UAMS, Washington Regional Team Up for New Internal Medicine Residency Program in Northwest Arkansas

By David Wise

The UAMS-Washington Regional Internal Medicine Program is a community-based, academic-affiliated residency program rooted in training skilled internists. The curriculum consists of clinical experiences at Washington Regional, the region’s largest hospital, with access to every internal medicine subspecialty, a dedicated research-training curriculum and a comprehensive didactic curriculum.

The two medical institutions are actively recruiting for the first residency class, which will start in July 2023. The program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

The program will train residents in clinical reasoning, critical thinking, teaching, research and health care delivery to diverse and underserved populations in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding regions, according to Sheena CarlLee, M.D., program director and assistant professor of Internal Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine.

“We are excited to announce this new internal medicine residency program in Northwest Arkansas,” CarlLee said. “The success of our program is essential to meeting the health care needs of Arkansans and aligns with our regional and institutional missions to educate future health care professionals and provide patient-centered primary and specialized care at an academic level not otherwise available in this region.”

Residents in the program can expect to receive a great deal of mentorship and hands-on training experiences at Washington Regional Medical Center, said David Ratcliff, M.D., chief medical officer at Washington Regional Medical Center and a core faculty member in the UAMS-Washington Regional Internal Medicine Residency Program.

“We are passionate about our role in the journey of these future health care professionals,” Ratcliff said. “Coupled with our commitment to providing hands-on training, Washington Regional Medical Center offers a diverse patient population, modern facilities and the expert medical staff needed to enrich the residency training experience – all in a vibrant and thriving community that consistently ranks as one of the nation’s top five places in the country to live.”

In preparation for the new residency class, Washington Regional has built a brand new 6,000-square-foot GME Suite for the residents, and is building a 3,000-square-foot continuity clinic on the Washington Regional Campus.

This is the first residency program to be accredited as part of a joint Graduate Medical Education (GME) program that UAMS and Washington Regional announced in June 2021. The program will bring approximately 92 residency slots to Northwest Arkansas by 2030.

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About Washington Regional

Washington Regional is a community owned, locally governed, nonprofit health care system located in northwest Arkansas, employing over 3,400 team members and serving the region with a 425-bed medical center, over 50 clinic locations and five Centers of Excellence – the Washington Regional J.B. Hunt Transport Services Neuroscience Institute; Washington Regional Walker Heart Institute; Washington Regional Women and Infants Center; Washington Regional Total Joint Center; and Washington Regional Pat Walker Center for Seniors. Washington Regional is the region’s only Level 2 trauma center, the first hospital in Northwest Arkansas and one of only two in the state to earn certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, one of only two hospitals in the state to earn Spine Surgery certification from The Joint Commission, and is the first hospital in Arkansas to be named an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Washington Regional has once again been recognized as the #1 hospital in Arkansas by U.S. News and World Report for 2022-23, being ranked as high performing in seven areas of care — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, heart failure, hip replacement, kidney failure, knee replacement, lung cancer surgery, stroke and uterine cancer surgery. Washington Regional is committed to improving the health of people in the communities it serves through compassionate, high-quality care, prevention, and wellness education. Visit for more information, or follow Washington Regional on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

About UAMS

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 3,240 students, 913 medical residents and fellows, and five 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.