Three Sisters Rural Track Program

Snow-covered mountain peaks behind fall trees

Welcoming residents July 2024

OHSU Family Medicine is partnering with St. Charles Health System to launch the first graduate medical education program and rural track program in Central Oregon. Residents will spend their intern year in Portland, followed by two years at St. Charles Madras, a critical access hospital in Madras, OR.

First Match participation will be in 2024 — reach out with any questions in the meantime!

“Establishing a family medicine residency program in central Oregon can help address health care gaps that occur too often in rural areas. Knowing physicians often choose to stay and practice in the communities where they complete their residencies, this new program could also attract more skilled and compassionate health care providers to Central Oregon.”

Jinnell Lewis, M.D., Three Sisters Residency Director

The opportunities for residents training within the OHSU Three Sisters Rural Track Program will be centered within a rich family medicine community and a vibrant, culturally diverse, rural population in Central Oregon. With a growing catchment area, there are ample opportunities to supplement unmet need within this frontier community. The consortium brings together educational and clinical partnerships that will train family physicians to meet the needs of rural and frontier parts of the state and country.

St. Charles Health System is the only hospital system in the Central Oregon Tri-County Region with a massive geographic area consisting of Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. Currently, the system operates two critical access hospitals — one located in Madras (Jefferson County) and one in Prineville (Crook County).

  • First GME and RTP in Central Oregon
  • 1-2 program
  • 6 residents per class

The Three Sisters Rural Track Program has its own Program Director based in Madras, who will oversee the administration of the RTP and coordinate the resident activities at OHSU with the assistance of Associate Residency Directors and Core Faculty in Portland and Central Oregon. The RTP Program Director will work closely with the program director of the Family Medicine program in Portland to ensure a cohesive learning experience for RTP residents.

Our mission: To create a collaborative and holistic training environment in family medicine that will allow physicians to serve their patients in rural and frontier communities and help transform the delivery of care.

Aims: The Three Sisters Family Medicine Residency aims to train excellent family physicians who will deliver culturally appropriate and broad spectrum care to rural and frontier communities. Residents will be equipped to succeed within a changing healthcare environment through development of skills related to leadership in the healthcare system.

  • Interviews for the 2023-2024 recruitment cycle will be in accordance with OHSU GME guidance.
  • Only ERAS Applications will be accepted.
  • All candidates will be selected through the NRMP match.
  • Observerships and research experience will not be considered for clinical experience requirements.
  • Applicant must be legally able to work in the U.S., or eligible to obtain work authorization. Common visa types at OHSU are the F1, H1B, and J1 visas.


Wellness is a priority for our program. In addition to the four “wellness” half days given to our residents per year, we also have wellness conferences, a resident wellness retreat, mentorship programs and our wellness resident committee.

Resident wellness is also programmed into our rotation schedules. Certain rotations include unscheduled time during business hours on weekdays. This time can be used for personal wellness or administrative time.

OHSU also offers access to the Resident and Faculty Wellness Center. Here OHSU provides an array of services to increase clinician wellness and reduce burnout and distress. These services include confidential counseling and coaching services for both professional and personal struggles. The Wellness Center offers early morning and evening hours to accommodate resident schedules. In addition, there is a wellness help line that is available 24 hours a day.


See the OHSU GME page for Employment and Benefits information, including salary, vacation and sick leave, retirement plans, transportation, and insurance. OHSU residents and fellows are part of House Officers United, represented by AFSCME.

  • Educational resources: OHSU has a robust library with online and print materials.
  • Food: In addition to meals provided by GME funds, lunch is provided at some noon conferences, and snacks are supplied in the resident lounge.
  • Oregon medical license fees are paid for by the Department of Pediatrics. 
  • Employee discounts for OHSU are available at various local businesses (including periodic access to Nike and Columbia employee stores).

Learn more about life in rural Oregon here: