The Student Summit on Rural Health represents a major collaboration between the three medical schools in Arkansas and a core initiative for the Rural Health Association of Arkansas (RHAA). Most recently held on March 31 and April 1, 2022, this program brought together 58 students from the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The students in attendance represented each school’s rural interest club.

The Student Summit on Rural Health is a chance for future doctors to weigh in on the role they see for themselves in rural communities, as well as what their ideal rural community would be like. They also heard from practicing rural doctors and leadership from each school, giving them a chance to ask candid questions about the reality of rural practice. We believe this program will continue to give participants a chance to work together as they never have before, building a brand new network of rural-focused medical students here in Arkansas.

Once the Spring 2022 program was completed, the students traveled to Eureka Springs and the surrounding area on a field trip to experience rural Arkansas firsthand and visit the community leaders, clinics, and hospitals they might one day choose to serve.

We’re proud to bring the Student Summit on Rural Health program back in order to give the future of medicine a voice in how rural needs are addressed. A special acknowledgment goes to the RHAA, an organizing partner of this program.


Previous Summits

“Networking with other medical students from Arkansas has been really great because I hadn’t realized we’re more similar than different. We have the same goal of serving communities in need. It’s very nice to hear those values echoed in this room. We can all actually collaborate and work together for the future.”

Samia Khan, former Student Summit on Rural Health participant from NYITCOM at Arkansas State

In 2018, 51 medical students came together at the Institute for the first Student Summit on Rural Health — a program initially suggested by student volunteers at the 2018 Rural Health Summit. They gave their perspective on both issues chosen by previous working groups and challenges they see themselves facing in rural practice. Speakers included a guest keynote, practicing rural health providers, and leaders from all three medical schools. A report was compiled detailing everything discussed and worked on during this first summit.

Contact Person

Payton Christenberry

Associate Director of Programspchristenberry@uawri.org(501) 727-6255