SPOKANE – It is now possible for medical students to complete their entire training in Spokane.
The University of Washington School of Medicine’s Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) Program has provided first-year schooling at Spokane’s Washington State University Riverpoint campus for six years. But in the past, all students would go to the Seattle campus for their second year. Beginning this year, the Spokane campus is educating medical students in their second year.
“Medical education in Spokane has come up a notch,” WWAMI Spokane director Dr. Ken Roberts said. “You can now do your entire medical education here, which, I think, speaks volumes to the quality of education.”
Some University of Washington students are placed in Spokane when they apply to the school, but others picked the campus as their preference, including students from the west side of the state like Kevin Critchlow and Cyrus Haselman. They said Spokane appealed to them for several reasons, including the smaller class size.
“I’ll ask like five questions a day, which I would never do in a class of 100 people,” Critchlow said. “I know a lot of us maybe didn’t consider staying for a second year, but are definitely thinking we’re on that way now.”
“I wanted something a little different from Seattle, to downsize a bit and I heard good things about it,” said Haselman. “So far, even after just a month of school, I don’t think I would want to do it any other way.”
Professors at the WSU Riverpoint campus hope, over time, this helps populate the area with more locally-trained physicians.