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In Praise of Pragmatism (Editorial)

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The founding of two osteopathic medical schools in Arkansas means that the state has 160 more doctors in residency than a few years ago, in addition to 143 more osteopathic physicians, as Marty Cook’s story this week and a related chart show.

And that’s a very good thing.

Education and other officials saw that Arkansas lacked physicians, a lack that contributes to the state’s poor standing in health care measurements, and decided to do something. And so were founded the New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State in Jonesboro and the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith.

A similar problem in search of a solution was Arkansas’ need for veterinarians and dentists. Lyon College of Batesville stepped up to create the Lyon College Institute for Health Sciences in Little Rock encompassing both veterinary and dental schools. Arkansas State University soon joined the veterinary effort with its own College of Veterinary Medicine.

The current media culture is one of constant outrage because outrage — anger and fear — tends to more fully engage the emotions than reading about pragmatic people trying to solve problems. Outrage sells, in other words.

So consider this our attempt to point out the beauty to be found in sensible people trying to make this state we call home a better place. Some of their efforts may fail but we’re better off because they’re trying.

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