Electives for IM Residents

Lab member working in fume hood

Internal medicine residents at OHSU are assigned an elective block during their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years of training.  Residents may choose to fill this time with either local or national clinical or research experiences, or with an international clinical experience in Botswana. 

  • PGY-2 residents receive a total of 5 elective weeks broken apart into a 2-week block and a 3-week block
  • PGY-3 residents receive a total of 3 elective weeks scheduled in one 3-week block
    • Residents participating in the Botswana rotation receive a total of 4 elective weeks

On-Campus Opportunities

On-campus elective opportunities range from general internal medicine and sub-specialty consult experiences to rotations in other OHSU or affiliate departments (such as radiology or orthopedics).  Many residents who are pursuing sub-specialty training will decide to use their elective month to conduct research. Faculty from each Medicine sub-specialty are available for current residents to serve as research contacts and mentors. Residents have been extremely successful in their research endeavors, often presenting at national meetings.

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Off-Campus Opportunities

Off-campus opportunities include a wide variety of options. Some residents choose to take advantage of OHSU IM residency alumni, and travel to other states to complete clinical electives in unique health care environments such as the Indian Health Service. Local off-campus opportunities are also available at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and others with barriers to receiving care. Additionally, a number of residents have used elective time for an international experience to hone clinical skills and develop language skills, as well as to lay groundwork for research opportunities. For those wanting an international experience, we currently partner with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to offer a unique and challenging elective in Botswana.


Residents have an opportunity to participate in research activities during their elective rotations and at other times during their training.  Residents may choose to work with faculty at OHSU or the Portland VA Medical Center or go off-campus (local and abroad).

Over the years, residents have completed projects that led to abstract presentations at national society meetings and subsequent publications. In the past several years, residents have presented papers at the AFCR, the International AIDS meeting, the American Gastroenterology Association, American Society of Microbiology (ICCAC) and the American College of Physicians national meetings and have won national abstract competitions sponsored by the American College of Physicians.