The history of the College of Medicine is marked with years of introspection, change and dramatic growth in terms of students and faculty, along with its programs and mission. The mission of the state’s only medical school continues to provide comprehensive service to meet both the educational needs of students and the health care needs of the state.

The medical school was built on a solid foundation as eight ambitious physicians set out to improve the health care delivery system within the state. For it was well on its way to considerable progress for meeting the needs of Arkansas and improving health care.

The College of Medicine’s determination to meet its responsibilities was apparent in the implementation of programs that enabled the school to reach all communities. Training was taking place to supply rural areas early on with primary care, specialty programs were continuing to produce physicians who could administer secondary care in regional and community hospitals. The initiatives were multifaceted and by the 1970s, the College of Medicine was dedicated to planning and implementing programs designed to improve the state’s health delivery system, most notably the family practice residency program around the state.

As the only academic medical center in Arkansas, the COM sustains a commitment to enhancing its mission, and every new decade brings new challenges. Over the years, the school has made substantive gains for producing excellent physicians, scientists and health professionals. The service mission is enhanced by affiliation with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center.

The COM values its role of service to the general welfare of the state of Arkansas. This service includes action as a partner in science and health areas to all levels of the educational system of the state. As the leader in health care, the institution provides educational programs, consultation and technical advice to other institutions, agencies and local communities for the purpose of improving and maintaining the health of citizens.