The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved Sam Houston State University’s doctorate in osteopathic medicine, bringing the university one step closer to helping millions living in rural and underserved areas of East Texas. The proposal will now go before the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation to be evaluated for the next step in the accreditation process.

The proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine will collaborate with hospitals in rural East Texas counties to establish residency-training programs that will benefit the people living in those areas.

East Texas currently has a ratio of one primary care physician for every 4,510 people.