Fifty years ago, Oklahoma was dealing with a physician shortage so state leaders came together to create and pass Oklahoma Bill 461 that established the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Tulsa, which later became the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
It was the first free-standing, state-supported osteopathic medical school in the country and its mission was to train doctors to meet the health care needs of rural and underserved Oklahomans. The dream became realized with the dedication of the campus in April 1977.
“In March 1972, with dwindling numbers of primary care physicians in rural Oklahoma, the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery was established to educate and train osteopathic medicine physicians. Fifty years later, we are still fulfilling that mission,” said OSU-CHS President Johnny Stephens.
OSU Center for Health Sciences celebrated the anniversary with a birthday party on March 10 for faculty, staff, students and alumni.
A larger celebration will take place on July 28 and coincide with the opening of North Hall, the newest building on the OSU-CHS campus in Tulsa that includes new anatomy and neuroanatomy labs, the new Tulsa County Medical Examiners Office, additional meeting and conference rooms, offices spaces and new administrative offices.
Throughout 2022, there will be 50th Anniversary social media campaigns highlighting current and former students, as well as special features written about the history, culture and accomplishments of the institution and its leaders.
“Today, OSU-COM educates tomorrow’s physicians in a wide range of specialties to serve both rural and urban areas of our state,” Dr. Stephens said. “Now with our College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, our impact is even greater.”