Part of our ‘They Chose OHSU’ blog series. They could have gone anywhere, and chose OHSU. These accomplished scientists, promising students and leading clinicians were convinced they could do their best work at OHSU. Here, according to each of them, is why.
Joyce Hollander-Rodriguez, M.D., manages a family medicine practice and is the regional associate dean of the OHSU Campus for Rural Health and residency program director of the OHSU-Cascades East Family Medicine Residency Program in Klamath Falls. She works with her local coordinated care organization and is medical director of a local hospice and an active member of the hospital ethics committee. Hollander-Rodriguez and her husband live on a ranch with 40 sheep, five dogs, four cattle, three cats and two kids.
"I grew up in rural Oregon, not far from Eugene. Pleasant Hill has a Dairy Queen and a school, and that’s about it. When I was growing up, most of the community worked for the timber companies, before the bottom fell out.
“When I left Oregon to get my undergraduate degree at Stanford, I thought I wanted to do international work. But I realized I could make the most impact in rural Oregon, caring for people in small communities like the one in which I grew up. The OHSU School of Medicine was a natural choice because of its excellence in primary care. This led to a residency at the Cascades East Family Medicine Residency Program in Klamath Falls. My husband and I loved Klamath Falls so much we decided to stay put, and I became faculty.
“Through OHSU’s Campus for Rural Health, students from multiple professions are learning crucial skills for working in rural communities. They learn about the creativity that it takes to make do with scarce resources. They see providers who adapt their scope of practice to meet the needs of the community. Our residency graduates come away prepared for anything. Training in rural areas is very unique.
“I love teaching and practicing in a small community. A rural family physician learns how to take care of the whole person, the whole family, across the course of a lifetime.
“You feel the ripple effects of your work when in a small community. No one is anonymous. Your children go to school with your patients’ children. You run into your patients at the grocery store. It keeps everyone accountable and connected.”
"I love teaching and practicing in a small community. A rural family physician learns how to take care of the whole person, the whole family, across the course of a lifetime."