Three Sisters Rural Track Program

Welcoming residents July 2024

 OHSU Family Medicine is partnered with St. Charles Health System for a graduate medical education program and rural track program (RTP) in Central Oregon. Three residents per class will spend their intern year in Portland, followed by two years at St. Charles Madras, a critical access hospital, with clinical experiences also at Mosaic Community Health - Madras Health Center, and IHS Warm Springs. The RTP Program Director, located in Central Oregon, will work closely with the program director of the Family Medicine program in Portland to ensure a cohesive learning experience for RTP residents.

Please reach out with any questions!

The Three Sisters Rural Track Residency Program stands by the dismantling of systemic racism. Our mission at its core is to promote health equity.  

  • “OHSU Three Sisters Residency Program aims to provide compassionate, culturally inclusive, full-spectrum training in Family Medicine dedicated to improving access to high-quality healthcare in rural and underserved communities.” 

Jefferson County, as of 2023, is ranked the second lowest for health outcomes in the state. It is apparent the community is currently experiencing significant barriers. Health outcomes are improved by access to high-quality healthcare. Establishing a residency program in Central Oregon is essential to improving health equity.   

Those who live in rural communities are predisposed to a higher mortality rate. This further exacerbates the effects of factors that contribute to existing disparities within race, ethnicity, social determinants, income level, and more. By increasing educational opportunities with diverse populations in a rural setting, we are dedicated to recruiting diverse learners, faculty, and staff who share our health equity goals. 

We strive for our clinical care rotations to align with our mission. Below are some of our experiences in settings with populations that experience structural racism, economic hardships, and other oppressive structures. 

  • Mosaic Madras Health Center: Federally Qualified Health Center 
  • OHSU Scappoose Primary Care Clinic: Rural Health Center 
  • St. Charles Family Care Clinic Prineville: Rural Health Center 
  • IHS Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center 
  • Family Medicine Inpatient Service: predominantly Spanish-speaking population served in Central Oregon 
  • Gender Affirming Care: All Continuity Clinics 
  • Rural Medicine in Madras, Warm Springs, and Prineville OR 

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. The first year will take place in Portland, where residents will be placed at one of four of OHSU's primary care clinics. The subsequent two years will be in Central Oregon at one of three continuity clinics; St. Charles Madras Family Care, Mosaic Medical Madras, and Indian Health Services (IHS) Warm Springs. The greater Madras community includes the Warm Springs Reservation which includes tribal members of Paiute, Warm Springs and Wasco descent. The Madras community population is comprised of about one third Native American, one third people of Latin American origin, and one third Caucasian/other. The curriculum, including didactics and intensives, will encompass teaching of the culture and heritage of the residents living in this diverse community.

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).

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. 

  • First GME and RTP in Central Oregon
  • 1-2 program

With a growing catchment area, there are ample opportunities to supplement unmet need within this rural community. The consortium brings together educational and clinical partnerships that will train family physicians to meet the needs of rural parts of the state and country.

Our mission: OHSU Three Sisters Residency Program aims to provide compassionate, culturally inclusive, full-spectrum training in Family Medicine dedicated to improving access to high-quality healthcare in rural and underserved communities.


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).

“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

A map of the Pacific Northwest with Portland and Madras, OR highlighted