However, the school has run into difficulty placing its students in residency positions at Oklahoma hospitals. Many Oklahoma medical students end up doing residencies in nearby states; they often settle in towns near where they did their residencies.
The OSU Center for Health Sciences, which hopes to grow from 96 students to 190 in five years, will seek funding from the Legislature for residency positions at hospitals in rural areas. As the college grows, it will become more important to give those students the chance to complete their residencies and stay and practice medicine in the state.
“We don't want to graduate doctors just to go to other states,” Barnett said.
Money again will be tight in the next legislative session. Yet the financial needs of these schools should be given close attention if Oklahoma is to make progress in reducing its physician shortage.