Rural Track

The Oregon Rural Scholars PA Program (ORSPAP) is an elective rural track program keeping in line with the mission of the OHSU PA Program to serve rural and underserved populations in Oregon.

The Mission of the OHSU Physician Assistant Program:

  • Prepare physician assistants for the practice of medicine and the delivery of team-based primary care services to diverse and rural populations, including the medically underserved;
  • Contribute to meeting the health workforce needs of Oregon;
  • Provide a model of excellence in physician assistant education and;
  • Advance the physician assistant profession in the state.

The rural track is specifically designed to prepare students who wish to practice medicine in rural areas, especially in Oregon, with the skills needed to practice in such a setting. 

During the second year of the program, rural track students in the ORSPAP will be assigned a rotation at one of OHSU’s campuses for rural health (Klamath Falls and Coos Bay) with a minimum of one more rotation in a rural setting. When at the OHSU campus for rural health site the students will be in the “Rural Community-Based Project” course where they develop, implement and evaluate a community-identified project that addresses a local health issue(s).  Students engage with community partners, OHSU faculty leaders, and students from other health professions.

In addition, students will also focus their Masters project (Community Outreach Project- COP) on rural health. The COP is an opportunity for each student to choose a health promotion/disease prevention topic of interest, design and develop a methodology and curriculum for an educational presentation, and implement the project to a group of targeted members in a rural location.

Students in the ORSPAP will have additional rural based lectures to attend when they return to campus each quarter. The PA Program will also support the ORSPAP students in attending the Rural Health Conference during their clinical year. The curriculum of the rural track does not extend the course of education for rural track students.

Students apply during their first year of the PA program. Applications are accepted November 15 to December 1.

The applications will be reviewed and students will be notified of their acceptance by Dec 20.