their residency.”
“Now more than ever, we need more professionals in behavioral health care," said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. "We are so grateful to have the opportunity to do this through our North Little Rock residency program. We are also grateful for the expanding partnership with UAMS and the spirit of teamwork that allows us to combine our strengths and better serve Arkansans.”
Dr. Erick Messias, a professor of psychiatry and associate dean for faculty affairs in UAMS’ College of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology at UAMS’ College of Public Health, is the program’s director.