CONROE, Texas - Texas is number 2 when it comes to population growth but ranks 37th in the nation when it comes to medical school enrollment.
Believe it or not the pandemic has more people wanting to become doctors.
"Medical applications have gone up in the last year because of COVID," said Dr. Shannon Jimenez with the Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. "People are seeing the need and the contributions doctors are to the crisis."
Here's another dismal statistic for Texas.
The Lone Star State ranks 47th when it comes to the number of primary care physicians.
"Primary care physicians are the heart and soul of medicine," Jimenez said. "We're the most fiscally efficient part of medicine and we need more."
And the places in dire need of primary care physicians are the state's rural communities.
"If you put primary care physicians in underserved areas the mortality rate goes down the morbidity goes down that's sickness and death and that's what we need," said Jimenez.
This semester the Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine has launched their first class of 75 students to address the physician workforce in Texas.
"And we're going to do that by choosing candidates who are more likely from unserved areas and more likely go out and practice there," Jimenez said.
"I'm from a little spot in the panhandle of Texas called Paducah," said medical student Kensley Grant.
Grant and other students in the program will actually train under primary care physicians in rural communities especially the eastern region of Texas.
"Rural health care in Texas is extremely underfunded extremely understaffed and the people in rural Texas and rural America are hurting because of it," Grant said.