UAMS Recognized as a Top Producer of Family Medicine Doctors

By David Robinson

The American Academy of Family Physicians Achievement Award is based on UAMS’ efforts to foster student interest in family medicine and produce graduates who enter family medicine. For a three-year-period ending October 2010, 15.8 percent of UAMS’ College of Medicine graduates entered first-year family medicine residency programs.

UAMS has been recognized for the achievement 18 of the last 21 years. It was sixth in the latest ranking. The award was presented April 29 during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference in New Orleans.

Daniel Knight, chairman of the UAMS Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, accepted the award from Roland Goertz, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“UAMS is proud to receive this award because we recognize the huge demand for family medicine doctors,” Knight said. “We are working hard to address this need, as demand is only going to grow as health reforms are implemented.”

Knight noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that everyone have health insurance by 2014. The law is expected to cover more than 400,000 more people in Arkansas who otherwise wouldn’t have insurance. The number of people over age 65 in Arkansas will grow by 42 percent over the same period, and the number of people with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer, is expected to increase 42 percent over the next 15 years.

Arkansas will need to roughly double its current 1,150 primary care physicians to meet projected demand over the next 15 years.
At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, filling the pipeline is vital to the health of America, Goertz said.
“Family physicians are the bedrock of primary care, and primary care is the foundation of a health care system that provides high-quality, effective and efficient care to patients,” he said. “It all begins with the medical schools and their faculty’s commitment to family medicine. Increasingly, medical schools are working toward building the primary care physician workforce, and we applaud their efforts. The Top 10 Awards recognize schools’ consistent effort made over time.”
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or