Now officially doctors, Matthew Abbott and Addison McGinn are just two of the 30 graduating medical students — the inaugural class who have attended all four years of medical school in Tulsa.
Growing up in the southwest Oklahoma town of Anadarko, Matt understood the doctor shortage firsthand when he had to travel 30-60 minutes to receive care. It’s one reason he wanted to attend the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. Matt is about to embark on an exciting next chapter in his career — an internal medicine residency at Duke University, his top choice.
Addison has been class president all four years of medical school. She also participated in the integrated pre-residency program where students use their fourth year of medical school to take classes alongside interns, which will help them gain leadership roles for their residency. Addison will complete her internal medicine residency at OU-Tulsa and is one of the 11 newly graduated doctors staying in Oklahoma, who will help meet the increasing physician demand.
This inaugural class has been years in the making, long before the students even applied to medical school. The OU-TU School of Community Medicine was established at OU-Tulsa in 2008, thanks to a $50 million gift from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, with a purposeful focus on improving Oklahoma’s healthcare needs.
The goal of Community Medicine is to improve the health of entire communities, especially underserved populations most in need of medical care, such as urban and rural areas. In addition to traditional medical school education, the curriculum focuses on social determinants of health, improvement in public health disparities, and recruitment of students with altruistic goals, health systems improvement, and interdisciplinary work.
“It’s exciting to see our vision for the School of Community Medicine come to fruition with this impressive inaugural class,” said James Herman, MD, dean of the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. “This new generation of doctors understands the significance of community medicine, and will impact their communities for decades to come. Eleven of 30 are staying in Tulsa, so these graduates aren’t just a point of pride for OU, it is a point of pride for Tulsa. Plus, we’re thrilled Interim President Harroz could join us at the graduation ceremony, and that it was his first one to attend in his new position.”
The OU-TU School of Community Medicine is among the nation’s leaders in the growing field of community medicine, focusing on population-based health outcomes and the social determinants of health. The four-year medical school located at OU-Tulsa is a joint effort between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa. For more information, visit ou.edu/communitymedicine.
Article Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019