Our Vision

We intend to be the best rural family medicine program there is.  To do so we focus on improving health, preparing leaders, and revolutionizing healthcare.

Our Mission

We educate family physicians to deliver innovative, comprehensive healthcare and serve our communities as leaders in rural family medicine.

The How

Recognizing that anyone can whip around impressive sounding gerunds with abandon, we offer the following discussion on how we accomplish these goals.

  1. "Improving health." You will note that we are not just talking about offering "health-care" but more globally about improving health. Understanding that "health" encompasses, but is not limited to, what we do inside the clinic walls, our residency has begun educating our residents on the health impacts of social justice, culinary medicine, public health, population medicine and community development. We first assure that our residents are excellent, broad-spectrum practitioners of comprehensivist health-care, and then we push them to recognize and learn to address the things beyond central lines and beta blockers that affect the health of their patients.

  2. "Preparing leaders." We understand that physicians often have an outsized influence in their communities, and consider it a weighty responsibility. In order to prepare our residents for roles in leadership we require that they serve in a leadership position as resident representative to at least one hospital committee. We also heavily encourage resident innovation and greatly support their efforts: our Point of Care Ultrasound curricula, the hospital's active commuting incentive program, our culinary medicine curricula, and this very website update were all resident led projects. Finally, if interested in community leadership we make time for it - we have some residents serving on local health committees or quality improvement projects and we make sure that whenever possible they have the time to attend.

  3. "Revolutionizing Healthcare." We take both a short term and long term approach to this goal. First, we train our residents in Point of Care Ultrasound, culinary medicine, motivational interviewing, principles of social justice and community development, and the largest breadth of procedures available to family medicine physicians. In doing so we create a workforce that is capable of pushing the envelope of the scope of family medicine - not only can we do everything from hospital to ER, OB to clinic, but we can also contribute knowledgeably to population medicine and the health of our community. Secondly, by training up leaders we are hoping to push family medicine at large towards the ideal of the truly comprehensive physician - one who can deliver bar-none health-care as well as transform her community to make "healthy" the norm.

The Details

Cascades East was the second family medicine residency to be developed in Oregon and accepted its first residents in July 1994. Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine administers and sponsors the program. It is a collaboration of OHSU and Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls.  The Oregon Area Health Education Center program (AHEC) was involved in starting the program.

The purpose of the Oregon AHEC system is to improve health access and health status for rural, minority and under-served persons living in Oregon by developing training programs for health professionals in settings which serve those populations. Accordingly, our program involves a mutually beneficial educational relationship between the hospital, OHSU and rural health care providers.

The program currently has eight residents per year for a total of 24 residents. Both full-time family medicine faculty and community physicians from many specialties are committed to teaching in the program. While most rotations occur in Klamath Falls, 3-4 months out of the total three year residency are spent in other Oregon communities. This includes 3 weeks in Medford for NICU; 4 weeks in Portland for inpatient pediatrics; 4 weeks of ICU in either Bend or Klamath Falls; and 5 weeks in one of our four frontier communities (Burns, John Day, Enterprise, and Lakeview).

Our program trains residents to become family medicine physicians who provide comprehensive care to their patients. We have a strong emphasis on maternal-child health, procedural medicine, wilderness medicine and transformed primary care. Our busy inpatient medicine service offers ample experience in both hospital medicine and intensive care. Residents may choose between tracks that emphasize maternity care or hospital medicine. Our primary care center is a Patient-Centered Medical Home. We seek to attract and train residents who will be lifelong learners and teachers in medicine and improve the health of their communities.

The Program exceeded my expectations and prepared me very well for life and work outside of residency. I am so grateful for my time at Cascades East.

Betsy O'Halloran, MD '07