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Dr. Teresa Hardesty, OSU Medicine physician and OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine alumnus, holds her 50 Making a Difference award during the Journal Record's Women of the Year Gala.
Dr. Teresa Hardesty, OSU Medicine physician and OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine alumnus, was recently recognized as a 50 Making a Difference honoree during the Journal Record's Women of the Year Gala.

Hardesty ‘humbled and privileged’ to be named to 50 Making a Difference list

Friday, October 27, 2023

Media Contact: Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 |

Dr. Teresa Hardesty, internal medicine physician with Oklahoma State University Medicine and an OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine alumnus, was recently recognized by the "Journal Record" as a 50 Making a Difference honoree.

Each year the "Journal Record" recognizes 50 women from across Oklahoma for their leadership and contributions to their communities both professionally and personally.

Below is a conversation with Hardesty about her passion for medicine, why she returned to her alma mater to work and teach, and how she is working to better the health care of Oklahomans.

Where are you from? 

I was born in California but raised in Bixby, Oklahoma.

Why did you want to be a physician?  

After a previous career as a financial systems analyst, I took time away from my career to raise my children. I spent many months in prayer before deciding to return to the workforce and felt led to pursue medicine. The shift to this new career was challenging, however, Christ has opened many doors and enabled me to be successful. When choosing a career, I wanted to make sure any time spent away from my family was focused on something positively impactful to others around me. Medicine provides an opportunity for lifelong learning while improving the quality of life of others.

Why did you choose to attend OSU-COM for medical school and when did you graduate?

Walking through the doors of OSU-COM, the supportive culture of the school was immediately apparent. The faculty and students create an atmosphere of inclusion and encouragement which created the perfect environment to learn and grow as a physician. Osteopathic medicine’s holistic approach to patient care provides physicians with a unique skill set to take care of people with medical conditions and not just take care of medical conditions. I graduated in 2015.

What led you to practice at OSU Medicine? 

I finished my residency training in internal medicine and then practiced at St Francis/Warren Clinic for several years. Although I had a wonderful practice at Warren Clinic and experienced amazing administrative support and was privileged to provide care to many wonderful patients, I made the decision to return to OSU after many weeks of prayer. I had an opportunity to move to an academic setting while still seeing my own patients part time. Academic medicine has allowed me to practice in the inpatient and outpatient setting and affords me the privilege to train and educate internal medicine residents. 

Why did you choose to practice Internal Medicine? What do you like about it and what are the challenges? 

Internal medicine is a broad field of adult medicine that provides the opportunity to care for patients with complex, chronic disease processes while focusing on preventative care. Internal medicine is the door of opportunity into many medical specialties. It is a cerebral specialty that focuses on the physiology of complex diseases and effective treatments. I love the complexity of internal medicine and enjoy the challenges of caring for patients with diverse and extensive medical needs.

How do you feel about teaching? 

I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much I enjoy academics. The thought of training future physicians can be intimidating; however, the opportunity has been a blessing. It drives me to continue to improve my own medical knowledge while sharing that knowledge and my medical experience with the next generation of physicians. 

What are some of the organizations/causes you are involved in and why?

I am a member of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association Board of Trustees. This organization is committed to health care advocacy and ongoing continuing medical education for physicians. Involvement in this organization has expanded my knowledge of health policy and positioned me for effective advocacy. I am a former president of the Tulsa Osteopathic Medical Society, which is a local extension of the OOA and serves physicians in Tulsa and surrounding communities.

I am also a member of the Board of Directors for MorningCrest Healthcare Foundation. The foundation provides grant funding to support health care for the underserved in the Tulsa area. Involvement in this organization has increased my awareness of local resources and the community projects focused on improving healthcare in our community. 

I am a medical advisor to the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, which is responsible for licensing and oversight of all osteopathic physicians licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma. I am responsible for reviewing all complaints filed against osteopathic physicians and participate in record review to determine if complaints should be forwarded to the Licensure Board for further consideration and/or action. 

What was your reaction to learning you were one of the "Journal Record’s" 50 Making a Difference? 

I felt humbled and privileged to be included in such an exceptional list of influential women in Oklahoma. The women recognized are an encouragement to other women in our state and represent the unlimited potential and influence women have in our community.

What does this recognition mean to you? 

Recognition as one of the 50 Making a Difference is an honor and privilege. I look forward to the opportunity to participate in the Women’s Forum to network with these amazing women and see empowered women continue to empower other women.

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