Rogers State University has four pending spring graduates who have gained acceptance to the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa for Fall 2020. Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Keith Martin expects that number to grow as acceptance letters from other schools are issued.
“This is a remarkable achievement for the students and for our program,” Martin said. “A regional institution rarely accomplishes this level of success.”
This milestone continues a recent trend which has seen more than 150 RSU students move onto professional schools pursuing medical, healthcare and veterinary careers.
“These students exemplify the Hillcat spirit,” RSU President Dr. Larry Rice said. “Soon they will be serving on the front lines and caring for those in our communities. Never before has there been a more compelling time to ensure that the future is staffed with bright and caring healthcare providers.”
Receiving the news of acceptance during a global pandemic and public health emergency, these students are not discouraged from continuing their dream of becoming doctors. A dream they have worked hard to accomplish. Several thousand students will apply to approximately 165 seats in the OSU program split between the Tulsa and Tahlequah campus.
“Outside of academics, I believe that OSU is looking for applicants who are passionate about serving their community and are motivated to be successful within a career in medicine,” student Mathew Choate said.
Dr. Jerry Bowen, Department Head and Associate Professor of Biology, said that a biology major incorporates a significant amount of the essential credits medical schools require.
“Our medical, molecular biology degree is strongly aligned with the prerequisites for medical school. However, it can also prepare a student for many additional professional programs or graduate school,” Bowen said. “We have had students accepted into programs for dentistry, physician’s assistant, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy and more.”
RSU students agree. Their experience in the classroom and labs prepares them for success beyond undergraduate studies.
“I am dedicated to be a successful student. I make sure to study, improve, and constantly self-evaluate if there is any material I need to study further,” Choate said. “In addition, having a great support system at school to help with any questions has helped make me a successful student.”
Having a mentor and advocate cheering them on in their journey has been essential to each student’s success.
“RSU has some of the brightest and most dedicated faculty to be found in the state of Oklahoma. This shows through for those students who dedicate the time and effort to do well in their coursework,” Bowen said.
Dean Martin also attributes this success to the relationship between RSU and OSU Health Sciences.
“The OSU College of Medicine does a tremendous job recruiting our students, and they have a great mission to sell,” Martin said. “Many of our students who successfully gained admittance were from rural communities in Northeast Oklahoma. They are one of the primary providers for rural medicine in Oklahoma.”
RSU recently entered into a bridge program agreement with OSU Health Sciences. The 3+1 program allows RSU students focused on rural medicine to apply for early entry into the OSU program. Students interested in biology can learn more by contacting the department at www.rsu.edu/biology.