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OHSU Will Graduate New Physicians, Nurses, Dentists and Pharmacists Tonight

School of Medicine will confer 121 medical degrees – the largest class in OHSU history

Oregon Health & Science University will award 887 degrees and certificates at its commencement Thursday evening, June 4, in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

As Oregon's only academic health center, OHSU educates healthcare and science professionals in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy. The School of Pharmacy is a joint program with Oregon State University.

The OHSU School of Medicine is graduating the largest class in the school's history, with 121 medical degrees to be conferred. About 43 percent of the 2009 graduating class have selected primary care specialties for their residency training – significantly higher than national trends – reflecting OHSU's national prominence in primary care education.  

The School of Medicine graduate studies program will confer 26 doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences and another six doctoral degrees as dual degrees with a medical degree. The school will confer 37 Master of Physician Assistant Studies degrees, 79 master's degrees (and an additional eight Master of Public Health degrees as dual degrees with a medical degree). Within the graduate studies program, the number of masters degrees in biomedical informatics and clinical research doubled, mirroring the increasing importance of these disciplines in the health care environment.

The School of Dentistry will confer 74 Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees and 19 advanced degrees. The School of Nursing will confer 225 Bachelor of Science Nursing degrees and 80 advanced degrees. Eighty-five students will receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.

"It's a privilege to have the opportunity to educate these caring and intelligent students and help them enter the healthcare field," said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. "We need to educate many more like them so Oregonians will have access to healthcare professionals who can help them live longer and healthier lives."

Bastian "Bas" Vanderzalm, president of Medical Teams International, will give the commencement address. Vanderzalm has spent his professional career in service to people in need and has helped to organize humanitarian response to all of the major disasters that have occurred in the United States and overseas since 1982. As president and chief executive officer for Medical Teams International, Vanerzalm oversees 90 staff members and thousands of volunteers who provide aid locally and throughout the world.

About OHSU                          

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university, and Oregon's only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.

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