Four-Year Medical School
The expansion of medical education in the Spokane region is the next step in growing our regional health science industry. Imagine an almost $1 billion economic impact for Spokane County alone, and an overall impact of more than $2 billion and more than 13,000 jobs for the state of Washington in 20 years. That's what this project could do.
In 1972, the University of Washington formed the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI) program to assist with physician shortages in states without medical schools. In 2008, the WWAMI program expanded to Washington State University Spokane with 20 medical school students.
Spokane WWAMI program students complete their first, third and fourth year of medical studies at WSU Spokane. The second year of the WWAMI program is completed at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) in Seattle, Wash. Although our region is working to maintain the physicians needed to fill the demand for primary care doctors, a feasibility study coordinated by the University of Washington concluded that the number of medical school admissions should be expanded to 100-120 students per year. The increased admissions will improve access to quality health care in Spokane and underserved rural areas in Eastern and Central Washington.
There is a shortage of physicians in our state. This project will help solve that problem.
The Spokane community broke ground on the Biomedical and Health Sciences Building Phase I in early October 2011. Greater Spokane Incorporated and the business community will continue to advocate for the rest of the funding for the building and work to attract and recruit faculty to educate the larger number of students who will eventually study in Spokane.
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