New agreement for medical education in Spokane
WSU and the University of Washington have signed an agreement that clarifies the two institutions’ commitment to medical education in Spokane.
In a one-page memorandum of understanding the UW has agreed not to oppose WSU’s plans to pursue a medical school in Spokane. WSU has agreed not to oppose the UW’s plans to expand its WWAMI (Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho) medical education program in Spokane. The two institutions say they will discuss how and when to move WSU out of WWAMI; WSU has been a WWAMI affiliate since 1971.
WSU will move forward with its plans to pursue accreditation for its own medical school. Administrators have been in contact with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or LCME, the accrediting body for medical schools in the United States, about how to proceed. WSU is working to arrange a visit by LCME leaders to show off the university’s on-campus medical infrastructure and to introduce its faculty and staff.
Acting dean Ken Roberts says he’s encouraged by the progress the university has made in educating the public about the need for more doctors in Washington. He pledged to continue with the university’s strategy of meeting with legislators and health care administrators around the state to build support for the university’s medical school proposal. WSU will ask the legislature for funding to begin the start-up process.
Permission given to pursue a new WSU medical school
The WSU Board of Regents has voted to allow the university to pursue a fully-accredited medical school. The vote was unanimous and several Regents praised the university’s consultant, MGT of America, for the feasibility report it presented yesterday. That report laid out the challenges and costs of creating a medical school and the steps the university would have to take.
The report said, that at this stage, WSU is ahead of other universities that recently began planning or operating medical schools. He cited the brand new facilities on the Spokane campus and WSU’s long history teaching students in the WWAMI program. He implied that if WSU was to begin seeking accreditation for a new medical school today that it would already have much of the groundwork done.
In their remarks before the vote, several regents talked about the clear need to train more doctors to work in Washington. At least one regent expressed surprise that the projected cost of building and running the school (about $47 million per year) is much less than she had expected it would be. The student representative on the board said several friends of his told them they had to leave the state in order to go to medical school.
You can read the full report and the executive summary.
About Medical Sciences
The Medical Sciences faculty are engaged in teaching graduate students, post doctoral faculty and medical students, and in biomedical research in a number of different fields including neuroscience, molecular biology, biochemical genetics and more. The Medical Sciences lab has a microscopy core facility for use by campus and community researchers, and is home to the nationally recognized Sleep and Performance Research Center, the WWAMI Medical Education program in Spokane and WSU's Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. WWAMI is a partnership between WSU and the University of Washington School of Medicine that educates new physicians and offers a specialty education track for those interested in working in the rural and underserved areas.
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Acting dean Ken Roberts was a recent guest on the cable TV program "WSU Health Sciences," where he talked about medical education in Spokane and WSU's decision to pursue a new medical school.Willed Body program.