MD Program | Colleges Learning Communities

About the Colleges

Welcome to the OHSU School of Medicine Colleges!

Since 2012, our College learning communities support cohorts of faculty and students with similar interests, enabling more intimate relationships to form even as our school continues to expand. While learning communities are becoming more common in medical schools across the country, OHSU’s is unique in that each College represents a specific practice setting, allowing students early exposure to different practice types. Students and faculty explore student affairs curricula through setting-specific activities, grouped into the six College pillars of Career Planning, Wellness, Academic Advising, Service Learning, Peer-to-Peer Advising, and College Spirit. College activities throughout the year may take the form of panels, small group discussions, off-campus field trips, or hands-on labs.

Each College’s student leaders and faculty create practice-specific, relevant programming designed to place a personalized spin on many common student concerns and experiences. I invite you to explore this site and find out more about our exciting program!

Mission statement

To inspire and support students in defining and reaching their full potential.

Underlying philosophy of the colleges program

The Colleges program began in 2012 with the core mission of engendering community among our students and faculty. We believe that students are more likely to find like-minded peers and mentors when grouped by anticipated practice setting. Dividing the Colleges this way also allows for the creative and individualized dissemination of traditional Student Affairs Content.

College curriculum goals and objectives

Our College learning communities support cohorts of faculty and students with similar interests, allowing more personal relationships to form even as our school continues to expand. While learning communities are becoming more common in medical schools across the country, OHSU’s is unique in that each College represents a specific practice setting, allowing students early exposure to different practice types. Students and faculty explore student affairs curricula through setting-specific activities, grouped into the six College pillars of Academic Advising, Career Planning, Wellness, Service Learning, Peer-to-Peer Advising, and College Spirit. College activities throughout the year may take the form of panels, small group discussions, off-campus field trips, or hands-on labs. Each College’s faculty and student create practice-specific, relevant programming designed to place a personalized spin on many common student concerns and experiences.

Goals

Academic advising is primarily addressed through the Portfolio Coaching program. Coaches will have access to all of the frequent formative and summative feedback each student receives in order to help identify areas of weakness and excellence and tailor a learning plan that takes these into account. The goal of the coaching program is to create students who are used to and incorporate feedback into their own professional improvement through frequent individual and coach-led peer sessions. While we expect students to become more adept at self-assessment over their UME training, we want students to understand there will always be a role for a performance coach in their careers.

Objectives

Students will self-assess and self-reflect on areas of potential academic and professional growth. Students and coaches together will create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to advance the student’s performance in academic (and at times, non-academic) areas. Students will share self-reflections with the group and support each other each other under the direction of the Coach.

Instructional methods

Regularly-scheduled individual meeting with the student’s coach where self-reflection, self-assessment, and current and new goals, are reviewed. Regularly-scheduled meetings with other students in the coach’s cohort, in which students reflect together on common and less-common challenges to developing physicians. 

Goals

In this Pillar, the Colleges will offer specific advice and activities as an adjunct to the general residency planning advice offered by the Dean’s Office. The Careers in Medicine Specialty Talks series program also falls into this pillar.

Objectives

Students will receive exposure to physicians, skills, and expected career paths and daily lives of the specialties represented in their College. Students will be able to identify potential advisors in their field of interest. Students will demonstrate improved insight about their own values, interests, and skills and use this information to appraise how those fit with different medical specialties. Students will report in writing what they learned in both specialty and personal exploration.

Instructional methods

Suggested: Subspecialty panels of physicians, post-Match panels with matched MS4s, small group discussions, research and administrative career exposure, and skills labs germane to the settings represented. Required: Medical Specialties Speed dating event, the Specialty Talks Panels, and an interview with a physician in a field of interest. 

Goals

The main goal of the Colleges program is to foster a sense of community among students and faculty, building bonds and supporting one another, despite their differences—which is necessary in order to learn, grow and show compassion students will need as physicians. The College Spirit Pillar is integral to this goal. Friendly inter-College competitions throughout the year allow for greater bonding and unification toward a common goal.

Objectives

Students will identify like-minded students in their class and in classes above and below them, as well as form relationships with others who may be of different minds than they are. Students will report a sense of community within the medical school.

Instructional methods

College social events and other events at the discretion of the College Leads.

Goals

In order to maintain the enthusiasm and success of the former MedNet vertical advising program, Peer-to-Peer Advising is a central core of our Colleges program. This program is integral in fostering relationships throughout the medical school population as well.

Objectives

Students will provide advice and peer support to other students. Students will report they received valuable advice and meaningful support from peers.

Instructional methods

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sessions (held on average 3 times per academic year) covering relevant discussion questions for each year of students. College Leads should include all classes of students in events whenever appropriate and possible. College leadership will comprise student leaders from each class.

Goals

To facilitate student learning through meaningful service activities, which encourage and enable faculty and students to positively impact the community while introducing and reinforcing knowledge and skill content learned in the College and medical curriculum. The Service Learning Pillar seeks to bring campus and community together in partnership to share resources, meet real community needs, and help to educate women and men to become the change agents of tomorrow. We have scheduled two sessions over the year in order for each College to brainstorm about a partner organization, conduct a needs assessment of the site, and perform the community service and a subsequent debrief of the experience.

Objectives

Students will interact with members of the community, will apply interdisciplinary knowledge to community issues, and will self-report increased community awareness and changed assumptions of community issues and populations.

Instructional methods

At least one service learning event per year culminating at a location/including a population of particular interest to that College. Self-reflection activity after the final event.

Goals

This pillar encourages wellness of all types—physical, professional, mental health, and financial wellness. We stress the importance of building good, sustainable wellness habits early in the student’s medical career. With its focus on professional wellness, the Leadership Series also falls into this Pillar.

Objectives

Students will report increased knowledge of physical wellness opportunities available to them, participate in physical wellness events, and relate and apply key leadership concepts to the student’s own leadership goals. Students will describe own personal leadership style and its strengths and weaknesses, state the mental health resources available for OHSU students, and create a personal debt management plan.

Instructional methods

Yearly financial planning session with OHSU Debt Management office, annual Wellness Fair, College Cup, Hills for Humanity 5K participation, and Leadership Series sessions. Additional experiences at the discretion of the Leads, such as museum visits, off-campus activities, etc are highly encouraged.

The Seven Colleges

Love working in the hospital with sick patients? Students in this College are anticipating hospital-based careers working with adults or children in acute care fields such as Anesthesiology, Critical Care, or Emergency Medicine.

This College comprises any students who are interested in practicing in any international or domestic urban underserved area. Do you like the idea of practicing medicine under austere conditions, abroad, or serving Portland’s underserved community? Then you might fit in well with this College.

This College consists of students interested in the predominantly hospital-based fields of Neurology, Pediatric and Adult Hospitalist Medicine, Pathology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, and Radiology. This College could be for you if you like the idea of solving challenging diagnostic dilemmas and providing general and specialty care to hospitalized adults or children.

For you, does being a doctor means longitudinally caring for patients, providing health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, and patient education for adults and/or children? Students in this College are anticipating practice in an urban or suburban area, doing primary care after being trained in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics. 

Like the idea of practicing medicine in a small or rural community? This College’s students are interested in practicing any field (primary care, surgery, specialty care, psychiatry) in a rural area. We focus on a broad range of medical skills and social awareness to put medicine in a different context than what you will often experience at our large institution. We also discuss financial, intellectual and support resources for those planning to practice as a solo doc or in a smaller group practice to serve their community of choice.

Do you like procedures? Operating? The idea of delivering babies? This College comprises students anticipating careers in General Surgery, Neurosurgery, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, or Urology. 

Adult cardiology? Pediatric nephrology? This College comprises students interested in adult AND pediatric medical subspecialties. Students interested in outpatient-based Informatics, Psychiatry, Neurology, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation may also find a home in this College.