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UAMS presents new program for students in an effort to battle the staffing shortage



Little Rock, Arkansas – Staffing shortage has been around for several months now and it looks like many businesses will struggle to find workers in the upcoming period too.

Most affected are the local businesses, but also hospitals, who are really having hard times to find workers while the virus still continues to spread across the country.

In an effort to battle the physician shortage, UAMS presented the fast-track program for medical students that should result with lowering the waiting times in doctors’ offices in near future.

According to UAMS, the issue is not something new and has been here for years now. They presented the program in an effort to reduce it and avoid worsening in the near future.

The program would primarily be held on the hospital’s Northwest campus. It would shorten the medical school program from 4 years to 3 years.

The issue is especially visible in the rural areas of the state and with the program in place, UAMS hopes students come out of the program with less debt and will be more inclined to take jobs in rural areas.

“If you owe more you typically tend to look for areas of medicine that will compensate you more,” said UAMS Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Medicine Susan Smyth.

Smyth says taking away a year in the classroom will save students about $60,000. She says the program will also be designed to encourage jobs in rural healthcare.

“We know that the earlier exposure you get the more likely you are to choose that as a career path,” Smyth said.

The most recent data shows that at least two thirds of the Arkansas counties are seeing medical staff shortage in the rural areas.

Many health experts and health officials hoped that the situation could have improved, but with the Covid-19 pandemic in place, the whole situation worsened.

UAMS program should improve the current situation a bit as many physicians are about to retire and someone will have to replace them.

The next session of the fast-track program begins this summer.