Nick West named 2018 Pisacano Scholar

Fourth-year M.D. student is the first OHSU student selected as a Pisacano Scholar since the start of the program in 1993

Sept. 11, 2018

The Pisacano scholarships, up to $28,000 each, are awarded to students attending U.S. medical schools who demonstrate a strong commitment to the specialty of family medicine. In addition, each applicant must show demonstrable leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, identifiable character and integrity and a noteworthy level of community service. Since 1993, the Pisacano Leadership Foundation has selected 146 outstanding medical students from 2,700 applicants representing more than 140 medical schools.

Nick West has been selected as one of the 2018 scholars, based on his accomplishments in his undergraduate career at Oregon State University as well as his leadership at OHSU.

West developed the Family Medicine Interest Group Mentorship Program, which connects first-year medical students interested in family medicine with OHSU Family Medicine residents. He is a founding member of the Dean's Student Rural Advisory Group, a program to help guide OHSU policy and programs for rural medical education. Through the program, he and two fellow classmates created the Rural Medicine Discovery Program, allowing students to visit a rural community. The visit includes dinner with hospital administrators, a clinical experience with a rural doctor, time to mentor high school students, and an afternoon to experience the area. Since 2016 West has been involved with a quality improvement project at a family medicine clinic, incorporating new chlamydia screening methods.

West was selected for a position in the Rural Scholars Program and is the only member of his class selected to participate in the Oregon FIRST program. In this program students spend their fourth year of medical school in Klamath Falls, Ore., training with the Cascades East Family Medicine Residents.

West grew up in rural Oregon and has worked as a ranch hand on his family's ranch since childhood. He plans to return to northeast Oregon to practice full-scope family medicine and continue helping with day-to-day operations on the family ranch. Educational and personal experience in rural Oregon has demonstrated the value and robust care family doctors provide, and West is excited to one day make his own contribution.