Degree, Dual Degree, and Other Opportunities

The School of Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education Program is designed to present an educational continuum that balances the scientific basis of medicine with early clinical experience; offers progressive patient care responsibilities for students; permits students to individualize their educational programs; and enhances a student’s independent learning and problem solving skills. The foundational sciences are presented in a multidisciplinary and integrated format, relating normal and abnormal structure and function, and integrating basic, clinical, and health systems sciences.  The clinical experience phase reinforces basic, clinical and health systems sciences integration, application of knowledge, advanced clinical and communication skills, and fosters development of lifelong learning and professional identity in becoming a physician.

The MD-PhD dual degree program provides rigorous training in both research and clinical medicine, providing a strong foundation for a career as a Physician-Scientist. The MD/PhD dual degree is a fully funded program, providing tuition, fees and stipend for all enrolled students. Funding is provided by the OHSU School of Medicine, endowed funds, and by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32GM109835 “Medical Scientist Training Program of Oregon Health & Science University.” PhD degree may be obtained in the SoM through graduate programs in Behavioral Neuroscience, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Molecular and Medical Genetics, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology.  Students may also pursue PhD degrees in the School of Public Health.

The dual degree program is designed for exceptional students with a strong basic science background. Successful applicants must show evidence of potential for outstanding performance in both the MD and PhD programs and of a firm commitment to a career in academic medicine. Prior research experience is expected. Funding, including tuition waivers and stipend support, is provided for students in this program.

The curriculum is designed to allow students to complete the program in seven- to eight- years, depending on the student’s progress in fulfilling the requirements for both the MD and PhD degrees. Upon joining the MD-PhD program, students are assigned a Scientific Oversight Committee that helps them formulate a schedule encompassing graduate and clinical courses, the PhD qualifying examination, and doctoral thesis research. Students begin with the Foundational years of the medical curriculum. Research rotations help students select a graduate program. In addition to the MD and PhD curriculum, MD/PhD students complete MD/PhD specific curriculum: a weekly MD/PhD journal club, a one term Professional Development Fundamentals course, a Longitudinal Clinical Clerkship (one half day every two weeks while in their PhD) which allows them to maintain and further develop their clinical skills and finally an eight week Clinical & Translational Research Experience exposing them to clinical trials work while in their final year of the MD program.  When their PhD is completed, they return to medical school to complete the clinical experience portion of the curriculum.   See the MD-PhD course schedule and yearly progression outlined later in this Handbook.

The Program Director for the MD-PhD dual degree program is Dr. David Jacoby (jacobyd@ohsu.edu). More information about the program can be found on our MD-PhD page.

The Oregon Health & Science University MD-MPH dual degree program is a five-year program jointly sponsored by the OHSU School of Medicine and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. It is specifically designed for students who demonstrate: (1) a potential for excellent performance in both the MD and the MPH curricula, and (2) a firm commitment to, and potential for, a career in which the population-based clinical practice model (a medicine-public health model) would be particularly useful, or in which the combined degree would prepare for enhanced career productivity in clinical and public health policy, programs, or research.

The dual degree program follows a quasi-integrated curriculum designed to allow selected students to complete the requirements for both the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees within five years. The curriculum is quasi-integrated in the sense that we expect MD-MPH students to be engaged in formal or informal public health-related study throughout their tenure at OHSU. Students in the MD-MPH dual degree program currently complete the MPH with an Epidemiology concentration to provide them with the quantitative tools to be successful in whatever area of clinical medicine and public health they choose. They will also have opportunities to pursue specific areas of public health interests in two ways: (a) through elective courses in other MPH tracks and (b) by engaging in Field Experience and a culminating research project to address these interests.

Students are accepted into the MD-MPH dual degree program only at the time of initial admission to the MD program. 

Successful applicants begin their studies at OHSU with a six-week Introductory Epidemiology course in the summer (July and early August), just prior to beginning medical school classes (three weeks of independent study and three weeks of in-class work). During the first academic year they take a weekly Public Health & Medicine Seminar course in the winter quarter and a Community Health course in the spring. As time permits, students also may take a limited number of public health courses of their choosing during the remainder of the first eighteen months of medical school and will be encouraged to take advantage of other public health and/or research opportunities as they arise throughout their first 18 months. Finally, MD-MPH students have a year of concentrated MPH study that typically begins in September of the third academic year through early August of the following year, during which they complete the remainder of the required MPH course work and explore opportunities for the MPH Field Experience. During the final two and a half years at OHSU, these students will complete their core and elective clinical experiences, apply for residency positions, and take 1-2 months to complete their capstone Field Experience and research project required for the MPH.

The Program Director for the MD-MPH dual degree program is Dr. John Stull (stullj@ohsu.edu).

Students admitted to the dual program must meet the requirements of both the MD degree as specified and the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery residency to remain in the program. Dismissal from either program for academic or non-academic reasons constitutes dismissal from all aspects of the dual degree six-year program. Two to three students will be admitted per year.

Requirements for the MD Degree

Students are expected to adhere to all policies, procedures, and expectations required for the medical degree as specified. The MD degree will be granted when the required courses, examinations, behaviors and electives are successfully completed.  See the OMFS curriculum structure diagram later in this Handbook.

The physician-scientist (P-S) experience sponsored by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research (OCTRI) and the Human Investigation Program (HIP) provides research training for medical students who are interested in research careers in clinical and translational science. Students accepted into this experience to participate in extended research activities while in medical school with a 5-month or year-out option.  The experience fulfills the research requirement of the scholarly project for medical students. Students in the year-out option must complete a Master of Clinical Research degree program during this 12-month period.

Objectives

  • Introduce medical students to the physician-scientist career path.
  • Train students in scientific inquiry and connect the importance of research  to clinical medicine.
  • Provide mentored research experience to explore translational medicine as a career choice.

Integration with YourMD curriculum:

  • All participants attend a physician-scientist seminar series and journal club during their preclinical years starting in winter of first year medical school.  Sessions scheduled on Mondays, 5:30 to 6:30 pm approximately twice a month.
  • Participants in the 5-month research option
    • Earn 18 medical school credits, 6 credits for scholarly project course work and 12 applied as non-clinical credits towards graduation.
    • Complete the MD program within the 4 year medical curriculum. 
    • Mey choose to schedule contiguous research block in second or third year of the MD program after completion of USMLE step 1.
  • Participants in the 1-year research option
    • Enroll in a year-long accelerated Master of Clinical Research degree program while taking a leave of absence (LOA) from the MD program.
    • Graduate with combined MD/MCR degree five years after entry into MD program.
    • May hoose to schedule the year out after core clinical rotations in second or third year of MD curriculum.

Information sessions scheduled each October. Application accepted November – January.

The program director for the Physician-Scientist program is Peter Mayinger, PhD, (mayinger@ohsu.edu ). More information can be found on the Physician-Scientist page. 

The Department of Pathology offers select students the opportunity to spend a year working in their Department under supervision, while gaining more experience in all areas of Pathology.  Students who pursue this opportunity beginning in 2018 will take a year Leave of Absence (LOA) from the MD program to complete these activities, typically starting in spring term of either the second or third year of medical school.

Objectives for the Pathology Year Experience include:

  • Learn a whole lot more about pathology and its clinical importance than you could ever get in the standard coursework in pathophysiology:  gain detailed knowledge about all of the important/common patterns of tissue injury and disease progression. This occurs mainly by detailed, systematic examination and description of real-time surgical pathology and autopsy cases, together with the pathologist.  Didactic conferences and unknown case reviews are also provided every week.
  • Play an essential role: you will assume key responsibilities as part of a team in this important medical specialty at OHSU.  During the year the student gains the technical skills and assumes the same growth of clinical roles as the first year resident in Pathology.
  • Learn a lot more about the clinical specialties: become familiar with the clinical problems and the corresponding pathology particular to each of the clinical specialties. Participate in specialty–related interdisciplinary patient care conferences.  Learn the vocabularies of the individual medical specialties. Inform your own career choice. 
  • Learn the roles of pathology in the clinical management of your future patients: understand what it takes to develop a productive relationship between the clinician and the pathologist. What are the factors that limit the clinical value of pathology? What are the growing roles of molecular, immunological, cytogenetic and other emerging technologies in establishing diagnosis, determining prognosis and tailoring treatment?
  • Pursue special interests: participate in research projects that are of interest to you; use elective time to investigate subspecialty interests in Pathology and/or to collaborate in programs outside of the department.
  • Develop friends and colleagues for life:  the interdependence of residents, fellows, faculty, and students to accomplish the goals of a clinical service helps to establish mutual trust, respect and friendships.
  • Learn the clinical rules of the road:  gain experience with the requirements of the physician and other care givers imposed by demands of professionalism, patient confidentiality and privacy.  Become proficient with the communications and information systems of the medical center.
  • Develop presentation, communication and literature research skills:  become more confident in medical conference preparation and presentation. Students, like all other trainees and faculty learn to write concise pathology reports, to communicate effectively and collegially with clinical services and to present cases and/or clinical case reviews periodically through the year. These processes will encourage the student to become more familiar with the primary literature and online print sources. The faculty and senior residents are available to help. 

Students interested in the Pathology Year Experience should contact Dr. Donald Houghton, Director (houghton@ohsu.edu) or Alexis Jaggers, Pathology Administrative Manager and Pathology Year Coordinator (jaggersa@ohsu.edu) for more information.

Background:

Cascade East Family Medicine Residency is dedicated to training Family Physicians for rural Oregon and other areas with geographic barriers to access. Significant disparities between urban and rural counties in healthcare resources and health outcomes remain, and rural areas of Oregon remain critically underserved. The Oregon FIRST aims to address the primary care workforce needs of our state by training of future family physicians for the comprehensive skillset required to be a physician in rural underserved Oregon. 

Mission: 

The Oregon FIRST is designed to intensify the final portion of undergraduate medical school education by maximizing educational time and offering opportunity for increased responsibility and practical experience leading to the intern year of Family Medicine residency. It intends to improve Residency Readiness for students entering rural family medicine training. 

This is accomplished through increase preparedness for practice including increasing clinical responsibility while still receiving close supervision and academic support received from ongoing education from both the medical school and the residency program. 

The program also aims to ease the transition from medical student to intern by establishing familiarity with expectations. Continuity of both professional role model and peer relationships helps foster a supportive social environment.