Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences educates and trains osteopathic physicians, research scientists and other health care professionals with an emphasis on providing health care for rural and underserved Oklahoma.
The university was legislatively founded in 1972 as the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery and merged with Oklahoma State University in 1988. It became the OSU Center for Health Sciences in 2001 to reflect its status as an academic health center.
OSU-CHS offers professional training in osteopathic medicine and graduate programs in forensic sciences, biomedical sciences, health care administration and athletic training.
The OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of 44 osteopathic medical schools in the nation. OSU-COM accepts 115 medical students each year from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Emphasis is placed on students from Oklahoma and those who want to practice in Oklahoma. The majority of OSU-COM students are from Oklahoma.
OSU-COM students can earn dual degrees in biomedical sciences, health care administration, business administration and public health. The programs are tailored for physicians who want to own a medical practice or pursue a career in medical research.
The College of Osteopathic Medicine conducts several programs to recruit and train physicians from rural Oklahoma, including the Blue Coat to White Coat program with Oklahoma FFA, Operation Orange summer camps, Med-Xtravaganza and rural health fairs.
The Early Admissions Program enables qualified students who commit to participate in the Rural Medical Track and practice in a primary care specialty to begin their medical education one year early. Students are given concurrent credit for their senior year of undergraduate work and their first year of medical school. In addition to colleges within the OSU system, four regional Oklahoma universities, including three that are located in rural areas of the state, participate in the program.
To date, the college has graduated 2,928 physicians. More than half of graduates remain in Oklahoma to practice medicine, with nearly one in four practicing in a community of 10,000 or less. More than half of OSU-COM graduates practice a primary care specialty.
OSU Medical Center, managed by Mercy, serves as OSU-COM’s teaching hospital. It is the largest osteopathic teaching hospital in the nation, with more than 60,000 patient encounters each year. In addition to student rotations, OSU Medical Center also offers 11 residency programs and nine fellowships, training more than 150 residents in primary care and other specialties. The OSU Physicians Clinics also provide training for students and residents while providing vital patient care to the citizens of Oklahoma. In addition, OSU-COM in partnership with the Oklahoma Medical Education Consortium of Oklahoma has established residency programs at hospitals and clinics across Oklahoma.
OSU-CHS operates OSU Physicians Clinics serving northeastern Oklahomas. The clinics provide approximately 135,000 patient visits annually, providing $3 million in indigent care. The clinics focus on family medicine, women’s health, psychiatry, internal medicine, HIV/AIDS care, pediatrics, cardiology, surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery and ophthalmology.
The OSU Center for Rural Health’s mission is to improve health care in rural Oklahoma through student education, residency training, research, program applications, advocacy and alliances with others who share its goals.
The center oversees the Rural Medical Track, which provides targeted training to produce primary care physicians for rural practice and ensures that these physicians have the skills to be community leaders and rural health advocates. The center also provides supervision for the rural rotations of our third- and fourth-year medical students.
Funds provided by the Center for Rural Health support programs aimed at providing Oklahoma’s rural practitioners, hospitals and clinics with the support necessary to ensure access to quality health care for our state’s rural residents. Many of these services are free and provide important information not readily available to most rural communities.
In addition, the Center for Rural Health serves as a statewide clearinghouse for rural health information.
OSU TeleHealth provides telemedicine and distance learning resources and services to physicians, students, residents and faculty of OSU and health care professionals involved in serving rural and underserved patients in Oklahoma.
OSU-CHS is a leader in telemedicine technology with one of the state’s largest telemedicine networks connecting health care providers to rural and underserved patients. This medical lifeline provides patients in non-metropolitan areas with access to specialty health care.
All OSU medical students receive hands-on training in telemedicine. In fact, OSU-COM was the first medical school in the nation to require telemedicine training of all its students.
The OSU Mobile Telemedicine Clinic travels across the state to deliver health care in rural and underserved areas. The MTC hosts clinics in mental health, dermatology, cardiology, obstetrics/gynecology and internal medicine. The MTC delivers recurring clinics for patients with HIV/AIDS and for pediatric behavioral health, including medication management for ADHD/ADD. OSU also partners with Mercy Health System to provide a weekly mobile clinic in primary care for rural Oklahomans. The MTC also participates in numerous community events across Oklahoma to provide health screenings.
The School of Allied Health is home to the new graduate program in athletic training. The master’s program prepares individuals to become competent and independent clinicians who will enhance the quality of patient health care and advance the profession of athletic training through practice and research.
The Master of Athletic Training program instills critical thinking, problem solving, ethical reasoning abilities and interpersonal skills promoting lifelong learning and enrichment in the quality of lives for individuals in diverse settings. It is the only graduate program in athletic training associated with an osteopathic medical school in the nation.
The School of Biomedical Sciences offers master's and doctoral degrees with emphases in anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, paleontology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology. Students receive a foundation in biomedical sciences that is broadly applied to each of these disciplines
Students may earn dual degrees with the College of Osteopathic Medicine in either the Ph.D. or M.S. programs. Students conduct research under the guidance of graduate faculty, who have a diverse range of research interests.
Current faculty research includes seeking cures and advanced treatments for addiction, autism, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cilium-related diseases, cystic fibrosis, depression, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, Morgellons disease and obesity. Other areas of original research include psychological factors in cardiovascular disease, venom/antivenin interactions, developing tests for the encephalomyocarditis virus, the relationship between chronic infections and cancer development, the role of intestinal bacteria on overall health, how estrogen impacts fluid retention in the body, cancer development in people with long-term exposure to heavy metals and pesticides, opiate receptors, osteohistology and the teaching of evidenced-based medicine.
OSU-CHS biomedical research involves projects by faculty and investigative teams of scientists who seek to translate molecular research into new medical therapies, as well as commercialization and technology transfer capabilities. The major research foci are applied and integrative neuroscience, cardiovascular and pulmonary, forensic science, and interdisciplinary programs. Approximately 200 individuals are involved in research activities, including 40 of the 80 full-time faculty members, several graduate and medical students, numerous residents, interns and research staff.
In the past decade, OSU-CHS has become a significant research institution in the northeast region of Oklahoma. OSU is a member of the Tulsa Research Partners, an independent research consortium created to impact multidisciplinary collaborations and to award research grants to support technology development projects in software, IT cybersecurity, advanced materials, telecom, bio-life and alternative energy sciences. The group is part of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, a nonprofit corporation committed to building an innovative economy in the Tulsa region. The institute fosters collaborative research and development, entrepreneurship, company creation and retention, life-long learning and creative, future-oriented thinking. The objectives are driven by private sector, government and philanthropic partnership.
In addition to these community and regional efforts, OSU-CHS is active in the founding, development and implementation of the Tulsa Area Bioscience Education and Research Consortium (TABERC). TABERC was founded to develop bioscience research in Tulsa through multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to undergraduate and graduate education and technical training.
During the summer, OSU-CHS biomedical sciences faculty host summer research programs for high school and college students. OKstars and Native OKstars provide high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research as part of a research team with faculty and graduate students at OSU-CHS. Faculty also host undergraduate students participating in the Oklahoma IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence summer research program. The statewide program encourages undergraduate research in a variety of scientific programs at research universities.
The School of Forensic Sciences prepares students for careers as criminalists, research technicians, specialists, analysts, managers in laboratories and investigative agencies and more. The Master of Science in Forensic Sciences program offers several specializations, as well as both thesis and non-thesis options.
The program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. It is ranked as a Top 10 “CSI” forensic science graduate program in the United States by Forensics-School.com.
The Center for Improvised Explosives (IMPEX) provides advanced training for arson and explosives investigators and offers a new master’s degree option for investigators working in the field.
OSU-CHS is home to the Tulsa Police Department Crime Lab and the Eastern Office of the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The School of Forensic Sciences is one of only two in the nation with an active police crime lab and a medical examiner’s office on campus.
The program has also partnered with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner, the National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity, the Central Technology Center and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
OSU-CHS provides Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training and Intimate Partner Violence examiner courses for registered nurses. The OSU Forensic Toxicology and Trace Laboratory provides analysis and consultation on criminal and civil matters relating to forensic toxicology and clandestine labs. The Human Identity Testing Lab also provides services related to DNA testing to determine parentage and genealogy and for law enforcement-related matters.
The School of Health Care Administration trains leaders to guide hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other health organizations. The online master’s degree in health care administration has consistently been ranked as one of the top programs in the nation.
The HCA program offers options in health care leadership and entrepreneurship or administration and is ideal for individuals who wish to move into management or executive positions. The curriculum provides exposure to management concepts, processes and techniques associated with administration and entrepreneurship functions. This degree can be completed in class or fully online.
The Health Care Administration master’s program is the largest graduate program in the OSU system.