Education at OHSU

Rural Health Programs

A backpacker stands on a rock, looking out over Klamath Lake.

Campus for Rural Health

Discover the benefits and challenges of rural health care while living and working alongside students from different OHSU programs. Learn about the history, culture and community needs in Klamath Falls, Northeast Oregon or the South Coast. OHSU staff and faculty from the Campus for Rural Health will support you every step of the way and help you focus your work on making a difference in the community. 

Participating programs:

If you’re interested in a rotation at a Campus for Rural Health location, contact your clinical provider. 

You get to do much more in a rural setting.

"You practice at your full scope — learning how to suture, applying splints and casts, perfrom I&Ds and ultrasounds. The clinics are so supportive of learners, and the providers care about what you want to learn and support you in that."

-Natoya Caruthers, PA-C
OHSU PA alumna
Regional Accosiate Dean, Klamath Falls

Program requirements

Clinical and non-clinical rotations

Choose from a variety of core and elective rotation courses in each region. Check with your school or program for a full list of rotation options.

Rural health equity course

In addition to rotations, you'll be enrolled in a rural health equity course (IPE 512/712). In this course, you’ll explore health care issues that affect rural communities. You'll read articles, join discussions, listen to guest speakers and work on community projects. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to provide care to rural patients, wherever you choose to practice.

Past community projects:

  • Pea Podcasts
  • School lunch project
  • Union County warming station
  • Chronic disease self-management program
  • Fentanyl and opioid response toolkit implementation
  • Chronic pain and depression management MAT program

Campus locations

Klamath Falls

 An overhead view of Klamath river with trees lining both sides.
The 220-mile Klamath river begins at Klamath lake. You can enjoy scenic hiking along the river, join a river rafting tour or fish year-round.

Five hours from Portland and 40 miles north of the California border, Klamath Falls is the largest city in Klamath county with a population of around 22,000 people. Once a busy logging town, the city has transformed into a popular cultural hub.  

While in Klamath Falls, you can visit museums, take a day trip to Crater Lake National Park, or borrow a bicycle, kayak or snowshoes and explore the outdoors, all made possible by a generous grant from the Oregon Medical Education Foundation. Find more things to do while you’re in Klamath Falls.

Resources: 

Northeast Oregon

Snow-capped Wallowa Mountains with a green field in the foreground.]
The Wallowa mountains are a travel destination of Northeast Oregon. You can explore the mountains by foot, horse or gondola.

A five-hour drive from Portland lies Northeast Oregon, home to three Campus for Rural Health cities: Enterprise, La Grande and Baker City. Each of these cities, with populations under 10,000, thrives thanks to local economies centered around agriculture, forestry, ranching and health care.  

Northeast Oregon offers year-round outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting and skiing. Borrow a bicycle, snowshoes or a kayak, made available thanks to a generous grant from Oregon Medical Education Foundation. After exploring outdoors, drive along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway for breathtaking views of mountains and canyons.

Resources: 

South coast

A view of Coos Bay showing the rocks near the shore and a few clouds in the sky.
Pacific Ocean beaches are just minutes from our South coast locations

Coos County is a four-hour drive from Portland and home to four Campus for Rural Health cities: Coos Bay, Coquille, Bandon and Myrtle Point. The local economy supports a population of just under 65,000 through forestry, tourism, fishing and agriculture. 

While you're here, explore the coastal mountain range and visit miles of sand dunes. You can also enjoy a round of golf at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort or borrow a bicycle, camping gear, kayak or paddleboard and explore nearby rivers and creeks. Equipment made available by a generous donation from the Judith Ann Mogan Foundation. After your outdoor adventures, unwind at an award-winning brewpub or explore the coastal art scene.

Resources: 

This experience was eye opening.

"Every day was different. There's constant hands-on experience and your mind is always going."

Maria "Mo" Silva, PA
Campus for Rural Health student, Northeast Oregon

Rural health opportunities for students

  • Oregon AHEC Scholars: If you’re starting your program at OHSU you can apply to AHEC Scholars, a two-year program that prepares you to work in underserved communities in rural and urban areas. AHEC Scholars is part of the Primary Care Loan Forgiveness program, which covers tuition and fees in exchange for committing to work in an underserved community after graduation. 
  • Interprofessional Care Access Network (I-CAN): School of Dentistry, School of Medicine and School of Nursing students can take part in the I-CAN program and work together with other students to help people in underserved communities access health care.  
  • On Track OHSU!: OHSU’s On Track program offers middle and high school students in Klamath Falls a pathway to pursue a medical career. 
  • Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI): Students from Oregon entering specific clinical degree programs can apply for the SHOI scholarship, which covers tuition and fees for the length of their program. 
  • Knight Scholars: Klamath Falls high school students can apply to the Knight Scholars program to explore a career in cancer research, treatment and prevention through a summer internship. 
  • Oregon Office of Rural Health: Connect with the Oregon Office for Rural Health for career planning support, loan forgiveness and repayment options and access to rural job postings.

Contact us

Housing

Housing is coordinated for you during your rural rotations. Learn about housing while on rotation

Watch a video about housing in Coos Bay

Become a Campus for Rural Health preceptor

Build leadership skills by mentoring students as a preceptor in one of our rural regions. You'll have access to workshops, online courses and clinical teaching resources.

Learn about the benefits of becoming a preceptor.