Oklahoma currently ranks 36th in the nation in the number of primary care doctors per capita. And thanks to a new state-of-the-art facility in Tulsa we’re not only producing more doctors, but they are better trained too.
Standing astride billboard-laden Highway 75, the Tandy Medical Building is a billboard itself. A gleaming orange shout out to an exciting new era for the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Costing $45 million dollars, the 84-thousand square foot building features large lecture halls and cozy study carrels for its 374 students, 86-percent of them from Oklahoma.
“Because our mission is to provide physicians for rural and underserved Oklahomans," said Dr. Shrum the President of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
Maybe the most spectacular part of this new building is the simulation center. There are sixteen state-of-the-art mannequins. One is Victoria, yes, she's got a name, and she's a pregnant mom. This is her child; Tory and she is just like a real baby together they cost $360,000. Overall there's $2 million of mannequins in this center.
Victoria can actually speak while she is being inspected by students. She will say things like "Where's my husband, I'm having contractions, hurry!”
Simulation specialist Sarah White can adjust "Victoria's" reactions based on how well these students react.
"Oh, what does that mean, is my baby okay?” Victoria says
“Everything is going to be just fine ma'am." Replies one student.
According to officials, the simulated patients will get better when the students make the right choices, but when you make a mistake it will realistically make things more challenging.
"They give 'em a bit of a hard time, things don't always seem to go that well for those simulated patients," said Dr. Shrum
"It allows you to learn from your mistakes, the mistakes of others without anybody being injured or hurt," said Dr. Gearheart
In addition to the birthing unit, there is also an ICU and an ER.
"If I'm in that situation, you're in that situation, we want doctors that think quickly, clearly and are very competent and skilled in handling an emergency situation," said Dr. Shrum.