John Spollen, M.D., to Assume Lead Role of UAMS College of Medicine in Northwest Arkansas

By David Wise

Spollen, professor and vice chair for education in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry, will succeed Linda L.M. Worley, M.D., professor of psychiatry, who has served as regional associate dean in Northwest Arkansas since 2018. Worley is stepping into a new role as chief wellness officer for the college.

The UAMS College of Medicine has 62 students in Northwest Arkansas and recently added an accelerated three-year medical program in the region.

“As an award-winning educational leader and world-class clinician, Dr. Spollen will provide strong leadership for the growing, robust medical education programs in Northwest Arkansas,” said Susan S. Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., UAMS executive vice chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine. “Dr. Spollen’s leadership was a tremendous asset to our college during his service as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry from June 2021 to February 2022, and he has held numerous other leadership roles since joining the faculty in 1999.”

Spollen has earned extensive recognition for his teaching, mentoring and other work with students throughout his years with UAMS. These include the COM Educational Innovation Award, two Educational Research Awards, the Master Teacher Award, student-selected Red Sash awards annually since 2008 and the Gold Sash Award.

Spollen currently practices at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, where he has held several clinical and administrative roles including director of the Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison Service and the Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and Ketamine Program for treatment-resistant depression. Spollen received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“I’m excited for this leadership opportunity with the College of Medicine at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus,” Spollen said. “It has been my dream since residency to have a career in medical student education. I was in charge of developing the initial curriculum for the campus in 2008, and it has been amazing to see the growth of the program over the years. I look forward to working with the entire team at UAMS to continue to improve the education of our students, the future physicians of Arkansas.”

“Dr. Spollen’s expertise and leadership will be invaluable as we work to educate more medical students in the Northwest Arkansas region,” said Amy Wenger, MHSA, vice chancellor of the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. “I worked with Dr. Spollen in the UAMS Psychiatry Research Institute a number of years ago, and I am excited to have him here in Northwest Arkansas and on our campus.

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 seven 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 and Institute for Digital 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 3,047 students, 873 medical residents and fellows, and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 11,000 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, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus includes 288 medical, pharmacy, nursing and health professions students, 64 medical and pharmacy residents, two sports medicine fellows, and 1,000 community-based faculty. The campus has nine clinics including a student-led clinic and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Faculty conduct research to reduce health disparities. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.