ARCOM is excited to announce that we have a new dean, Rance McClain, DO. Dr. McClain replaces Dr. Ray Stowers, who has moved into the role of ACHE Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. Dr. McClain’s wife, Elizabeth McClain, PhD, has joined the ACHE staff as Senior Assistant Provost & VPAA.

Prior to joining ARCOM, Dr. McClain was the Associate Dean, Clinical Sciences at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Other previous positions include Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Osteopathic Principles and Practice as well as chair of continuing medical education at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri. Read his full bio here.

Meet the Dean Q & A

To get to know Dr. McClain a bit better, we asked him the following questions.

Q: Who or what do you consider your biggest inspiration?

A: My father. He worked his way from poverty to being a very successful business owner of an oil production company. He showed me every day that hard work and dedication will pay off.

Q: Where’s your favorite place in the world?

A: This one is tricky. I am a homebody, so I really just enjoy relaxing at home or working on things around the house. However, that is not an exciting answer to this type of question. If you are talking about where I like to visit or travel to the most, then the answer becomes different. Any small mountain town in the Rocky Mountains would be my destination of choice. I love the peace and beauty of being outdoors and being able to look up into the mountains.

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: It has actually been too long since I last read a book. Most of my reading is journal articles in medical journals and education journals. The last book I read through and find myself referring back to still is “The Servant Leader” by James Autry. The advice and examples contained within its pages are something I carry with me everyday when I come to work. If you haven’t read it, I would recommend you do so as soon as possible.

Q: If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

A: Blue. It really doesn’t have any deep meaning, it has simply been a favorite color of mine over the years. However since coming to this job I have become very fond of ARCOM green!

Q: What is your favorite sport?

A: My wife and I used to compete in triathlons and it is still a sport we both really like. Over the years, we became too busy with work and family to put in the hours to train and compete but are looking forward to being able to return to that sport someday in the future.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fort Smith so far?

A: The people here in the community have been amazing so far. Everyone is open and welcoming and have show genuine interest when they ask about my transition here. It was very obvious from the start that Fort Smith is a tight knit community and I am excited to get more and more involved as time moves on.

Q: What is your vision of where the future of primary care is headed?

A: Primary care has always been, and will always continue to be the center of healthcare delivery in our country. Patients still long for that doctor/patient relationship.

Q: How has medical education changed for the better in the past 10 years?

A: Medical education will always be an extremely difficult academic endeavor. However, in the last 10 years we have grown to better understand the impact this has on medical students involved in the process. We are now very aware of monitoring students mental wellness and making sure the academic process is rigorous while still being supportive of the learners. This process is generations overdue and will hopefully develop more caring and compassionate physicians for future generations.


We welcome Dr. McClain to the ARCOM family!