UAMS Restructuring Graduate Medical Education Program in Magnolia

By Yavonda Chase

As part of the plan, the GME program will be closed in its current format on June 30, 2022, restructured and reopened in the future. This will not affect the UAMS Family Medical Center currently in operation on the UAMS South Regional Campus in Magnolia. The clinic will continue to provide primary care medical services to patients of all ages.

The GME program, which is currently operating as a standard three-year family medicine regional training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), will be restructured as an ACGME Rural Training Track (RTT), allowing for increased training opportunities for physician residents. The UAMS South campus opened in Magnolia in 2013. There are currently six physician residents in the program.

“UAMS is committed to the community of Magnolia and has been discussing this change for some time,” said Amy Wenger, MHSA, vice chancellor for regional programs. “Moving to an RTT program will allow us to strengthen our physician training opportunities and ensure that these future Arkansas doctors have the best possible experience,” Wenger said. “We value our longtime relationship with our hospital partner, Magnolia Regional Medical Center, and look forward to continuing to work together. We appreciate their support of our programs, and we will be working with them to ensure a smooth transition to this new program. We are both committed to the same goal of training high quality physicians and improving the health and health care of the people who live in south Arkansas.”

“While we are disappointed in the change to the residency program here in Magnolia, we are encouraged that UAMS is pursuing a Rural Training Track program,” said Rex Jones, MBA, CEO of Magnolia Regional Medical Center. “There is a critical shortage of family physicians across the nation but especially so in rural Arkansas. Providing a continued pipeline to develop physicians with an interest in rural medicine is extremely important across the state and not just here in Magnolia. Magnolia Regional Medical Center supports rural medicine and wants to help UAMS make the new program a success.”

“Restructuring the program as a Rural Training Track will allow our resident physicians at UAMS South Regional Campus in Magnolia to essentially enjoy the best of both worlds,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “They will continue to enjoy serving the community of Magnolia and south Arkansas for the last two years of their training, but will also have the added learning experience of rotating through a training program at one of our seven other regional campuses and being mentored by faculty there for their first year of residency.

“This change in no way diminishes our commitment to Magnolia or south Arkansas,” he stressed. “On the contrary, it underscores our commitment to this area of the state and to the very highest quality residency training at all eight of our regional campuses.”

Three of the six residents currently in Magnolia will graduate at the end of this academic year.  After they graduate, three residents will remain for their third and final year in the GME program. They will be offered additional training opportunities to allow them to continue in the program.

UAMS operates eight regional campuses throughout the state. They serve as an educational outreach network for UAMS and the principal means to decentralize medical education and locate training programs throughout the state. The mission of the regional campuses is to improve the health of Arkansans by training skilled and caring health professionals and delivering high quality patient-centered primary care.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.