NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A group of 24 residents graduated through a program created by Baptist Health and UAMS.

According to the American Medical Colleges, Arkansas and the rest of the country is struggling with a growing shortage of primary care physicians. Their data published in June stated that the United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,000 and 124,000 by 2034.

The residency program encourages the men and women to stay in practice in Arkansas. The President and CEO of Baptist Health said, “Arkansas has a very difficult time competing with talent nationally…. so what can you do to solve this problem for Arkansans? You start programs in the state, just like this one”. Wells also said, “we know that when we train them in a place they are more likely to stay in a place. So that’s why 16 of those 24 staying here, is such a big deal”.

One resident staying in Arkansas, Ali Mitchell, said that choosing to come to Arkansas and be a part of this program was something she know was special.

“It was the place that just felt like home.  It was the people here, the atmosphere. It’s a state like no other,” said Mitchell. She said she is ready to start serving rural communities in the state. “Going back home to my community, my people. To serve them at a capacity that has been so underserved for so long is really exciting to me,” said Mitchell.

Other residents like, George Sebastian, that are leaving Arkansas said, “I love Arkansas. Arkansas will always be a second home to me,” and “I hate to leave all of the relationships that I have built here, but I’m going to continue to maintain them as much as possible.” Sebastian said he is planning to apply for both an Arkansas license and a Michigan license so that he can practice in both states.

Below are members of the first graduating class by residency program:

Family Medicine

●      Dr. Jasveen Batra

●      Dr. Linda Ekwealor

●      Dr. Trint Gunnels

●      Dr. Alexander Heese

●      Dr. James Blake Holloway

●      Dr. Nastasya Jabaly

●      Dr. Erica Jarcaig

●      Dr. Ali Mitchell

●      Dr. Melissa Pruitt

●      Dr. Achmed Turay

●      Dr. Anastasiia Sokhan

●      Dr. Abigail Wilhite

Internal Medicine

●      Dr. Sadiq Al Husseini

●      Dr. Ramya Bachu

●      Dr. Seth Justice

●      Dr. Jahanzeb Khan

●      Dr. Shannan Mahal

●      Dr. Heba Mousa

●      Dr. Tanvi Patel

●      Dr. Shreya Ravula

●      Dr. Aaron Roberts

●      Dr. George Sebastian

●      Dr. Anum Syed

●      Dr. William Wilcox

For more information about the program, visit Baptist Health UAMS GME.