Estep called to healthy life, work By Tanner Hawkins

At first glance, Dr. Randel Estep is a simple, honest, and faith-driven member of his community. A closer look will not only confirm this assessment, but reveal so much more.

Estep is the medical director of occupational medicine at McBride Clinic and a medical consultant for OG&E Corporation.

He also is the Oklahoma delegate to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine House of Delegates, and has even served as president of the organization.

He is board certified with the American Osteopathic Board of Occupational and Preventive Medicine.

“Occupational medicine focuses on the health of employees in the work field. Corporations will send their employees to make sure the conditions they are working in are not affecting their well-being,” OC associate professor of chemistry Bill Luttrell said.

Estep graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, but didn’t go into medicine right away.

He studied English and earned a master’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1989. He then taught English at Oklahoma State University at Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City Community College from 1989 to 1993.

“There are always tough times. It’s always brighter once you get out of the tunnel than it is in the tunnel.” Randel Estep

At that point, Estep decided to enter medical school. He attended the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1993 to 1997, earning his doctor of osteopathy degree.

He interned at Hillcrest Health Center in Oklahoma City in 1997 and 1998 and served his residency in occupational medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center from 1998 to 2000.

During his residency, Estep earned his master’s degree in public health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College in 1999. He began his medical practice at St. Anthony’s Occupational Medicine Department the following year.

Estep looks back fondly on his OC years, the people, and the memories he made here. He tries to share his favorite memories without incriminating himself too much.

“Some of that can get me in trouble,” he said. “But mainly hanging out with friends, playing intramural sports, and pulling pranks together. I had some really strong friends.”

Estep credits his success in life to the simplicity and authenticity he strives to maintain.

“You have to keep life genuine, keep it real for people,” Estep said. “You can’t be self-absorbed.”

Estep and his wife Teresa have been married since 1991. They have four children: Chancellor, Chamberlain, Channing, and Christian. Estep has played an active role in his children’s lives and in the community. He has coached his children’s baseball teams for the past 12 years.

Both Estep and his wife have taught Bible classes at the congregations they have attended. Estep also served with his father, a missionary, in a Vietnamese radio program called The Voice of the Truth.

Estep said faith is a vital part of his life.

“When things are tough and you can’t quite figure out how to handle things, when you feel overwhelmed, it gives you something to fall back on,” Estep said.

But this is not to say that Estep does not face challenges. However, he stresses the importance of continuing despite the difficulty.

“It’s about persevering,” Estep said. “There are always tough times. There are always times when you feel like you’re completely behind the eight ball. In fact, there’s times you feel like you’re completely off the table. It’s always brighter once you get out of the tunnel than it is in the tunnel. Fortunately, it’s never been a train that’s coming down the tunnel.”

Perhaps the most important thing Estep took away from his time at Oklahoma Christian was something he heard in Professor Raymond Kelcy’s class.

“He said, ‘We get an education to help those that are less fortunate than us, not so we can hold it over them,’” Estep said. “That’s something that always stuck with me.”