Medical EducationCommentary

Preparing Physicians for Rural Based Primary Care Practice: A Preliminary Evaluation of Rural Training Initiatives at OSU-COM

Denna L. Wheeler, PhD, and Jeffrey B. Hackler, JD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 5, 2016

Accepted: January 6, 2017

Published: May 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(5): 315-324

The physician shortage in Oklahoma coupled with geographic maldistribution of primary care physicians limits access to care in rural and underserved areas. One of the most effective strategies to recruit and retain physicians in rural areas is to create undergraduate and graduate medical education training sites in these locations. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine has implemented a rural training program that begins with early recruitment of rural high school students, introduces medical students to rural practice options through rural clinical training opportunities, and provides opportunities to remain in rural Oklahoma for residency training through ongoing graduate medical education development. The purpose of this article is to provide a case study of the development of the college’s Rural Medical Track. Preliminary findings indicate that rural based clinical training for third and fourth year students strengthens performance on standardized tests.

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