OU Medical School is planning a mobile classroom to promote diversity in health professions

OKLAHOMA CITY – A large private camp, adapted as a health education classroom on wheels, is among new projects planned by the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine with $ 2.8 million in support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant is a one-year supplement that increases the starting prize of $ 4.7 million to OU Medical School last year. The aim of the grant is to recruit, retain and admit students from rural, tribal and medically underprotected areas and to expand the experience of primary health care among current medical students. The data show that students from those groups attending medical school and residency in Oklahoma are more likely to return to their communities to practice medicine.

“Of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, 76 have a shortage of primary care physicians, and the need is especially high in rural areas, poor communities and tribes. The ultimate goal of this support is to reduce health care disparities among Oklahoma residents and raise state health,” Steven said. Crawford, MD, senior associate dean of the School of Medicine and director of the Office of Health Innovation and Policy. Crawford leads support with James Herman, MD, Dean of the OU-TU School of Community Medicine on the Tulsa campus.

The mobile classroom will enable OU School of Medicine to introduce young people across Oklahoma to health careers and provide them with practical experience in activities such as sewing, using a stethoscope or a microscope. The classroom will be specifically targeted at smaller communities with fewer resources. Students in these areas may have the interest and skills to pursue the health profession, but do not have the opportunity to pursue it, said Robert Salinas, MD, Assistant Dean for Diversity at the School of Medicine and Head of the Grant Grant.

“This mobile classroom will be a major advantage of our reach and building long-term relationships with young people,” Salinas said. “This is not a one-year event, but it is part of our efforts to build a path to a medical school where we will be their mentors for several years.”

Current students from all seven colleges at the OU Center for Health Sciences, as well as the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the OU Norman campus, will accompany the mobile classroom on trips around the country as part of their patient care training. interprofessional team. Not only will they present their chosen disciplines to the young people they meet, but they will also see first-hand the challenges of living in underserved areas, where there are numerous obstacles to good health.

The grant supplement will also allow the OU School of Medicine to launch a Medical School Readiness Program, an opportunity to mentor students as they prepare for the entrance exam to the School of Medicine, participate in bogus conversations and shadow work. This program is intended for highly motivated students who traditionally lack funds due to time or money to prepare for medical school.

The OU-TU School of Community Medicine, a college campus in Tulsa, is expanding several parts of its curriculum designed to help students better understand the importance of primary care. The course in medical informatics will enable students to dive deeper into telemedicine and use an electronic health record to analyze trends among the patient population. Two more courses, Lifestyle Medicine and Health Promotion I and II, have already been added to the curriculum to further educate students about the role of food and exercise in promoting better health for their patients. This year, students will spend more time in cooking, learning from chefs how to make healthy foods suitable for specific medical conditions, such as diabetes. He will then teach these skills during a visit to high schools in the Tulsa area.

“Our medical students will teach culinary medicine concepts and healthy food options to high school students,” said Dr. Frances Wen, a professor of family and social medicine on the Tulsa campus and a primary school participant in the scholarship. “They’ll also talk about what it’s like to be in medical school. It strongly influences high school students who aren’t too young to see someone like them become a doctor.”

Contributions and employment of the Medical Faculty are already starting to be paid, Salinas said. Several students who have been mentored over the past year are entering medical school or preparing to apply.

“These efforts are focused on the relationship and to be successful, we need to work with students over a long period of time to help them overcome barriers to attending medical school or another college in the health profession,” Salinas said.

“Studies show that health outcomes improve with a more diverse workforce,” he added. “A person’s zip code should not determine their health and we hope this initiative will begin to improve Oklahoma’s health and quality of life.”



One of the few national academic health centers with seven professional colleges – Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Graduate Studies – the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs on campus in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. For more information, visit


OU Medicine – along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Center for Health Sciences – is the state’s only comprehensive academic health care system in hospitals, clinics, and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Medicine is home to the largest network of physicians in Oklahoma with a full range of special care. OU Medicine serves Oklahoma and the region as the state’s only independent children’s hospital, the only Stephenson National Cancer Center named the National Cancer Institute, and Oklahoma’s main hospital, which serves as the state’s only first-level trauma center. Becker’s Hospital Review named OU Medical Center one of the 100 largest U.S. hospitals for 2020. The OU Medicine Oncology Program at the Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center named the U.S. News & World Report the best cancer facility in the U.S. on its 2020 scale -21. The American News and World Report (OU Medicine) also rated the most successful in these specialties: colon surgery, COPD, and congestive heart failure. The mission of OU Medicine is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit

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