Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Arkansas Senate Bill 118 into law on Feb. 8.
The bill amends various sections of the Arkansas Code to recognize the equivalency of osteopathic and allopathic medical schools.
The amendment ensures academic support from the Arkansas Academic Physician Program, a state-run tutoring and assistance program, for students preparing to matriculate in allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. It also allows the State Crime Laboratory to contract with and pay outside personnel from any medical school in the state, and enables physicians affiliated with an osteopathic medical school to apply for an educational license to practice medicine.
The AOA and the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Association sent a joint letter supporting the law on Jan. 26.
Two institutions serving osteopathic medical students are currently operating in Arkansas. The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro, Arkansas, began accepting students last year. The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith will begin accepting students this fall.