Four Days in November: Rural Listening Tour, Part Two

January 16, 2014

School continues outreach for M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative with second rural Listening Tour


Over four days in November, OHSU School of Medicine leaders completed the second rural "Listening Tour" associated with the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative.

Starting in Astoria, Dean Mark Richardson and Senior Associate Dean for Education George Mejicano traveled a 735-mile path with stops in Tillamook, Lincoln City, Florence, Reedsport, Bandon, Coos Bay, Grants Pass and Roseburg. The deans were joined by Communications Director Kathleen McFall and Administrative Manager Cathy Villagomez.

Along the way, the medical school team participated in meetings with more than 60 educational partners, clinicians, hospital administrators, tribal leaders, community and health care advocates, media and government officials. The OHSU group also toured rural clinic sites and student housing. At most stops, a mix of clinicians and administrators were present to participate in the discussions.

"Our fall trip to rural Oregon was a definite learning experience. We were impressed by the high level of community involvement as well as the quality of care being delivered by our rural partners. We're so grateful for their contribution to our educational mission," said Dr. Mejicano.

As with the first listening tour, the goal was to learn about perspectives on the future of medical education. The group focused again on the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative's core question: What will the physician practicing 20 or 30 years in the future need to know?

Broadly, the goal of the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative is to prepare physicians to be leaders in a health care delivery and discovery environment that is rapidly changing – and likely to continue evolving under any future scenario.

The new curriculum will build on and expand the strengths of OHSU's current curriculum, enhance the current commitment to Oregon's rural and underserved communities, and ensure OHSU continues to educate and graduate the types of physicians most needed by Oregon.

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Across all sites and discussions, there was a strong sentiment that the role of OHSU in the rural community is vital. In all cases, the presence of medical students was identified as high value ("we love medical students, please keep sending them to us!"). Reasons cited ranged from workforce recruitment to strengthening relationships with OHSU faculty.

At each meeting, the groups discussed the Rural Principles associated with the curriculum transformation. Given OHSU's intent to increase the medical school class size gradually over the next several years to 160 students, it is expected that the number of students rotating through rural community clinics will rise. Hence, discussions focused particularly on how to accommodate this expansion and to develop partnerships with new preceptors or locations.

A compilation of commentary from throughout the Second Listening Tour is provided in the Trip Report Notes.

The new curriculum will be phased in over four years, starting in fall 2014. Any adaptations to clinical learning experiences, currently called clerkships, will begin in 2016. A focus of the trip was to discuss rural and community-based clerkships, to identify potential enhancements and expansions to this part of the curriculum.

Additional resources

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Pictured above

Top: Map of listening tour

Images directly below map:

Left: L-R: George Mejicano (OHSU), Skip Panter (Samaritan Health Services), Don Skinner (AHEC), Nancy Bell (Samaritan Health Services), Mark Richardson (OHSU), Lincoln City

Right: Breaking news on the day of our visit! Bandon Community Health Center receives FQHC designation - congratulations!

Images at end of article:

Top left: Bandon Community Health Center

Top right: L-R Cynthia Ackerman (Mid-Roque IPA), Cathy Villagomez (OHSU), Grants Pass

Bottom left: The medical staff at Mountainview Family Medicine Practice Clinic, Grants Pass

Bottom right: Lesley Ogden (Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital), George Mejicano (OHSU), Lincoln City