It's a Match!

OHSU Beats National Average for Medical Students Entering Family Medicine

04/03/18  Portland, Ore.

Medical students match into family medicine and pediatrics at OHSU 

This year, OHSU's School of Medicine (SOM) celebrated a 100 percent match of its fourth-year medical students. In the Department of Family Medicine, our Medical Student Education (MSE) team anxiously waited to hear how many of OHSU's students would pursue residencies in family medicine. By the end of the day on March 16, the results were in: 25 students had matched with family medicine programs –that is a whopping 17 percent of the SOM's graduating class. Compared with the national average of nine percent, that is an accomplishment to be proud of.

OHSU typically exceeds the national average of students pursuing family medicine after graduation, however this was the first class to graduate from the YOUR M.D. curriculum, which looks a little different from the curricula of the past. Among several modifications, the new curriculum meant that medical students generally spent less time with family medicine physicians.

This change meant that MSE had to adapt quickly in order to give medical students meaningful exposure to the family medicine specialty. And adapt they did;the team introduced four strategies for maintaining visibility among students:

  1. The team sent out student interest forms to all medical students and paired them in clinics that best met their needs and goals. For example, if a student was particularly interested in obstetrics and gynecology, they were placed in a family medicine clinic that had OB care. Alternatively if a student was interested in orthopedics, they learned in a clinic with a sports medicine component.
  2. The team expanded elective opportunities in sports medicine, Native American health, inpatient care, reproductive health, behavioral health, and integrative medicine. They also launched a focused clinical elective, geared toward students and their own professional interest.
  3. The Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) expanded its workshop and lecture opportunities. One myth-dispelling lecture was titled "Can I Afford to Go Into Primary Care?" and included guest physician and recruiter guest speakers.
  4. Family Medicine Chair, Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil. led a lecture on research opportunities in primary care to introduce the Department as a resource for students interested in medical research.

Thanks to the team's innovation, the number of students who chose family medicine this year did not just remain the same –it grew. Last year, 15 percent of OHSU's graduating class chose family medicine.

Why does this percentage matter? It is estimated that by 2035, The United States will be short 33,000 primary care physicians to care for its growing population. The work of the MSE team –to inspire the next generations of family medicine providers –is an important part of ensuring the future health of our communities.

Photo: Caption