ATSU Student Newsletter January 2019
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January 2019


Student and Alumni Newsletter


Welcome Class of 2021!

   From back left: Naveed Khosraviani, Jordan Burr, Amir El-Khalili, Dylan Kassenbrock, Rebecca Teich-McGoldrick  
   From front left: Brett Ellison, Anna Mathew, Jenny Wu, Charis Darnall, Sanjhavi Agarwal  

Recently we had two students return from rotating in Alaska with great stories to share! Rachel Chisausky in Ninilchik and Matthew West in Seward. Read below to learn about their experiences:
 A Student Perspective: Rotating in Ninilchik, AK 

Rachel Chisausky, OMSIII, Class of 2020

I recently returned from a third year Family Medicine rotation in Ninilchik, Alaska, and feel so grateful to have had the experience there! Working with Dr. Spencer, I had the chance to see many different sides of medicine. The clinic did not have a huge patient volume, which meant I really got to spend time with patients and follow through all the steps of their care. A favorite day was taking care of a very spunky older fisherman. He was having some shortness of breath, and after taking a history and discussing a plan with my preceptor, I got to help the lab technician draw blood, measure his spirometry, and do a chest X-ray, most of which my preceptor and I interpreted right there. During the process, I also got to listen to some fascinating stories about life on the boats, and he taught me much about the art of medicine.


Dr. Spencer is also doing some amazing work in the addiction medicine field. I was able to attend a buprenorphine waiver training with her, and evaluate many of her patients who were taking Suboxone. She also recently started a syringe access program, and I got to spend a couple nights volunteering and learning the ins and outs of starting a harm reduction program. It was incredibly inspiring to see how grateful clients were; some drove a couple hours to get clean, safe supplies, showing how great a need there still is.


I also spent some time at the nearest hospital, including a few ER shifts. Not only did I see some really interesting cases during my time in Alaska, I developed a much better understanding of life as a ‘small town doctor,’ seeing how much breadth a PCP can have in their practice, and how to maintain boundaries when you know all your patients outside clinic! And of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the mountains and moose of Alaska! I learned so much on the rotation, and am very glad I got the chance to spend time in Ninilchik

A Student Perspective: Rotating in Seward, AK
Matthew West, OMSIII, Class of 2020



After being accepted to ATSU SOMA, we are all faced with the epic decision of which community campus to attend. I never understood what attracted me to Portland, but my best guess was the sense of adventure that comes with traveling to different cities for clinical rotations. Early in my third year I got the opportunity to travel 1,500 miles to Seward, Alaska for my second family medicine rotation. I soon realized that four weeks in rural Alaska was definitely the adventure I was looking for!

Two hours South of Anchorage lies this tiny town nestled in Resurrection Bay, a fjord on the Kenai Peninsula. Although the permanent population is less than 3,000 people, summer in Seward is very busy with tourists stopping by on Alaskan cruises. This creates a hotspot destination that's perfect for exploring the natural beauty of Alaska. Throughout my four weeks in Seward, I saw a handful of what this vigorous coastal town can offer. I went kayaking on Resurrection Bay, witnessed environmental protection efforts at the SeaLife Center, went whale watching in Kenai Fjords National Park, explored the remote Fox Island, went zip lining, hiked to the Harding Icefield, explored Exit Glacier, and even climbed the historic Mount Marathon.

These adventures were all sandwiched between fantastic rural family medicine experiences. Situated at the bottom of Mount Marathon, Seward Community Health Center exists as a conjoined building with an ED, Providence Seward Medical Center. Everyone from the providers to the medical assistants and even the radiology technicians were thrilled to have a medical student, and jumped at the opportunity to teach. Weekdays were spent seeing patients in the CHC clinic, while nights and weekends were available for me to see patients in the ED. This dichotomy proved an unforgettable experience. During the day I would do things like manage diabetes and perform Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy alongside my preceptor. When it came to the weekends however, I got to do things like help remove embedded fishhooks and suture lacerations. 

In my opinion, there's no better way to see the unique complications and rewards that come with rural medicine than to experience it firsthand. The fact that Seward only had a volunteer ambulance corps for emergency transport made for significant challenges alone. With the ED being limited in resources and staffing, often times the only available choice for severely ill patients was helicopter transport to Anchorage. However, even with all the hurdles the providers faced, they never lost the motivation to provide optimum patient care. Overall, I would describe my time in Seward as the educational adventure of a lifetime.


       Career & Residency Spotlights           

There are many residencies and Community Health Center career opportunities in our four-state (WA, AK, OR, ID) region where you can hone and practice your craft. These jobs and their pathways offer strong benefits packages, high job satisfaction, and the opportunity to make a difference in communities who need and appreciate your care. And all surrounded by the scenic countryside and seascapes, outdoors and cultural activities, and history and diversity characteristic of the American Northwest. These programs and job opportunities have a strong preference for ATSU graduates due to your commitment to holistic care, cultural sensitivity, and the social justice tenets of the health center movement. The authors of the opportunities listed are looking forward to reading your applications!


Practice Family Medicine in Beautiful Central Oregon


Author: Brad Guthrie



La Pine Community Health Center is located in beautiful Central Oregon and serves the large tri-county area of Deschutes, Klamath and Lake Counties, containing about 25,000 people. LCHC is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary care services to uninsured, under-insured, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured patients.

Family Medicine Job Specifics:

·         Base salary plus full benefits

·         100% outpatient - consultative phone call only 1:9

·         Oregon state income tax credit of $5,000

·         National loan repayment - $25,000 a year plus NHSC

·         Sign-on of $20,000 and $10,000 in relocation assistance

·         Beautiful clinic, team work with other great physicians and midlevels is valued:

          ATSU-SOMA grads are strongly encouraged to apply.


La Pine, population of over 1,800, is located about 15 miles south of Sunriver and 30 miles south of Bend, Oregon. Often considered the outdoor playground of the West, this beautiful location has something for every person. The area is world-famous for its outdoor pursuits and pristine beauty. Home to Mt. Bachelor and the Deschutes River and over 15 golf courses, Central Oregon has a lot to offer. From winter activities to summer activities Central Oregon always has an event to attend. Whether you are visiting Oregon’s first urban whitewater park on the Deschutes River or miles of hiking and biking trails through town, Bend is famous for world-class recreation. Combine that with a richly diverse cultural landscape, award-winning dining and boutique shopping, and you might never want to leave. Sun-drenched days and cool nights, along with endless options for plenty of play time.

·         Golfing, fishing, biking, rafting, and snowboarding

·         Mt. Bachelor just a drive away

·         Endless winter and summer activities

·         Great activities and festivals for the family and kids

Other job perks

100% Outpatient

4-Day Work Week

32 Patient Contact hours with 8 hours for Admin

National Loan Repayment

$25,000 a year plus National Health Service Corps

More information here.

Contact: Brad Guthrie, HR; (541) 536-3435, x1716

Apply here


Tribal Health Physician Opportunity

Author: Brad Clark

Head North to Alaska…


Ideal Candidate:

•           Clinical skill, emotional intelligence, team players for a D.O.-friendly holistic primary care setting

•          Passion to serve & ability to embrace our tribal health mission

•           Sense of Adventure: providers fly quarterly to small rural Alaska villages

•           Previous Peace Corps, Medical Missions or Cross-Cultural healthcare experience



•            Beautiful new award winning tribal health super clinic

•            Come serve in a busy mission driven supportive team setting with opportunity for OMT

•            Family-friendly university community

•            Live just 2 hours from Denali National Park

•            Cross-cultural tribal and rural health with population health goals

•            Exciting time of growth and expansion

•            Opportunities for mentoring, collaboration and advancement

•            Exceptional benefits include 30 days PTO, additional 11 paid holidays & 7% employer contributions

•            80 hours and $5K annual CME

•            Salary $215K to $255K DOE

•            Signing bonus, relocation and options for student loan repayment




Tanana Chiefs Conference is now hiring for Family Medicine physicians at Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center--an award winning cultural super clinic located in Fairbanks--Interior Alaska's urban hub. The Fairbanks based clinic is itself a hub that serves the larger mission of supporting health and wellness to Indian Health Service beneficiaries--Alaska Natives and American Indians, as well as many non-beneficiaries, in 42 villages across the  river systems of the Interior (Yukon, Koyukuk, Kuskokwim, Tanana and more). This 235,000 square mile region is the home of the Tanana Chiefs Conference and is perfect for an adventurous candidate interested in flying to remote clinic locations quarterly by twin-engine aircraft.


TCC is looking for a Family Medicine Physician that has proven clinical, organizational & people skills and also embodies respect, humility and cultural sensitivity. We are not just looking for physicians—we are looking for physicians with both clinical skill and passion to share our vision and serve our families, friends and neighbors—physicians that want to become part of our communities and grow to love Alaska and its peoples. ATSU-SOMA grads are strongly encouraged to apply.


More information here

Contact: Brad Clark, Dir. Physician Recruitment;; (907) 452-8251 x3079

Apply Here





The Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program

Author: Mike Maples, MD


The Central Washington Family Medicine Residency sponsored by  Community Health of Central Washington is ACGME accredited with Osteopathic Recognition. The program considers ATSU-SOMA grads extremely competitive as their commitment to Family Medicine practice in Community Health Centers aligns with our residency’s vision and mission. The program provides full spectrum Family Medicine training including OB, integrated behavioral health, osteopathic manipulation medicine, procedural training and inpatient pediatric and adult medicine. Additionally, the CWFMR has recently added on an accredited pre-doctoral psychology internship, demonstrating its robust commitment to preparing all of its graduates for practice in integrated care settings.


The CWFM Residency at CHCW is now in its 26th year. It is an integral part of the medical communities in Yakima and Ellensburg, and a valued institution in the community.



* 10 interns per year for a three-year Family Medicine residency

* 2 out of 10 interns per year are matched to the rural satellite in Ellensburg

* Since 2014 40% of graduates practice in Eastern Washington, 60% practice in the US Northwest

* Since 2014 100% of graduates are in Family Medicine, 24% (3x the national average) practice OB

* Since 2014 80% of graduates practice in medically underserved communities


ATSU-SOMA grads are strongly encouraged to watch this video about the program and apply.

More information here 

Contact: Katina Rue, DO, Associate Program Director for Osteopathic Recognition;; 509-452-4946

Apply Here




Checking in With Former Rotations Coordinator Katie Siri

A Rural Ramble

In her free time, Katie likes to pretend to work wheat harvest by riding shotgun and reading a book while her fiancé runs the heavy machinery.


Morrow County Health District serves a county population of about 11,000 residents with 2 clinic locations, 1 community clinic, and the smallest critical access hospital in the state of Oregon. It is a wonderful place to live and work and our small towns, farming, and frontier areas across the United States are full of generous people who look out for one another and work collaboratively to benefit their neighborhoods.  A family medicine rotation in Morrow County is indeed full-spectrum and provides students the opportunity to see care at a number of different stages. You will have the opportunity to develop skills, and cultivate and expand your interests working with providers that have a variety of patient care expertise: family medicine, home health and hospice, emergency medicine, inpatient medicine, pediatrics, sports medicine, addiction treatment, and community health education.


We recently had the privilege of hosting Aaron Bennet, a third year medical student at ATSU. Aaron worked with a variety of providers and clinical staff for a well-rounded rotation experience. “Heppner was a fantastic place to do a rural family medicine rotation. Dr. Nichols and Dr. Hambleton are excellent educators and even better physicians. The ancillary staff at both the Pioneer Memorial Clinic and Pioneer Memorial Hospital are top notch as well. I was integrated into the team from day one and subsequently felt like I made an impact on the Heppner community.”


The rural health care landscape is ever-changing and we face incredible accessibility issues, a lack of provider workforce, an aging population, and a large percentage of underinsured citizens. We have big obstacles, but rural folks are the communal, the resilient, and the hard-working individuals who - against all odds - get things done. This attitude carries rural communities through the challenges they face.  


I have an important request for you, students - embrace your rural rotations. Ask questions, get involved and you will discover so much of what these communities have to offer. Aaron mentioned, “The people of Heppner are exceptionally nice and welcoming. I never felt like an outsider and was greeted everywhere I went. This is a city with down to earth people, which made it hard to leave.” The Morrow County Health District is just one opportunity ATSU-NWRPCA provides among many rural clerkships across the Pacific Northwest. For goodness sake, you can to go to Alaska! Whether you decide to practice in an urban or rural setting, a rural rotation will expand the way you see the healthcare landscape, and will provide you with an extraordinary educational experience you will not find at any other point in your medical career.


When you come and see us, we would love to have you for dinner, a hike in the Blue Mountains, a snowmobile ride or even a combine run!


Wishing you all the best, and Happy Holidays,

Katie Siri


Former Rotations Coordinator

Community Relations & Communications Manager, Morrow County Health District – Heppner, OR



Workforce Resources

View available Workforce educational resources and information on NWRPCA's website.



Registration is still open for the 2019 Western Forum in Portland, OR from February 20-22, 2019. 


Educational Opportunities

Attend one of NWRPCA's in-person workshops or online webinars. ATSU students qualify for significant discounts!

Become an NWRPCA Member

ATSU alumni are encouraged to become NWRPCA individual members. Membership is $50 for the year (regular individual rate is $300), and includes reduced registration rates to our conferences and trainings as well as inclusion in all of our networks and directories. Membership also provides fantastic networking opportunities with Northwest health centers.

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