SPOKANE, Wash. — The inaugural graduating class of Washington State University’s Elson Floyd College of Medicine learned where they will take part in a residency program on Friday.
It’s called ‘Match Day.’ The graduates will spend the next three to seven years taking part in a residency program.
WSU's College of Medicine has committed to improving health care quality and access in underserved and rural communities in Washington state. The inaugural graduating class is the first major step in making that goal a reality.
The university celebrated Match Day virtually, but some students held their own virtual reveal parties.
“It is such an honor and I feel so humbled to have been a part of it and it really is a historical moment for Washington State for Washington's medical history, and of course to honor the light Elson Floyd I know he would be absolutely ecstatic and so proud of everyone so it's really, really amazing to be a part of that,” WSU Medical student Charlotte Cronenweth said.
According to the university, 39% of WSU students who matched will remain in Washington for their residencies. The founding Dean of the College Dr. John Tomkowiak said this exceeded his expectations and he looks forward to seeing the number of medical student remaining in Washington grow.
Late WSU President Dr. Elson Floyd believed there was a shortage of rural doctors, and suggested the state back the creation of a new Spokane medical school.
There was heavy resistance. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle told Floyd there was little appetite for it, especially with the University of Washington already filling a need.
Floyd persevered, often flying to the west side of the state to meet with Olympia lawmakers. What few knew was that he was also fighting colorectal cancer. Floyd got the votes, and the bill was signed in April of 2015.
Dr. Floyd passed away less than three months later.
The school welcomed the inaugural class in the fall of 2017.