Medical EducationCommentary

Introducing High School Students to Careers in Osteopathic Medicine

Nedra F. Wilson, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: May 19, 2016

Accepted: May 24, 2016

Published: May 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(5): 325-330

An aging population and expansion of health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have led to a predicted deficit of primary care physicians by 2025. In response, medical schools must develop new strategies to identify students early in their educational pathways to encourage exploration of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, especially medicine. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences developed 2 internship programs, Oklahoma Science Training and Research Students (OKStars) and Native OKStars, to introduce high school students to osteopathic medicine. Native OKStars was designed to encourage Native American students, who are underrepresented in STEM fields, to pursue osteopathic medicine. These programs provided students with a 6 week immersion in biomedical research, along with weekly discussion groups with mentors. Participant questionnaire responses suggested that these programs were effective in introducing them to careers in osteopathic medicine as well as other STEM fields.

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