Texas physicians honor rural-medicine program founder

UNT Health Science Center’s Rural Osteopathic Medical Education program has prepared hundreds of physicians to care for rural residents, mainly as primary care physicians in Texas.

The founder and long-time Director of that program is John R. Bowling, DO, Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education. The Texas Osteopathic Medical Association recently presented him its Meritorious Service Award in recognition of this work and his contributions to the Texas osteopathic profession.

The Rural Osteopathic Medical Education of Texas (ROME), part of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, offers innovative programs in medical education to prepare participants for life and practice in rural environments.

Accepting his award, Dr.  Bowling thanked the many rural osteopathic physicians "who have volunteered their time to host, mentor, and teach TCOM students" in more than 40 rural Texas towns from McAllen to Whitesboro and from Sonora to Longview. This work upholds a UNTHSC core value of serving others first.

In the spirit of another of UNTHSC’s five core values, collaboration, ROME and the UNTHSC School of Public Health recently started a dual-degree program in rural medicine and public health. In four years, students earn both a DO and an MPH degree, preparing them not only to practice medicine in rural areas but also to lead efforts to improve their communities’ collective health.

ROME also collaborates with other schools to train future physicians to work as part of a team. For example, students working in clinics in rural areas consult via videoconference not only with their medical school professors but also with educators in the UNT System School of Pharmacy. 

In accepting the award, Dr. Bowling reminded young physicians to "keep in mind always nature’s laws and the body’s inherent capacity for recovery."

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