Baxter Regional Medical Center Signs Affiliation Agreement with NYITCOM-Arkansas To Train Medical Students

Dr. Shane Speights speaks about NYIT at AState. Photo courtesy AState

Jonesboro, Ark. – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine on the campus of Arkansas State University and Baxter Regional Medical Center have reached an affiliation agreement that will allow NYITCOM’s student doctors to train at BRMC facilities during their third and fourth years of medical school.

“We are extremely appreciative of Baxter Regional Medical Center for partnering with us to train future physicians,” said Shane Speights, D.O., Dean of NYITCOM-Arkansas. “Our students will greatly benefit from the quality training they receive in such a highly-regarded hospital system, and I’m confident that BRMC and the Mountain Home community will enjoy hosting aspiring young physicians who are committed to giving back through medicine.”

NYITCOM, located on the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University, is the first osteopathic medical school in the state and was established in 2016 with the goal of addressing the significant physician shortage in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. Additionally, Arkansas ranks near the bottom among U.S. states in health outcomes such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity, and NYITCOM- Arkansas operates educational programs to help people throughout the region understand how to live healthier lives.

Three Mountain Home natives are among NYITCOM’s current enrollment, which totals approximately 460 medical students. Samantha Conner (Class of 2020), Alex Hagaman (Class of 2021) and Grant Connor (Class of 2022) all hail from Baxter County.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to train in my home town in a hospital system that is very special to me,” Hagaman said. “I hope to practice in Mountain Home once I complete my medical education, and I’m so excited to have a chance to build relationships with the physicians and medical professionals in the community while I’m still a medical student.”

Andrea Bounds, M.D., who practices at the Regional Family Medicine Clinic in Mountain Home, is among the physicians who will train NYITCOM- Arkansas students through the new agreement.

“This partnership has the potential to be a great recruiting tool for BRMC and for Mountain Home, so this is a win-win for our community and for NYITCOM,” Bounds said. “Personally, I’m excited about the opportunity to teach and make a lasting impression on students. I often reflect on my years in medical school and residency and think of all the people who taught me tools of the trade and how to do certain procedures.  I know how grateful I am for those physicians and I’m excited to be able to give back.”

During the first two years of medical school, student doctors attend lectures and labs on campus. For years three and four, students work alongside a licensed physician in a hospital or clinic to receive hands-on training. During their third year, medical students spend four to six weeks training in areas of family medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and internal medicine. NYITCOM-Arkansas has partnerships with over 150 hospitals, clinics and doctors throughout Arkansas as well as Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri, with BRMC the latest to join that group.

NYITCOM-Arkansas is scheduled to graduate its first class of approximately 115 medical students in May of 2020.

For more information, please contact NYITCOM Associate Director of External Relations & Marketing Casey Pearce at 870-882-9954 or


About NYITCOM – Arkansas:

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine – Arkansas is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta Region. Arkansas ranks 48th in overall population health status due to low health indicators including obesity and number of adults who smoke. The state also ranks 46th in the number of active physicians per capita and 39th in the number of primary care physicians. NYITCOM – Arkansas was established in 2016 with the mission of meeting the need for more physicians in this medically underserved area.


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