TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The medical field in Oklahoma is facing a crisis, like much of the country.
Doctors and nurses have quit or moved somewhere else, but Tulsa Community College and the OU-TU School of Community Health aren't just letting that problem exist - they are working to solve it.
Throughout the pandemic, many different industries have started to face a labor shortage. The medical field is no exception and that's one that affects the health of just about all of us.
Burnout was a major problem during the pandemic and now schools are trying to bridge the gap between the loss of doctors and nurses throughout the pandemic to raise up another generation.
That's why TCC is trying out a new program to introduce community college students to the potential future of medical school which is something a lot of them might not have realized is possible. The program is called the Undergraduate Medical Accelerator Program.
In fact, we met a student here earlier who just two years ago was working as a teacher, but the pandemic reignited her love of the medical field. She decided to go down that path and is now on her way to becoming a physician - just two years later and at a fraction of the cost of what she thought it would take.
"Here, I'm not exactly sure what my credit cost is, but I think I took a five-credit class for around $600-$700," said Lily Robistow. "Whereas, when I was at a four-year institution, what I pay in one semester at a four-year institution is about the cost of a full two years here."
That's the hope of this program. You have lots of brilliant minds out there, but this is an industry that has not always been accessible to people from lower-income families. There are plenty of people who have potential but may not have the best financial standing. This helps them get in the door and into hospitals, doctor's offices, and places where when it's our time to go to the doctor, we'll need them.