• Lon Tegels, Northeast Arkansas News

Prospective doctors encouraged to explore outside clinic walls.

Nearly 100 students wearing white coats filled the auditorium at Reng Center to listen to guest lectures. Normally you would expect to hear lectures about bones, organs and the flu. Today’s message was a simple one. Put down the books and volunteer your time to something outside of medicine. Community health care in rural areas is an area that is hurting for those trained medicine. The school college of osteopathic medicine is asking students to know their community.

Second year medical student Landon McKneely commented, our big deal for us is to study for twelve hours a day, we’re talking physiology and pathology, but when you get out into practice you get to see the patient for 15 minutes and then they go home. and then they to come back to you until there sick, so what patterns can we see that can help make them healthier.

Assistant Dean Amanda Deel says she hopes students will leave Jonesboro with a well-rounded education that makes them empathetic to their patient’s overall needs.

“Today's day is about reminding the students why they came into medicine. it’s not to focus on healthcare for the individual in front on you, but to focus on a population and how you can help that population become healthier”.

One of today’s guest speaker was the CEO for Community Health Centers of Arkansas, LaShannon Spencer. She was in Jonesboro asking that students consider staying in Arkansas once they graduate. While many are from the east and west coast, rural America is offering young doctors a quality of life.

Spencer told the student, “I wanted to be able to leave the students with a very loaded question of: Why medicine? What brings you joy? because when they see patients they need to be able to understand the reason why they went into medicine. for that mission-oriented work.

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