What the heck are these guys doing?

Matthew, Weston and Nathan are first year medical students with a passion for community health and biking. Along with Daphne, a first year Veterinary student, the 4 companions will embark on a five-week trip through 1,000 miles of rural Oregon wonder. Along the way they will be working in conjunction with the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians to facilitate community discussions on improving local healthcare options. See our photo album

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Message

Today we had our second practice session at the OAFP headquarters. It was great to run through the presentation, but also to talk through some of the issues surrounding rural healthcare. I personally left with a much deeper understanding of what the problem is, and what some possible ways to start addressing it are.

In a nutshell, here's our message:

  • That Oregon’s rural communities don’t have enough primary care doctors, which jeopardizes our health as well as our economic stability.
  • That the OAFP hopes to encourage more graduating medical students to practice in rural areas by supporting bills at the state level to increase funding for loan repayment and forgiveness.
  • And that by providing more support to rural medical practices, we can help rural areas hold on to the doctors they have.

Additionally, we want to emphasize that bringing additional primary care physicians into a community boosts the local economy, brings down the cost of health care for everyone, and most importantly makes the community healthier overall.

Also, we wanted to give a big thank you to the Area Health Education Center at OHSU for loaning us a netbook and modem to use during the trip!

1 comment:

  1. I heard about your project from Rae. Great idea and it sounds like a lot of fun. I'll enjoy following your blog.

    I grew up in Halfway, so I'll make some route-specific suggestions for the end of your trip. Have you considered going from Baker to Joseph via Halfway and the Wallowa Mountain loop road rather than through Union and Medical Springs? It's actually a really nice bike route (I've done it) although there is some significant elevation to climb up and down. Let me know if you're interested and I can tell you more and put you in touch with people in the community and the clinic there.

    (I think you can get my email as a blog follower? If not, leave a message.)