Chairman's Message

Welcome to Family Medicine at OHSU

John Saultz, MD, Professor and Chair

John W. Saultz, MDOur Department sponsors a full range of clinical and academic programs in the discipline of family medicine at OHSU, the state's only academic health center.  Our website includes detailed information about these programs.


The Family Medicine Faculty includes 85 primary faculty members who are located in Portland or in our rural community residency program in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  In addition, we have over three hundred and fifty volunteer faculty located in communities throughout our state.  U.S. News & World Report has ranked our Department in the top five academic family medicine departments in America each year for the past decade.

Clinical Care

The Department currently sponsors four family health centers in the Portland Metro area.  This clinic network provides patient care to approximately 150,000 outpatient visits per year and more than 2,300 hospital admissions to our four family medicine hospital services at OHSU Hospital.  We practice a comprehensive scope of clinical family medicine including maternity care and inpatient care for both adults and children.  We have an active and growing sports medicine program and three family medicine faculty members have C-section privileges at our University Hospital.

Family Medicine Residencies

The Department has sponsored a family medicine residency based at University Hospital in Portland since 1971.  This program now has 12 positions in each of the three years of training and attracts a large and diverse pool of applicants from across the United States.  Two major foci of training for the residency are comprehensive clinical skills and advanced medical leadership.  The program requires two months of training in a frontier rural community in eastern Oregon for all of its residents.  Beginning in 2012, this residency was expanded to a four-year curriculum focused on full-service family medicine training in patient-centered medical homes.

The Department also sponsors a combined Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine Residency in partnership with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at OHSU.  There are two positions in each of the four years of this program, which leads to eligibility for board certification in both family medicine and preventive medicine as well as the course work necessary for the Master of Public Health degree.  

The Department sponsors an eight resident per year residency in Klamath Falls, Oregon, with a principle focus on producing rural and small town family physicians.  Over 80% of the graduates of this program enter practice in towns with populations less than 20,000 people.

Post-Residency Training

The Department sponsors a two-year family medicine research fellowship with two fellowships awarded each year. We also have post residency fellowships in faculty development, clinical leadership, and sports medicine.

Medical School Curriculum

The Family Medicine Department is directly involved with nearly twenty percent of the medical school curriculum at OHSU.  This includes required curriculum time in all four years of the medical school, beginning with a Summer Observership in the summer before the first year.  We are actively involved in a longitudinal Principles of Clinical Medicine course that includes clinical experience for students throughout the preclinical years of training.  In the third year of the medical school curriculum, OHSU has a five-week family medicine clerkship and a separate five-week rural community health clerkship in which students complete training in small towns or rural communities throughout our state.  In the fourth year we sponsor a sub-internship program as well as visiting medical student rotations for students from other universities. Most years, OHSU ranks in the top 10 medical schools nationally in the percent of its graduates entering family medicine residencies.

Student Interest Group

The Family Medicine Student Interest Group includes approximately half of the 120 medical students in each class.  The Student Interest Group has won national awards from the American Academy of Family Physicians and has proven to be an important venue for stimulating student interest in careers in family medicine. Over the past three years, fifteen percent of our graduating students have entered family medicine residencies.

Research and Scholarship

Research is a major part of our departmental mission. We currently have 14 faculty members conducting extramurally funded research. In general, this work falls into four core programs. We have an endowed professor of evidence-based family medicine and are actively involved in systematic evidence reviews and comparative effectiveness research. We are also actively involved in educational research and served as the evaluation team for the national P4 residency curriculum innovation project. Several of our faculty members conduct health policy and health services research and we have strong partnerships with the Oregon State Office of Health Plan Policy and Research. Finally, we have a growing research program in primary care practice transformation.

Our faculty have been very involved in writing peer reviewed papers and textbooks. Our website includes a complete faculty bibliography for further information about our academic interests, publications, and presentations. We also work with the Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network (ORPRN), the Oregon Center for Translational Science, and the Oregon Cancer Center; and have had investigators in leadership roles in each of these centers. 

Outreach and Distance Education Programs

Finally, Oregon health & Science University is the state's only academic health center.  As a result, our University views the entire state of Oregon as its campus and our departmental programs, including outreach and distance education programs, affect every community in our state.  I hope you will take the time to explore our website for further information about the programs that we sponsor and the faculty and staff who make these programs work.  Please feel free to contact us if we can provide further information about family medicine in Oregon.