Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency Program Receives Initial Accreditation

A new collaborative residency program in psychiatry offered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Baptist Health has received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency Program will initially train four residents and then will add four residency slots each year until there are 16 residents in training.

“There is an enormous need for mental health professionals in general and psychiatrists in particular today,” said Cam Patterson, MD, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the new wave of challenges will be the toll of mental health suffering and distress. We are committed to training psychiatry residents ready to tackle these clinical needs and challenges. We also hope to retain psychiatrists in Arkansas after they have completed their residency.”

“Now more than ever, we need more professionals in behavioral health care," said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. "We are so grateful to have the opportunity to do this through our North Little Rock residency program. We are also grateful for the expanding partnership with UAMS and the spirit of teamwork that allows us to combine our strengths and better serve Arkansans.”

Erick L. Messias, MD, a professor of psychiatry and associate dean for Faculty Affairs in UAMS’ College of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology at UAMS’ College of Public Health, is the program director for the Baptist Health-UAMS psychiatric residency program. It joins already-established joint residency programs in family medicine and internal medicine, as well as a transitional year program, under the Baptist Health-UAMS Graduate Medical Education Initiative. Transitional year programs are intern programs that provide global training before residency training.

While most of the rotations will take place at Baptist Health’s North Little Rock campus, others will be done on the UAMS campus, at Baptist Health campuses in Little Rock and Fort Smith, and at the North Little Rock Community Mental Health Center.

Accreditation ensures that graduate medical programs across the United States meet common quality standards. The process includes written documentation and site visits by a review team consisting of volunteers from the specialty. The initial accreditation for the joint program will be reviewed in 2023.