MD Program

On being a medical student – and a human being

StudentSpeak is pleased to present this guest post by Sophia “Sophie” Davis, MS1. Sophie is a first-year medical student in the OHSU School of Medicine’s YOUR M.D. curriculum. She is also participating in the American Medical Association meeting at OHSU April 13-14 to share innovative ideas on transforming medical education. For a moment, my attention was drawn away from the patient and towards the exchanges between attending and resident physicians—the transfer of surgical instruments, hushed … Read More

Interprofessionalism Outside of the Classroom

StudentSpeak is pleased to welcome this guest post from Kelsey Priest, MPH, MS1 (M.D./Ph.D. candidate). Kelsey is the West Coast Regional Leader for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School. Interprofessionalism. What does it mean? Why is it important? What does it look like? As health professions students of the twenty-first century, we are learning and exploring the answers to these questions in our newly founded interprofessional education curriculum. I sought out interprofessional extra-curricular activities … Read More

Instituting “Affective Time Outs”

StudentSpeak is pleased to present this guest post by Larissa Guran, MPH, MS2. Instituting “Affective Time Outs” originally appeared on the blog, Wing of Zock.  This year, Oregon Health & Science University rolled out a new medical school curriculum for incoming first year students. YOUR MD is an innovative program, with a completely new schedule and focus; it is replacing the current curriculum, which is retiring after it serves my classmates and me. This is … Read More

Med School Parenting Made Easy With This One Simple Trick!

When people learn that I am both a medical student and a single mom, there are a few questions they tend to ask. These include: “Are you insane?” “Do you have a live-in nanny?” “How do you manage to do all that while maintaining such a gorgeous complexion and impressive personal physique?” “Is your family nearby?” “How do you study with a toddler around?” The first four questions are easy enough to answer: 1) Yes, … Read More


One of the big draws to OHSU for me was the preceptorship program. I was a medical scribe for 2 years previous to medical school, and I love clinical medicine. You meet all kinds of wonderful and interesting people, and although science is somewhat predictable, people are highly variable. So, I was super excited to start my preceptorship and get some patient contact. My preceptor is a pediatric neurosurgeon. I was initially disappointed, as she … Read More

Let’s talk about death

Medical school is intense, and I am not just talking about the science. People invite their doctors into their lives in very intimate ways, and illness makes us vulnerable in a way few other things can. I am in constant awe and gratitude to the patients I have met so far who have shared their stories with me in order to teach me how to be a better provider. This past fall, I started taking … Read More

Lessons learned

StudentSpeak is pleased to feature this excerpt from Caitlin Harrington Brown, MS2. Caitlin’s original post appeared on the web site for Women in Thoracic Surgery. I am a second year medical student at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. I started medical school with an interest in cardiothoracic (CT) surgery and that interest was quickly confirmed by early exposure to the field in the fall of my first year. For the purpose of this article, I have chosen the … Read More

What is a preceptorship?

That was the exact question I was asking myself when I started medical school and even up until my first day at the clinic. There isn’t a very good definition on Wikipedia and it’s definitely not in ye ole trusted Miriam Webster. Even asking older students led to a multitude of definitions ranging from “glorified shadowing” to “being a doctor’s assistant.” Both of which were not entirely satisfying. It wasn’t until I started a couple … Read More

Dream big, Little One

StudentSpeak is pleased to publish this guest post by Jessica Petrovich, MS2. Jess participated in one of OHSU’s Science Education programs helping inspire and support underrepresented students in the sciences. Dream Big, Little One. It is scrawled in my mother’s handwriting on a scrap of paper. Underneath it she taped a small photo of me as a toddler, staring hopefully at some unidentifiable object in the background. Well aware of the risk of exposing my … Read More

Family ties

StudentSpeak is pleased to publish this guest post by Jesse Goldfarb, MS2. Jesse participated in OHSU’s student-led peer mentoring program for first-year and second-year students. Questionably competent second-year medical student, 24, seeks slightly less competent and moderately impressionable first-year. I don’t have any real little siblings. My mom wouldn’t have one for me. And when thinking on that deficit, all I am left with are her empty, feckless excuses. “Your father and I are divorced,” … Read More



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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