The Department of Surgery is committed to building partnerships throughout Oregon, nationally and abroad. Our clinics and providers bring health care and education into rural areas of the state and our researchers make new discoveries that lead to advancements in medicine. Yet, it is primarily through the relationships we establish and maintain that we are able to serve the community population and improve health for all.
Rural Surgery Outreach
The non-urban manpower shortage in surgery is a constant challenge in Oregon. The Division of General Surgery has been active in locum tenens work, especially under the leadership of Bruce Ham, M.D., trauma surgeon. The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery has a number of outreach clinics in the Longview and The Dalles areas. In the spring of 2012, the Bariatric Surgery Program opened a monthly clinic at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, which is staffed by nurse practitioners.
Rural surgeons and administrators confirmed the findings of limited resources, less time for rest, and personal and professional development, including continuing medical education. For administrators, the high cost of maintaining surgical coverage after the temporary or permanent loss of a surgeon, either due to illness, or personal or family issues and the relocation to another area can significantly impact the financial stability and long term viability of the local hospital. The primary goal for the department is to help maintain surgical services in smaller rural hospitals while strengthening relationships throughout the state with surgeons and hospitals.