Program inspires Oklahoma students to be doctors - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Program inspires Oklahoma students to be doctors

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Operation Orange participants got a hands-on taste of health care techniques in Durant. (KTEN) Operation Orange participants got a hands-on taste of health care techniques in Durant. (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- A traveling summer camp aimed at getting students interested in the medical field made a stop in Durant on Tuesday.

Operation Orange targets students in rural areas of Oklahoma, where more health care workers are needed.

"What's cool is, it's a joint program that gets participation from the Choctaw Nation, from OSU, and from local areas throughout Oklahoma," said Dr. Christopher Thurman, Associate Dean of Clinical Education at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.

Operation Orange visited Southeastern Oklahoma State University, attracting more than 100 high school students to the campus. The goal: To recruit students to become future doctors in rural areas of Oklahoma.

"It's already narrowing down some pathways,"  said student Trevor Dailey. "I was planning on doing some nurse anesthetics, but now I kind of want to be a doctor."

The program gives students a hands-on approach to medical surgical techniques.

"We got to do some sutures, and I learned how to properly do ... CPR," Dailey said. 

Operation Orange sponsors hope high school students can relate to the college students already in the medical program and see the potential in themselves.

"I wanted to give back to the home town and just come back to rural Oklahoma," said OSU Health Sciences student Leslie Barcenas. "I really enjoy just being out here and being able to go back to my roots and say, 'This is how I started; this is how I got into med school; and you can do it, too. You don't have to be from a big city."

The program travels all across the state, hoping to eventually help fill the need for doctors in rural Oklahoma.

"We'll be going to Lawton, Enid, Tahlequah and Stillwater," Thurman said.

Last year, Operation Orange visited six cities and served more than 1,000 students.

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