in the community
While still a developing program, WWAMI Spokane has already generated a number of extracurricular student groups and activities to learn about the profession, understand the current state of medicine, and give back to the community. Though time during the first year of medical school is often limited, students have enjoyed the balance provided by learning and serving in a setting outside the normal study routine.
current student groups and activities
House of Charity Clinic: First-year students work on Saturday mornings with physician preceptors and third and fourth-year medical students to provide medical care for homeless and disadvantaged people. First-year students gain valuable experience taking patient histories and functioning as clinicians.
World Relief is a non-profit organization that helps international refugees as they relocate to Spokane. The students provide a variety of services, from meeting a Cambodian family as it arrives at Spokane International Airport to accompanying an Iraqi family to meetings with health care providers.
Educational Outreach: First-year students create and conduct presentations about the heart for Spokane area elementary, middle and high school students. They create hands-on experiences that teach the children about their health and discuss the types of health care-related careers the younger students might pursue. The medical students often receive personal thank you letters and posters from the classes they've interacted with, making this project an extremely popular way to spend a Service-Learning Tuesday.
WWAMI Prom (above): The tradition of the WWAMI Prom started in Seattle, but WWAMI Spokane students have adopted it as their own, with an annual prom night at the local Women's Club of Spokane, traditionally held in Feburary. The event is open to students and faculty from all years and from any WWAMI location.
Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG): During the first year of WWAMI Spokane the FMIG was actively involved in bringing speakers from the community to campus to discuss growing local and national health concerns. Topics of discussion included the Death with Dignity Act passed in Washington State in 2008, the local needle exchange program, as well as an interdisciplinary discussion of conflict of interest and the role of pharmaceutical companies in advertising and education. The FMIG was also involved in coordinating student involvement in the NATIVE Project, a program designed to provide quality health services to the local Native American populations.
Medical Student Association, American Medical Student Association, American Medical Association: Students in the class were active leaders elected to serve as the coordinators for various medical association groups. These groups helped the class gain funding for activities such as the WWAMI Prom and to organize resources from other WWAMI sites to aid in studying and test preparation. These students were liaisons to Seattle and actively helped in the development of the first-year medical curriculum.
Clinical correlation conferences/grand rounds: On a monthly basis, students at WWAMI Spokane attend local clinical case presentations. In addition, grand rounds are presented by local attending physicians and family and internal medicine residents.
Other activities: Throughout the year students take part in less formal activities. An exercise group trains for the annual Bloomsday Run. A small group of students also meet every so often to watch and discuss the PBS health documentary "Unnatural Causes."
Spokane medical students have plenty of opportunities to stay active outside the classroom. The list of groups is growing as the program develops and abides by the standard of excellence established by the University of Washington School of Medicine and WSU Spokane's Division of Health Sciences.
Professor Dan Topping talks about improving communications with Slavic patients in Spokane.
If you want to see a larger version of this video, click here.
WWAMI 40th anniversary slideshow (pdf)