SPOKANE, Wash. – A new report said the University of Washington's plan to expand its medical program in Spokane is the most cost effective way to meet the state's need for doctors.
This comes after Washington State University announced its plan to start its own medical school. Both universities have partnered for decades at the Riverpoint Campus but announced its separation in September.
The study said the average cost of a medical education in the UW program is about $70,000 compared to the estimated $98,000 per student at a stand-alone WSU medical school.
Officials for WSU said it supports UW's expansion but said they need to train even more medical students. They believe it will take another medical school to train the amount of medical students that are needed.
"Another medical school would make huge progress toward meeting that goal, it won't get us all the way there. But we believe there's tremendous need and capacity of both is needed to meet the need," said Dean of College of Medical Sciences at Washington State University, Ken Roberts.
The study commissioned by UW also found that Eastern Washington does not have enough residency programs to support two medical schools. WSU officials disagree and said they are already working to create more clinical opportunities.
Both universities will present their plans to legislatures in January. They will ultimately decide if there is enough money to support one or both programs in Spokane.