Health Care Providers Impact Statement for Whitman County
Number of docs in 2009, according to the UW Center for Health Workforce Studies: 49. That’s 11.5 physicians per 10,000 population1, the eighth highest rate in eastern Washington. Washington’s rate is 21.2 physicians per 10,0002; the national average is about 20.2 per 10,000. Washington imports about 85% of its physicians from other states or nations.3
Health professional breakout:
---Pullman Regional Hospital employs 12 MDs and three DOs. It also draws upon 42 MDs, two DOs and two nurse practitioners from Pullman.
---Whitman Hospital in Colfax uses 11 MDs, two DOs and three nurse practitioners from Colfax and Pullman.4
Number of current WWAMI Spokane and Pullman medical students from Whitman County: three
Number of current WSU pharmacy students from Whitman County: 11
Number of current WSU nursing students from Whitman County: 15
Number of current WSU Spokane nutrition/exercise physiology students from Whitman County: two
Number of current WSU Spokane speech/hearing sciences students from Whitman County: six
Pullman hosts 20 first-year medical students in the WWAMI program. It is not currently a clerkship or residency site.5
UW School of Medicine clinical faculty in Whitman County: six MDs6
Health professionals in Whitman County who graduated from Washington colleges:
---Pullman Regional Hospital counts seven UW medical graduates among its hospital staff and off-site providers. It also has six doctors who served their residencies in Washington and two physician assistants who are graduates of UW’s MEDEX program.
---Whitman Hospital in Colfax has two UW medical grads and one former resident.7
About 600 medical professionals in 26 eastern and central Washington communities serve as preceptors (instructors) for UW/WSU medical students. About a third of those work in small cities and towns. Pullman and Colfax are home to some of the 41 preceptors who work with WSU pharmacy students in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho.8
Voices from Whitman County: Scott Adams, CEO of Pullman Regional Hospital, and Dr. Richard Caggiano, the hospital’s chief medical officer. The hospital has 60 physicians who practice emergency and general medicine and some specialties. They take turns teaching first-year medical students from the WWAMI classes in Pullman and third and fourth-year students from other sites. Caggiano, though, says it’s getting harder to convince doctors to oversee students. He says it’s not that they don’t want to teach; they just have so many other things to do. Caggiano says the hospital has no trouble recruiting emergency room physicians, but it’s more challenging with doctors in other disciplines. He says Pullman Hospital has lured some former Washington medical school students back to the Palouse. Adams and Caggiano say the hospital supports the expansion of medical education in Spokane and would like, in some limited way, to express that support. They say they’d also like to help a new osteopathic school in Yakima find places for its students to train.
WSU pharmacy students in Pullman provide more than 250 hours each of health care to people in Pullman during their three years of hands-on training. Every October through December student pharmacists there vaccinate several thousand people against the flu.
Whitman County unemployment rate (Apr. 2013): 5.3% (state average 7.0% seasonally adjusted, 6.5% not seasonally adjusted) 8
Health care/social assistance employment in Whitman County 9: 1,435 (out of 15,100 jobs). It’s the county’s second-largest employer, providing about $11.3 million in payroll, 7.2% of the county’s total payroll.
Tripp Umbach estimate of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Whitman County (2009): 95 jobs, $18.3 million in economic impact, $1.45 million in local taxes
Tripp Umbach projection of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Whitman County (2030): 801 jobs, $138.1 million, $9.64 million in local taxes
1UW Center for Health Workforce Studies
2UW Center for Health Workforce Studies
3Association of American Medical Colleges
4Numbers gleaned from hospital and clinic websites
5UW Clinical faculty listing: http://depts.washington.edu/fammed/clinical_faculty/listings
6Numbers calculated from hospital and clinic websites
8Washington Department of Employment Security
9Washington Department of Employment Security (third quarter, 2010)