Fort Smith medical students help out at Good Samaritan Clinic
By Alex Golden / Times Record / email@example.com
Fort Smith medical students during their first semester are gaining experience with patients at a nonprofit clinic.
The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM), which opened in July at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, is partnering with the Good Samaritan Clinic in Fort Smith. The clinic provides health care for people who are low- to moderate income or do not have health insurance. Patients never pay more than $35 for a visit, Executive Director Patti Kimbrough said.
“The whole school is about helping in the community and changing the health care here, but we’re also looking for a great place for the students to have early medical experiences,” Provost and Dean Ray Stowers said.
The Good Samaritan Clinic is usually not open on weekends, but is looking to have medical students and professors who will oversee them at Good Samaritan the first Saturday of every month, Kimbrough said. Six students took part for the first time this Saturday. This is in part so that more patients can come to the clinic without missing work.
“For us, it’s dual purpose,” Kimbrough said. “Not only are we helping to groom the future doctors that will hopefully stay in our community and strengthen our medical care here but we are also developing a relationship with them because they see the value in what’s being done here, so for the community it’s a win-win because you get quality physicians from a new medical school training future doctors with real everyday life patients.”
ARCOM student Tiffany Prentice was a nurse for two years before starting medical school. Although Saturday was not her first time seeing patients, she said that it allowed her to see the doctor’s side.
“You get to see more of the physician’s side,” she said. “You see their thought processes and you get to apply what you’ve learned at school.”
The medical school’s mission statement is to serve the underserved.
“I think the community has been so excited about ARCOM, and finally we get to interact with the community and they get to see us doing what we’re here to do,” Prentice said.