Often, AMO visitors decide to participate in clinical experiences over their summer or winter breaks from school, extending their stay in the U.S. after. A clinical experience along the west coast is the perfect option for individuals looking to enhance their medical education with the possibility of enjoying time exploring local cuisine, hiking, or lounging on a sandy beach.

The West Coast, which is comprised of Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington, is as iconic as it is beautifully scenic. To understand what we mean by this, continue reading this post on the geography, climate, culture, and tourist spots that make the West Coast a favorite among U.S. visitors.


Geography and Climate

The climate of the west coast is characterized mainly as oceanic. Oceanic environments are characterized by cool summers and mild winters. Rainfall often occurs in these areas. This is true in the southernmost parts of the West Coast, with Oregon and Washington being though of as damp and rainy states. The further south you move along the west coast, the drier and warmer the climate, with temperatures peaking as you reach the California-Mexico border. Notable landmarks in this region include the Alaska Range, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, and the Mojave Desert.


Local Culture

As a region, the West Coast is strongly influenced by the people who live there, many of whose ancestors came from Asia and Latin America. As such, Asian and Latin American culture can be readily seen in the food, music, and art from this area. Famous culturally inspired cuisine in the area includes burritos, elote, shaved ice, poke, and Korean barbecue.

The proximity of the west coast to the ocean and the mountains makes activities like surfing, boogie boarding, windsurfing, river rafting, hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, and trail running perpetually popular.

The favorable weather allows for the outdoors and in-doors to come together seamlessly along the Westcoast. This inspires their restaurants, many of which offer open-air dining and local cuisine, which is heavy on seafood. It also encourages the architecture in the area, with many designs being considered eco-friendly or green.


Tourist Destinations


         Los Angeles, California

Known as the City of Angeles, Los Angeles is the most populated city in California and home to the U.S. entertainment industry, Los Angeles. Visitors to Los Angeles can enjoy one of the a841 museums, the most popular of which include the Natural History Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Those looking to enjoy the areas favorable weather may consider hiking to Point Dune or the Hollywood Sign. For those interested in more leisure activities, a walk around the Griffith Observatory or along the Santa Monica Pier may be preferred.

          For additional information on this West Coast city, click here.


San Francisco, California

Nestled in northern California, San Francisco has favorable weather and a unique geographic landscape, which creates the city’s iconic hilly streets and drives. Visitors to San Francisco should include a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge, and its accompanying park in their itinerary as the landscape is equal parts photogenic and walkable. A trip to Chinatown should also be included. For visitors looking to escape the rush of a crowded city, a weekend in Meir Woods or a day trip to Alcatraz Island should be considered.

For additional information on this west coast city, click here.


Seattle, Washington

If Seattle were not such a large city, you might have difficulty finding it. The area is surrounded by thick forests, lush with trees. If you don’t want to maintain a connection with nature during your trip, you might consider spending some time kayaking Lake Union or hiking Mount Si. For those looking to explore the urban area, Seattle has many museums, restaurants, and landmarks to explore. If you aren’t afraid of heights, a trip to the Space Needle is a must.


Portland, Oregon

As the most populated city in Oregon, Portland has a lot going on. The city is a hub for the environmentally friendly, artistically talented, and musically astute. Tourists can enjoy the cities quirks with a visit to Powell’s City of Books, Voodoo Doughnut, or the National Hat Museum.


West Coast Clinical Experiences

Currently, AMO offers a multitude of clinical experiences in the state of California. That doesn’t mean you can’t extend your trip and check out some of the spots outlined in this post, though. Click on the link below to view and apply to see all our West Coast clinical experiences!

Explore clinical experiences on the West Coast >