Medical Students Get an Up Close Look at the Lives and Work of Family Physicians

08/20/01    Portland, Ore.

Twenty-six Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine students will get an up-close look at the lives and work of family physicians throughout the state. They are part of the 15th annual Summer Observership program, which sends a group of entering medical student into the real world of family medicine, often in rural communities.

From August 20 through 26, students partner with community family physicians to observe and participate in the day-to-day realities of clinical practice as well as the lives of a family physicians in their communities.

"Although medical students obviously gain a great deal from the Summer Observership, another benefit of the program is that it may attract future physicians to underserved communities. Students are imprinted very early in their careers with a vision of life and medicine with which they can measure their future experiences. This enables them to make more informed decisions about the kind of doctors they wish to be and where they want to practice. Although they don't all end up in rural Oregon, those that do usually cite the observership as a key factor in their decision to be family physicians and/or other practitioners," said Kathy Chappelle, M.A., director of the Summer Observership program.