July 27, 2016 | Mikaila Wilson Calcagni, of Fayetteville, has been awarded the Arkansas Mutual Medical Student Award, a scholarship for third-year medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), who want to practice primary care in rural Arkansas.
Calcagni, who comes from a family of nurses including her father and grandmother, said it was a study abroad trip to Sweden that opened her eyes to primary care.
“Here, we focus so much on fixing a problem after it appears instead of trying to prevent it,” she said. “For me, primary care helps provide prevention.”
Although she isn’t sure what area of primary care she would like to pursue, she knows where she wants to provide.
“I want to have a career that impacts Arkansans directly,” she said. “I was born and raised here, so this is the health care community I know and love.”
The scholarship is funded by the Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co. in partnership with the UAMS College of Medicine to encourage more medical students to enter primary care fields such as family practice, general internal medicine and pediatrics and to practice in rural Arkansas where access to physicians is limited.
Corey Little, CEO of Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co., the only medical liability insurance provider headquartered in Arkansas, said the company is deeply committed to improving rural health care in the state.
“We are so pleased to offer this scholarship to such a deserving student as Mikaila Wilson Calcagni,” said Little. “She will make a very fine primary care physician and is clearly committed to improving the health of citizens in medically underserved areas.”
Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co. announced the scholarship July 25 at its annual symposium in Little Rock.
More than two-thirds of Arkansas’ counties include federally designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. Primary care physician shortages are projected to increase substantially as the state’s population continues to age and require more medical care, and as more Arkansans, now insured as a result of health system reform, seek primary care services.
“Support from corporations like Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co. enables UAMS to continue educating tomorrow’s health professionals,” said Pope Moseley, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. “We work very hard to ensure that all Arkansans, wherever they live, have access to crucial primary care services.”
“This scholarship is an honor and a blessing,” said Calcagni. “My parents always told me that a scholarship is an investment. I’m excited to show everyone that this investment in me was worth it.”
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.