Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Regents Address Needs in Medical Education Program

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Regents Address Needs in Medical Education Program

Article excerpt

Changes are taking place in medical education, pushed by technology to be sure. But it takes something else to bring about real improvement.

In this state, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education stepped up to the cutting edge and, apparently for the first time, intervened in the art of medical training.

The starting point for the State Regents was an upward adjustment in admission requirements for the two medical schools - the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The ultimate "goal for quality" calls for identical admission standards at both schools. It means a lift in test scores at both schools and an increase in grade point averages from 2.5 to 3.0 at the osteopathic college.

Moreover, the Regents intend to seek additional funding from the state to finance an expanded residency program, although a formal request won't be made immediately. A report compiled in the wake of a physician manpower and medical education study says an annual increase of $25.4 million is needed to achieve "appropriate levels of funding."

As noted, the higher funding levels have been put on hold, temporarily, as the Regents turn their attention to other matters.

Dr. Charles Manning, Regents executive vice chancellor, underscores the importance of expanding residencies at the osteopathic college. Certain preliminaries, however, seem to be in order.

Besides higher admission standards, the Regents want to create, perhaps through a special commission, a workable system for assessing medical education in Oklahoma. Manning suggests that faculty members from both schools should be involved.

In the overall plan, the Regents envision centers of excellence at several state locations. Out of this is expected a system of indigent care, all related to what Manning describes as "rural centers of excellence."

"I see our role as a little bit of an independent third party to bring all this together," said Manning. …

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