Medical Students Take a Look Behind the Scenes in Family Medicine

08/18/00    Portland, Ore.

OHSU's 14th Annual Summer Observership Program Provides Medical Students Hands-On Community Family Practice Experience.

­ For six days, 26 entering first-year medical students will reside and work with different family practice doctors throughout Oregon. From August 19-25 the Oregon Health Sciences University's 14th Annual Summer Observership Program will allow students to experience the day-to-day lives of family physicians in rural communities.

For Eric North, a second-year medical student, and Senna Petrotta, a first-year medical student, the program will give them a glimpse into their possible futures. The couple, who are engaged, are going to spend a week in Silverton observing the home and work lives of Sarah Peters, M.D., and Tim Peters, M.D., a married couple with two children, who are family practice physicians in Silverton.

North, who participated in the observership program last year, is looking forward to this year's experience. "Senna and I are both interested in being family doctors in rural communities and the observership program is a great opportunity to gain exposure to family practice," said North.

"Working with family physicians allows students to experience first-hand what it will be like to lead the life of a physician while specifically introducing them to the comprehensive style of medicine unique to family practice," said Kathy Chappelle, M.A., director of the Summer Observership Program.

The program provides an opportunity for medical students to observe medical care in a family physician's office and gives students a preview of the clinical aspects of medicine in the community.