HJAR May/Jun 2020

30 MAY / JUN 2020  I  HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS   Healthcare Briefs because you’re going to be the front line. I have every confidence that this will be yours and our finest hour.” In the College of Medicine Class of 2020, 161 students participated in the match, 155 matched into a residency, and six were left unmatched. They have the option to participate in subsequent attempts to match students with any remaining residency slots. Sixty-six are remaining in Arkan- sas. Seventy are going into primary care. Gen- eral surgery (14), psychiatry (13), and anesthesiol- ogy (10) were also popular specialties. In addition to the UAMS seniors who participated in NRMP, 11 received residencies in early matches (military, ophthalmology, and urology). “I think we need to pause to reflect on the fact that it’s never been more clear the differ- ence you’ll be able to make for the people of your community and the people of this state and nation,” said James Graham, MD, executive asso- ciate dean for academic affairs. “It is very obvious that the field you’ve chosen can really, really make a difference in the coming days and months.” The 2020 Main Residency Match was the largest in NRMP history. A record-high 40,084 applicants submitted program choices for 37,256 positions, the most ever offered in the match. The num- ber of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 34,266, an increase of 2,072 (6.4 percent) over 2019. The increase in positions was due, in part, to the last migration of osteopathic program posi- tions into the Main Residency Match. This was the first year both MD and DO programs participated in the same match process. First ‘Match’ for NYITCOM at A-State Produces 95 Percent Success Rate Arkansas’ first osteopathic medical school par- ticipated in the National Resident Matching Pro- gram (NRMP) for the first time this spring. Of NYITCOM at A-State students who participated in the 2020 Match, 95 percent received placement into programs. “I just couldn’t be any happier for our stu- dents,” said Shane Speights, DO, dean of NYIT- COM at A-State. “It takes a special group of stu- dents to commit to being part of the inaugural class of a new medical school. These students trusted us to provide them with a top-notch medical education, and they dedicated them- selves to working incredibly hard to make them- selves quality candidates for residencies. I’m just so proud of every one of them.” Of NYITCOM at A-State students who par- ticipated in the 2020 Match, 72 percent were placed into primary care programs, including 36 percent who matched into family medicine pro- grams, 27 percent into internal medicine residen- cies, and another eight percent who will special- ize in Pediatrics. “Our country and especially our region are fac- ing significant shortages in primary care phy- sicians, so we’re pleased that so many of our students are pursuing those paths,” Speights said. “They have an opportunity to make a real difference.” NYITCOM at A-State was established to train physicians to help alleviate the physician short- age in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region, which is one of the most medically-underserved areas of the country. Nearly half of those who par- ticipated in the Match received positions that will keep them in Arkansas or a Delta state. “We’re pleased that many of our students landed positions in this state and region,” Spei- ghts said. “Before our doors opened, we spent significant resources to help create new residen- cies in Arkansas. Since 2015, 11 new programs have opened around the state, and our students matched into six of those programs. We’re com- mitted to continuing to help grow graduate med- ical education in this state to provide even more opportunities for our students to stay here.” “Today was a historic day for not only our col- lege, but for healthcare in Arkansas,” Speights said. “It’s another successful step forward in our efforts as a college and of the collective efforts of our medical students to make a difference in areas where their service is most needed.” DHS Clients Needing to Drop OffDocuments Have Options to Limit Contact with Others To protect the health and safety of clients and staff during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is allowing clients to email documents to their local county office or drop off documents in boxes in the lobbies. This includes clients applying for Medicaid, ARKids, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Temporary Employee Assistance (TEA), or those asked to provide addi- tional documentation. It is important that clients do not email multi- ple county email addresses because it will take much longer to process the information. They also should include the word “sensitive” in the subject line to protect their private information. Clients can scan in documents or take a photo of them with their phones and email those in. As soon as possible, DHS will provide a receipt by email showing the department received the documents “The more clients who can access our services remotely, the safer everybody will be,” said Mary Franklin, director of the DHS Division of County Operations. “Our offices are open, but we’re try- ing to greatly limit the number of people who need to come in as we deal with this public health emergency.” Following the directive issued by the Arkan- sas Department of Health, DHS also is practicing social distancing inside its county offices, includ- ing in the lobbies. As a result, only 10 or fewer people can be in the lobby at any given time. It may take longer than usual to be able to apply in person. To avoid lines, Medicaid, SNAP, or TEA appli- cants are asked to apply online at www.Access. Arkansas.gov or by phone at (855) 372-1084. Research Shows Hypothyroidism PatientsWho Choose Alternative Therapies Cite Effectiveness, Improved Symptoms Three out of four people with an underactive thyroid using an alternative “natural” treatment not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Admin- istration report that they do so because it is more effective than the standard therapy, according to research from the University of Arkansas for Medi- cal Sciences (UAMS) and the Mayo Clinic. Freddy J.K. Toloza, MD, and Spyridoula Maraka, MD, presented their findings in a supplemental issue of the Journal of the Endocrine Society. “Among people with hypothyroidism, some may prefer alternative treatments over standard thyroid hormone replacement therapies for many