Claremore natives Whitney and Lauren Davis were recently accepted into the Oklahoma State University of Osteopathic Medicine program at OSU in Stillwater. The siblings will begin medical school in the fall before completing their bachelor’s degrees in spring 2016.
The College of Osteopathic Medicine has a class size of approximately 115 students per year, with a current total student enrollment of 372, and 86 percent of the students are from Oklahoma, according to the OSU Center for Health Sciences. Two-thirds of the graduates practice in primary care (family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology) and one-third practice in specialty areas, such as dermatology, neurology, surgery, optemology and psychiatry.
“The program we were accepted into is real big in rural care and primary care,” said Lauren Davis. “I’m hoping to come back to Claremore and work as a primary care physician. I’m not sure if it will be pediatrics or family medicine, but it will definitely be in a rural are of Oklahoma.”
Whitney Davis said a lot of the early admission medical students are encouraged to take an interest in primary care.
“Oklahoma and other states are in need of more rural doctors and primary care physicians. A lot of people now want to specialize,” she said, “This program was started to encourage more residents to work in small towns.”
Lauren said she likes the atmosphere in primary care facilities.
“It’s more relaxed than working in a hospital, but you’re still able to help a steady flow of patients, each diverse from the next,” said Lauren.
Throughout the next four years of medical school, Lauren and Whitney will be required to participate in an externship each summer in a rural town to gain experience in areas such as pediatrics, general surgery and ER, shadowing primary care physicians for two weeks.
Whitney said she was one of the youngest applicants for OSU’s medical program at the age of 19, and wasn’t sure if she would get in based on how many years she had been a college student.
“I had most of the requirements from doing concurrent classes, and had enough completed hours, but I was still nervous that I wouldn’t get in,” she said. “They were very welcoming and I was extremely appreciative to get in so early.”
Upon completion of medical school, the sisters will apply for a stage of graduate medical training, referred to as residency, which is typically three to six years in length.
The siblings currently each have a 3.97 GPA. Both students say they plan to apply a strong focus toward their studies while enjoying their last year as undergraduates.