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The next generation of OHSU graduates prepare to transition from classrooms to clinical settings

A new generation of health care professionals, from physicians, nurses and dentists to physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, are graduating from Oregon Health & Science University this month. A series of graduation ceremonies begin on Monday, June 6, and continue throughout the month of June. In all, 979 students will graduate from OHSU to begin careers in various health care fields.

“As health care reform takes shape across the country and in Oregon, and health care occupations continue to evolve, it's exciting to see our next class of graduates begin their professional careers," said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. "At OHSU we often refer to our mission of serving all 96,000 square miles of Oregon. Graduation is a tangible moment in fulfilling that mission as quite literally, our students head out to care for patients within Oregon's borders and beyond.”   

“The OHSU School of Medicine is particularly proud that many graduates choose to stay and work with patients here in Oregon,” said OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., M.Sc.B. “Based on historical data, over 50 percent of OHSU's M.D. graduating class will eventually practice in Oregon, and one-third of all practicing physicians in the state received all or part of their training at OHSU. “

Jinnell Lewis, a fourth-year medical student, will pursue her residency training at the OHSU Cascades East Family Medicine Residency Program in Klamath Falls, Ore., this year. “I’ve always wanted to practice in a rural area and have spent time in Bend, Woodburn and Burns as part of my medical student education,” she said. “Now I will train as I intend to practice – in an area where resources are more limited and the relative lack of access to specialists offers a much broader scope of care for the family practitioner.”

The graduating class of 2011 will set an important milestone for the OHSU School of Nursing. It is the first year that the nursing school will graduate students from its newest satellite campus in Monmouth, Ore. A total of 26 students will travel to Portland on June 6 to graduate alongside the Portland campus graduates.

“This year's graduation is very special for the OHSU School of Nursing as we are in the midst of observing the school's 100th anniversary,” said Dean Michael Bleich, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. “A century ago, we had seven initial graduates from the School of Nursing. With the addition of our Monmouth graduates, this year's total of OHSU nursing graduates is 303. These new nurses will join thousands of other graduates in filling Oregon's ever-expanding health care needs.”

The School of Dentistry celebrates its 112th commencement with the vision of moving its preclinical education for first- and second-year students to the South Waterfront, as well as replacing its building on Marquam Hill.

“I tell our dental graduates each June that they are the best class to have ever graduated from our school,” said Dean Jack Clinton, D.M.D., a 1964 alumnus of the University of Oregon Dental School (the precursor to OHSU School of Dentistry). “Because of our commitment to excellence and continuing program improvements, I will definitely be able to tell the Class of 2011 the same thing!”

The dental school Class of 2011 is the first to have completed at least two weeks of required community-based clinical experience.

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