Recent Comments

  1. Hi Kristen, I am looking to start my prerequisite courses to apply to PA school. Like you I have a BA in Environmental studies and have spent the last few years exploring the mountains except mine are in WA. Do you have any advice for me as I work through my prerequisite courses?

  2. Great Verinica ! you play the perfect role of the Physician Assistant. Hope you have a great experience and bright future.

  3. Your excitement and energy are palpable! I’m so glad you are here too,

  4. Veronika, you make me proud to be a PA. Your future is so bright and it is a privilege to see you on your journey!

  5. Great post Veronika!! You belong here. :)

  6. I am so glad you are here and bringing world experience and an engineer’s perspective to graduate education. Welcome to OHSU and to StudentSpeak!

  7. What a wonderful post, describing the insecurity and excitement of beginning grad school. The first year is the hardest- after that I expect that you will be comfortable doing your own science in ways you could not have imagined a year ago. Welcome to Graduate School!

  8. Great first post, Eileen! You accurately captured the the excitement and fear of a first year student. There’s such a mix! You get pumped about an idea, a project, but then right as you get comfortable with a technique, you switch labs! Then you have the “privilege” to be completely clueless and feel lost all over again. You have a great attitude. Good luck!

  9. I am so very proud of you David, love from Gram

  10. Beautifully put, David.

    We are hopefully putting the final touches on a “Medical Specialty Speed Dating” evening in mid-Feb, to allow students to ask alumni and community physicians what it is like to spend a career in any one of over twenty specialties.

    Look out for more announcements later this week!

  11. As an MS1, I really appreciate this article. Thanks for the well written and very informative piece and best wishes to you.

  12. Wow, thank you so much for sharing! Beautifully written and extremely captivating!

  13. Outstanding! Anthony, thank you for sharing your heartfelt, and humorous, thoughts with us; we are so proud to have you in the program!

  14. Love reading about thoughtful program directors who take care putting together their class. 40 people is few enough that you’ll quickly get to know all (or most, I guess) of your classmates well. I just know that you guys are going to have a great time at OHSU!

  15. Jesse, that is awesome. Your Mom is so proud of you. Keep it up.

  16. Hi Amanda,

    Of course doing well in school and getting a good MCAT score are both critical pieces of med school admissions. Physician shadowing is also important to establish that you have some understanding of what you’re signing up for, and research can be helpful in demonstrating your scientific aptitude and work ethic. All of that said, I think most admissions committees today are looking to attract diverse student bodies with a variety of interests that extend beyond the medical field, so don’t be afraid to cultivate obscure non-science hobbies if that’s where your passion lies.

    A couple helpful resources:

    Good luck! :)


  17. Hi megan, My name is Amanda and I’m just starting out my long journey of college. I currently am in a medical assisting program at everest. I just had a trip to OHSU and am very eager to attend medical school their when the time comes. I was curious to know some of the things I could do to really improve my chances of being accepted. I’m very passionate about medicine. So if you have any tips you might find important that would help me I would very much appreciate it. Thank you so much. -Amanda Murray-

  18. Thanks Jesse.Great post.

    Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam
    asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu
    l’had’lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)

  19. Thank you Jesse. Gorgeous. So resonant and human and beautifully articulated….

  20. Sounds like an excellent program and a good fit for you — a great deal to learn and enjoy. I am so proud of you!

  21. Thank you for being an incredible big sib to me – your advice, the occasional treats, and tutoring sessions are greatly appreciated.

  22. Thank you for taking the time to post this. It makes a big difference to know that OHSU makes a special effort to bring a collaborative culture to each class. I hope I am meant to be there too. I have heard great things about the program!

  23. HI Megan, While I know you are quite busy, I hope you become involved in the OHSU Family Network. It’s a great way for OHSU families to get-together and share in the experience of parenting and working at OHSU.
    I can tell you more about it if you are interested! Best, Mina

  24. Thank you so much for sharing! Looking back, I wish I had began the journey to med school while my daughter was still so young. My back ground is mostly political in nature, so as you can imagine..I needed to start again at the beginning. I now face the guilt and hesitancy at the thought of her being almost 12 when I expect to begin residency. (A very important time for a little girl, and I too, am a single mother!) It’s all about faith. Again, thank you so much. I needed that bit of encouragement today.

  25. Thank you for this! As I approach the end of my premed work and I have a now 2 month old baby and a 8 year old son, I am nervous about whether or not I have taken on too much. Knowing that you have a similar scenario and have made it, makes me more optimistic about my situation. Rooting for you!!!

  26. Megan,
    I am so thrilled for your and your toddler’s progress. I know you will come through med school with flying colors and will ultimately be an amazing doctor. You already are a wonderful and living mom. You are one of the most thoughtful and talented people I know.

    BRAVO! Rooting for you all the way!

  27. Wonderfully accurate account and I am sure inspirational to future medical students!

  28. Megan, this is such a beautifully written piece, and genuinely moving. Through my tears (OK, so I’m a mushpot), I’m feeling so incredibly proud of you.

  29. Great post about a very important topic. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  30. Wonderful post Megan! I was inspired and moved by your warm and honest account of facing these monumental challenges. I look forward to your next post!

  31. Hi Jenna,

    Thank you for pursuing your nursing career. We truly need an amazing individual like you.
    Good luck and God Bless you.

  32. Thank you for taking the time and risking looking good/bad to publish this post. You are thus collaborating in my world. Love, Deane

  33. Thanks Kayly for raising awareness of ALS, and for your work in this area. My husband and I lost a dear friend this summer from ALS. It was a shocking diagnosis and even worse death. Bring on the ice buckets!

  34. Joseph, I very much agree that, “patient counseling is a skill just as valuable as a lumbar puncture.” Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  35. It sounds like you landed in exactly the right place!

  36. Come and Get Your Love certainly SHOULD BE the song of the summer. It is in my world. Glad to know it is in yours too. And keep up that ALS research!

  37. Haha, #8. It’s all so true though :)

  38. Hey, that’s my hometown! Glad to hear you had a good experience jumping into peds work there.

  39. I would love to Julie! Thanks so much for your comment! Palau is such a special place! Unlike anywhere else I have been! And such a rich rich public health (and nursing research!) experience I am having! I would also love to hear about your experience!
    Thanks Julie!

  40. I visited Palau about 20 years ago as a keynote speaker at a Pan American Pacific Islands Nursing conference. Your post brought back warm memories of the people and the beauty of Palau (and the heat!). I learned and received ever so much more than I gave. I’m so glad that you are having this experience as part of your OHSU MPH!! I’d love to visit with you when you return to Portland.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post!
    Julie (faculty in the School of Nursing)

  41. Wonderful reflections Kirsten. Thank you so much for sharing. It is always so nice to hear about our student’s experiences.

  42. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kirsten! As an administrator in the PA program, I love hearing about our student’s day-to-day experiences and getting some insight into your world. Good luck with Ortho.

  43. @ Annika: Yeah, it definitely bums me out to either have an exhausting bike commute or a long dreary Trimet commute at beginning and end of each day! Let’s just say I am sometimes secretly glad when I get sick and need to see student health…because I get delicious free parking. Is it just me that feels that way?

    @Lorie: Thank you for the support Lorie! You always have our grad student backs, too!

  44. Kelly, you are a great writer — witty and spot-on!The GSO has done some awesome things this last year for students; so glad you choose to be involved :-) Thanks for this glimpse into the life of a grad student at OHSU

  45. Nice post, Kelly! I also feel quite grateful to be here, in spite of the parking situation.

  46. Thanks Jackie! Sometimes it does seem like my degree is a million years away, but I do feel like I am getting my Ph.D. at a really good institution. I think I’ve realized that I need to try to focus on the journey and not the destination, and get involved with my campus and community whenever possible to feel like life is more than getting a doctorate.

  47. Great post Kelly! As a former graduate student, I can appreciate the ups and downs of the whole experience – it is difficult to appreciate some of the amazing experiences, opportunities and benefits of being a graduate student when you are focused on the 894th failed experiment that week… but I can tell you from first hand that the experience is well worth it and will be something that you look back on with pride and a true sense of accomplishment. The benefits you have outlined along with work from motivated students like yourself will continue to make OHSU a great place. Stay strong, and try to let the “When are yo gonna graduate” questions roll of your back!

  48. Hi Jessica! Congrats on deciding on PA school–it’s a wild ride, but you’ll love it. I’m happy to send some info your way; shoot me an email at


  49. Hey Kristen,
    As a fellow Wisconsinite, snowboarder, and mountain biker applying to OHSU can you provide me with any advice on applying to the PA program? I am putting the finishing touches on my application for the program beginning in 2015. I currently work in sports medicine in Appleton, WI as an athletic trainer so we have some very similar interests! I have yet to visit Oregon but I have been to Washington and love the Pacific Northwest!

  50. Truly inspiring, Roheet. I am not a classmate, just a mere visitor on the website. Thanks.



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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