Medical emergency

Oklahoma falls short in its doctor-to-patient ratio.



Oklahoma has one of the most severe shortages of doctors anywhere in the nation, and the numbers will make you queasy.  

Various rankings put the state between 45th and 47th for doctor-patient ratio, with roughly 200 physicians per 100,000 residents, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Compare that to the top state on the list, Massachusetts, which has more than 400 doctors per 100,000 residents.

That means patients sometimes have to wait weeks or even months to see some kinds of specialists. It means some doctors might close their practices to new patients, and it means patients might go the much more expensive route of seeking care through an emergency room.

“That takes away from continuity of care and is harmful to quality of care and preventative services,” says Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Ultimately it means more expensive, less efficient health care.

“Why?” is the most obvious question regarding the doctor shortage. But even the experts haven’t fully determined that.

“It’s a good question, and I don’t know that we know the answer, but there are many factors that contribute to it,” says Dr. John Schumann, president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.

Dr. Kayse Shrum is president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. OSU has around 165 Graduate Medical Education positions at its OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. A number of factors contribute to Oklahoma’s low doctor-patient ratio, and local universities are doing what they can to alleviate the strain. Courtesy OSU Center for Health Sciences .

 

 

S.O.S.: Save our (medical) students

Part of the problem, Schumann says, is simply a numbers game. For medical schools, Oklahoma only has the OU College of Medicine in Oklahoma City (and the new OU-TU School of Community Medicine) and the OSU Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa. 

But even with a relatively small number of medical schools, doctors say Oklahoma does fairly well in terms of the number of local students who want to become doctors and the number who graduate. 

Oklahoma graduated 255 doctors from these schools in 2015. That number is relatively strong, according to Dr. John Zubialde, professor of family medicine at the OU College of Medicine.

“If you look at Oklahoma, we are about right at the national average in terms of the number of graduating medical students that we have,” he says. 

And Oklahoma actually does better than the national average of retaining students once they graduate medical school, ranking 11th in the U.S., although schools are always working to do better.

Where we really come up short is finding places for students to do their residencies in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has relatively few Graduate Medical Education (GME) positions — informally referred to as residency slots — compared to other states. Many are sponsored and administered by OU and OSU and take place in their hospitals and affiliates. OU has roughly 600 slots in the Oklahoma City area and around 180 slots in the Tulsa area. OSU has around 165 GME slots at OSU Medical Center in Tulsa.

Unfortunately the slots don’t always match up to the residencies graduates want.

“There are actually more slots than there are students, but it’s a sorting game,” Schumann says. “That is, there’s enough internal medicine and family medicine and pediatric slots — primary care specialties. But there aren’t enough urology, ophthalmology, dermatology slots for the number of people who want them.” 

Though the numbers might seem appropriate, the ratio of medical graduates to GME positions in Oklahoma differs considerably from other states. According to 2014 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Oklahoma had 280 first-year residency slots available, compared to 1,644 slots in Illinois — nearly six times more. Considering Illinois’ population is roughly three times Oklahoma’s, that’s quite a disparity.

Since a government regulation was added in the late 1990s, institutions can no longer grow their residency programs unless other, non-federal funding is secured. 

“Believe it or not, in the year 1997, Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which caps the number of Medicare-approved residency slots in the United States,” Schumann says. “We see some growth in the number of residency slots, but that’s typically through different funding mechanisms.”

“There are actually more slots than there are students, but it’s a sorting game.”

That fateful moment in 1997 became a critical turning point in the saga of America’s doctor shortage. At the time, experts believed we were headed toward a surplus of doctors. 

But even though it’s now painfully evident those experts were wrong, lawmakers on Capitol Hill say there’s nothing they can do about it. 

Lawmakers recognize the problem, but there is little political will to increase federal spending given the national debt. Dr. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the new Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, says he lobbied his state’s congressional delegation for many years. 

“They basically said, ‘We think you’re doing a great thing there at Quinnipiac, we applaud what you’re doing, but we don’t have any money for you,’” Koeppen says. 

Given Oklahoma’s current budget woes, doctors agree the money seems even less likely to be found at the state level than at the federal level.

It is possible to create medical schools and residency slots without the help of the federal government, but it is by no means easy. Quinnipiac is a private school that has invested $100 million in the Netter School.

Closer to home, OU’s new collaboration with the University of Tulsa to create their school of medicine in Tulsa was seeded with a $50 million donation from the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Subsequent gifts from the Oxley and Warren Foundations to OU-Tulsa and TU jointly provide funds for hiring faculty and offering student scholarships.

OU pays for about 25 percent of its residency slots in Oklahoma City from its operational fund. OSU does the same for about 36 percent of its slots. But admirable as that may be, doctors at both schools say it won’t keep pace with the number of additional slots that are needed.

One solution would be to create more medical schools and more residency slots. But those, of course, take money. In the case of residency slots, the bulk of the money comes from Medicare. 

Additionally, once Oklahoma graduates leave for a residency elsewhere, they are less likely to return.

“You wind up getting married, buying a house, kids get attached to schools, then there has to be a real draw to kind of pull you out of that,” says Dr. Daniel Duffy, former dean of the OU School of Community Medicine, who adds a graduate’s hometown or family base can be a draw, too.

OU-Tulsa President Dr. John Schumann, second from right, speaks with medical students on campus where 180 students are currently in residency. Even though Oklahoma is experiencing a doctor shortage, the state does better than the national average at retaining students once they graduate medical school. Photo by Aaron Anderson, courtesy OU-Tulsa.

 

 

Hospitalism side effects

Further aggravating the doctor shortage, Schumann says, is the ongoing phenomenon of what many call “hospitalism,” where doctors are no longer in private practice and are simply employees of a hospital or large health system, also known as hospitalists.

“Over the last decade we’ve gone from two-thirds of doctors who are privately employed, meaning they own their own business or their own practice,” Schumann says. “Now, two-thirds or more of doctors are employees.”

Sources say the days of family doctors doing a one-year internship and setting up a small private practice are history, not to mention the fact that it’s so expensive.

“If I go to an employee position, I’m paid a salary,” Schumann says. “Malpractice, rent, overhead, billing … all of that is taken care of … they like the safety and the security of being an employee rather than the risk associated with running an office, which is an inherently risky thing.”

But, more hospital-based physicians create a bottleneck because they don’t see outpatients. 

“If they’re only working in the hospital,” Schumann says, “patients only see them when hospitalized. You won’t see hospital doctors with a
garden-variety complaint like back pain or when you need your thyroid medication or your cholesterol medication looked at or adjusted,” Schumann says. 

The hospitalism phenomenon and the demise of private practice have taken an even bigger toll on rural areas, for the simple fact that there aren’t many rural hospitals. And with limited resources, they are less able to employ physicians directly.

“I’m in my 70s, and when I started, banks were fighting over each other to loan a doctor money to set up a practice at incredibly low interest rates,” Duffy says. “That hasn’t happened for 20 years. 

“Quite frankly, given the huge debt that doctors have when they’re starting to practice and the lack of private capitalization, it’s virtually impossible for the ‘Marcus Welby’ single doctor to open a practice.”

“Over the last decade we’ve gone from two-thirds of doctors who are privately employed, meaning they own their own business or their own practice, (to) now, two-thirds or more of doctors are employees.”

Duffy says realistically, a doctor has to have a team of three to five colleagues to keep up with the workload, along with innovations in medicine.

“You can’t be on call 24/7 and not burn out and leave practice after about three or four years,” he says. 

In private practice a doctor has more control and the ability to call the shots, but in general, Schumann says younger doctors prefer the job security of a hospital setting to the control of a private practice. 

And if you think a place like Tulsa has trouble luring 20- and 30-somethings away from the glitz and excitement of big-city life in Chicago — with its prestigious medical schools — now imagine how tough it is for a small town of 8,000 people. Zubialde says survey data shows medical graduates value geographic location and lifestyle even more than salary.

Doctor shortages exist across the board, but the shortage is most severe for primary care medicine. Since hospitals are now having to find ways to fund their own slots, they’re going where the money is. And that’s in specialties that do expensive procedures.

“The way our reimbursement system is set up, you get paid more if you do a procedure, than if you sit down and talk to a patient and help make sure that they’re eating properly, not smoking, etcetera,” Koeppen says.   

He says that’s created an increase in the number of sub-specialty residency slots because those residents are making money for the hospitals that pay their salaries.

“So primary care residency programs are at a disadvantage,” Koeppen says, adding that another factor is that career-long earning potential is less for primary care physicians than those in many specialties.

“You can’t be on call 24/7 and not burn out and leave practice after about three or four years.”

There have been efforts to make primary care programs more feasible for hospitals, including funding for the divisive Affordable Care Act, but supporters are fighting an uphill financial battle. 

“The ACA has provisions to address the primary care shortage, but the ‘Teaching Health Center’ provision, which was designed to create new primary care residencies, has time-limited finding,” Koeppen says. “In my testimony before the Senate subcommittee on the issue, I advocated for making this funding more durable.”

 

 

PAs pick up the slack

The production of new doctors has gotten a much-needed shot in the arm from the rise of physician assistants. (Note: don’t call them physician’s assistants. They hate that.) The PA position was created in 1965. The first class of PAs in Oklahoma was at OU College of Medicine Physician Associate Program in Oklahoma City a few years after that, and the first class graduated from the OU-Tulsa Physician Assistant program in 2010. The state now has 1,400 PAs, according to OU.

“The PA phenomenon has really taken off within the last 10 years,” Zubialde says. “And that’s exactly because we recognize that we’re not going to be able to train enough doctors.”

PAs can do many more physician duties than they can’t.

“It is amazing that so many times people might have a PA in a hospital setting and they don’t even realize they are a PA and not a physician,” says Shannon Ijams, program director for OU’s physician assistant program in Tulsa, “because we can diagnose and order lab tests, interpret lab tests or order imaging, write prescriptions, make referrals … it’s so broad.”

“Although we have fewer physicians than we think we need in rural Oklahoma, we may not have too little primary care.”

That frees up doctors for tasks that require more training. Also, schools get PAs into the pipeline quickly, with 30 months of intense training, as opposed to four years of medical school plus three to seven years of graduate medical training, or even longer, for doctors. So, it’s a fast and efficient tourniquet for the doctor shortage. And unlike doctors, PAs can move more easily from specialty to specialty where they’re needed and where they want to go. 

“I could work in a family practice clinic for five years and then go work with just a pulmonologist or just a cardiologist,” Ijams says. Were she a physician, Ijams would have to do another residency if she entered a new field.

PAs also are ideally suited to fill in the gaps in rural care, because they can do virtually all of the primary care duties that are needed most often in a rural setting.

“Although we have fewer physicians than we think we need in rural Oklahoma, we may not have too little primary care,” Duffy says. “We have really done a magnificent job of training physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who are in some ways better suited to deliver care in very small areas than our physicians.” 

Ijams says Oklahoma law has been less restrictive than some states in allowing PAs certain privileges, giving them the freedom to work in small towns where doctors are not available.

“PAs can communicate with their supervising physician via phone or through the EMR (electronic medical records) or via Skype or other telemedicine capabilities,” Ijams says. “So, it’s allowing these providers to meet these needs. They really would not have providers in that community if it were not for the PA or nurse practitioner working in there.”

OU-Tulsa’s first physician assistant class graduated from the program in 2010. PA Program Director Shannon Ijams (right) leads the popular program in Tulsa. The state has 1,400 PAs who are ideally suited to fill the gaps of rural care, according to Ijams. Pictured with Ijams are PA students Cori Byrne, Athena Todd and Matthew VanValin.

 

 

A puzzling prognosis

Just as they do when patients face a difficult disease, doctors caution people that the outlook is uncertain when it comes to the doctor shortage.

“It’s not a simple fix,” Zubialde says. “I think that’s the one thing that I would like to make sure people understand.”

Additional factors complicate the issue, such as an aging population that grows larger every day and requires the most expensive kind of care.

“Eighty percent of our resources is spent on chronic illness care,” Zubialde says. “These are older patients and more disabled patients with high illness burdens such as heart failures, COPD, diabetes. You know, all of those kinds of things that really drive a lot of the use of health services.”

Doctors themselves are getting older, too, and Oklahoma has more doctors over the age of 60 than the national average, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Data is sketchy on the exact number of doctors who retire each year, but with such a large number of baby-boomer physicians nearing retirement age, it will only exacerbate the shortage. 

“It’s not a simple fix. I think that’s the one thing that I would like to make sure people understand.”

Besides that, some doctors like Koeppen say their younger counterparts, in general, don’t want to work as many hours as they did. So in a sense, it will take more than one new doctor to replace one outgoing physician.

“That’s why the ER specialty is so popular,” Koeppen says. “It’s not because of the TV series ‘ER’, it’s because it’s shift work,” Koeppen says. “You do a number of shifts in the ER, and you get days off, where they can then go and do what they want to do.”

If all that’s not dire enough, the Affordable Care Act means that millions of additional people are now insured and are trying to get in to see the same number of doctors.

Oklahoma is a few years behind other states in creating a comprehensive plan to address the doctor shortage problem, Zubialde says. But he says the good news is that a group of health leaders and representatives from business, labor, tribes, academia, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, professional organizations and private citizens are working on the Oklahoma Health Improvement plan. Once that’s done, he says implementing solutions will be a matter of political will, and even more importantly, resources to make them happen.

“It’s bringing the business community, the provider communities, the hospital associations and all the folks that need to be partnering and talking about these things together,” he says. “You’ve got to get the legislators and everybody else on board with this plan to say, ‘Yeah, this makes sense. Let’s work on it. Let’s make it happen.’”

 



In residence

If you want a sense of just how much catching up Oklahoma has to do with some other states, and if you can handle a bit of medical envy, just take a look at the charts from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that show the number of medical residents in each state.

Oklahoma has a total of 831 residents, according to the latest ACGME data. By comparison, New York has 1,326 residents who entered residence programs last year — in internal medicine alone. 

That’s an extreme example, but no matter how you slice the numbers, it’s plain to see how Oklahoma has earned its various rankings at the bottom of the doctor supply barrel.

There are a few bright spots here and there. Take family medicine for example, one of the specialties where the shortage is most severe nationwide. The ACGME says Oklahoma has 1.32 residents in family medicine per 100,000 population compared to .73 for Massachusetts and 1.02 for New York, states that typically have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the number of residents and practicing doctors.

For more information, visit the ACGME’s data book at www.acgme.org.

 

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3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

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ABOUT THE BOOKFor the last century, Puerto Rico has served as a testing ground for the most aggressive and exploitative U.S. economic, political, and social policies. The devastation was laid bare...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Magic City Books
221 E. Archer St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Artist Fellowship
Contact Name: Cheyenne Smith

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The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

Come enjoy the Garden after 5! Stroll through the Tandy Floral Terraces, walk around the Lake, explore the Children's Discovery Garden and bring a blanket and picnic to stay and enjoy the soulful...

Cost: $8 for ages 13+, $4 for ages 3 to 12. Children 2 yrs and under are free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

The United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma presents its Annual U.N. Day Dinner on Thursday October 24th at 6 pm at the TaulCoy Room in Tulsa.  Tickets begin at $30 for students, $60...

Cost: $30-$500

Where:
TaulCoy Room
1350 S Boulder Ave
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-430-6119
Contact Name: Dr. Ruby Libertus
Website »

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The Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice will honor Paula Marshall during its 61st Annual Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Reception at 6 PM, dinner and...

Cost: $300 (individual tickets)

Where:
Hyatt Regency Tulsa
100 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice
Telephone: 918-583-1361
Contact Name: Eileen Schaumleffle
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

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Chef Justin Thompson will be crafting a unique menu using herbs and vegetables grown at the Garden. Passed hors d'oeuvres will be followed by a three course meal, themed with food...

Cost: $150 per person; $125 for Garden members

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Buy a Care Card and save up to 20% at more than 200 local stores and restaurants October 25 – November 3, 2018. With Care Card, you’re saving more than money – you’re saving lives....

Cost: $60

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: Family & Children's Services
Telephone: 918-560-1115
Website »

More information

Mark your calendar ro the best BBQ Cook-off in Tulsa! Badges 'N' BBQ will be held on Friday, October 25 at Christiansen Jet Center, located at the Jones Riverside Airport. Party goers...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
Christiansen Jet Center
200 Lear Jet Lane, Jones Riverside Airport
Tulsa , OK
View map »


Sponsor: Crime Prevention Network
Telephone: 918-585-5209
Contact Name: Karen Gilbert
Website »

More information

Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

Parents! Have a date night October 25th!!! Send the kiddos to us for a fun evening - Monster Mash Bash! This fundraiser benefits Tulsa Dance Company Ensemble’s cultural exchange & tour to...

Cost: 25.00

Where:
Tulsa Dance Company
8207 S. Harvard Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Tulsa Dance Company
Telephone: 918-779-7360
Contact Name: Tulsa Dance Company
Website »

More information

For the first time, the Oklahoma Aquarium will host seven nights of indoor trick-or-treating for kids of all ages from Friday, October 25 to Thursday, October 31! Guests can follow the...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

No tricks, just treats! Gathering Place is casting a spell for all not-so-scary ghosts and ghouls to make their way to the park for sweets and treats. Meet us on Spooky Street for a kid-friendly,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Seymour, a nerdy worker at a run-down florist is romantically pining for a seemingly unattainable beauty named Audrey, when he discovers an unusual plant that only thrives when it is fed human...

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 East Second Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Project Theatre
Telephone: 918-596-7122
Contact Name: Amber Whitlatch
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

The Tulsa Walk to Defeat ALS is the signature fundraising event for The ALS Association Oklahoma. The Walk to Defeat ALS is the #1 way to unite and fundraise for those living with ALS. Each...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 202-464-8617

More information

Together OSU Medicine and OSU Medical Center have built a fully comprehensive health care team to serve families in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. One of those levels of expertise is...

Cost: Free

Where:
OSU Medical Center North Lobby
744 W. Ninth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: OSU Medicine

More information

 Harvest Hayday!  October 26, from 11am - 2pm.  Come celebrate the arrival of fall!  With hayrides, games, trunk or treating, emergency vehicles, a petting zoo, and more, ...

Cost: Free, except food items for purchase from Food Trucks

Where:
Asbury UMC
6767 S. Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury UMC
Telephone: 918-392-1165
Contact Name: Kim Broadhurst
Website »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Outdoor All Day Family Friendly Halloween Event 

Cost: $0-$10.00

Where:
Downtown Wagoner
Main Street
Wagoner
Wagoner, OK  74467
View map »


Sponsor: Wagoner Main Street
Telephone: 918-577-1772
Contact Name: Samantha Call
Website »

More information

Buy a Care Card and save up to 20% at more than 200 local stores and restaurants October 25 – November 3, 2018. With Care Card, you’re saving more than money – you’re saving lives....

Cost: $60

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: Family & Children's Services
Telephone: 918-560-1115
Website »

More information

Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Mummies of all ages! Bring your goblins, witches, and super heroes to our fun and food filled Halloween Dance! Saturday, October 26th, 2019 6-9 pm $5 per person (check or cash)  

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Bixby Community Center
211 N Cabaniss Ave
Bixby , OK  74008
View map »


Sponsor: Bixby Community Center
Telephone: 918-366-4841
Contact Name: Victoria Smith

More information

For the first time, the Oklahoma Aquarium will host seven nights of indoor trick-or-treating for kids of all ages from Friday, October 25 to Thursday, October 31! Guests can follow the...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

Tulsa Metro Sound Chorus presents: "As Seen on TMS". A comedic review which will keep you in stitches, including music of Iconic Women of Song . Come enjoy the music of Karen Carpenter,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
Memorial High School
5840 S Hudson Ave,
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Marlys Fallen
Website »

More information

Choral Music from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Down Under

Cost: $20

Where:
Cascia Hall
2520 S Yorktown Ave
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Chorale
Telephone: 918-625-1527
Contact Name: Anastasia Howard
Website »

More information

Are you looking for a night of Halloween hilarity, ghoulish guffaws, and spooky silliness? Then come and see the spirited stylings of Laughing Matter… Oklahoma’s longest-running...

Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Luchadores go head to head in the ring to see who really is The Great Pumpkin!

Cost: Free

Where:
Elote Cafe & Catering
514 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Elote Cafe & Catering
Telephone: 918-582-1403
Contact Name: Elote Cafe & Catering
Website »

More information

Seymour, a nerdy worker at a run-down florist is romantically pining for a seemingly unattainable beauty named Audrey, when he discovers an unusual plant that only thrives when it is fed human...

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 East Second Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Project Theatre
Telephone: 918-596-7122
Contact Name: Amber Whitlatch
Website »

More information

No tricks, just treats! Gathering Place is casting a spell for all not-so-scary ghosts and ghouls to make their way to the park for sweets and treats. Meet us on Spooky Street for a kid-friendly,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

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What's New


Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Oct. 20

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments

3.06: Representing District 73 - Regina Goodwin

A conversation with the state representative about issues in her district, plus what it's like being a Democrat in the state legislature. Plus Tulsa Architect Foundation's Amanda DeCort on the Blue Dome District and new music from Count Tutu.

Comments

Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Oct. 13

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments

CLIFFDIVER on mental health, Tulsa and their new music

A Q&A with the Tulsa band that describes its sound as "Elevator Emo Pop"

Comments

Oklahoma Best-Sellers: Oct. 6

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments