The new WSU College of Medical Sciences
The WSU Board of Regents has unanimously approved a proposal to bestow "college" status on the Medical Sciences program. Medical Sciences includes a robust research program, the WWAMI medical education program and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The new college formally commenced on May 15, making it one of three official health sciences 'colleges' on the Spokane campus.
Meeting the state's health care needs »
Read about WSU working to study the feasibility
of creating a new medical school.
Washington State University is working with the consulting company MGT of America to explore how to move forward with its medical education program.
WSU's work in medical education goes back to 1971 when it became a participant in the University of Washington School of Medicine's WWAMI (Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho) program. WSU has taught first-year medical students on the Pullman campus since then; third- and fourth-year medical students began training in Spokane's hospitals in the mid-1970s.
In 2008 WSU accepted its first group of first-year WWAMI medical students at its Spokane campus. In the fall of 2013 it added 19 second-year students (read more below) as part of a pilot program to extend UWSOM's second-year curriculum to WWAMI sites. Next fall, the students who would have been sent to WWAMI Pullman will come to Spokane instead. That means Spokane will have 40 first-year students and 20 second-year students.
But even with that growth, there's still a need for physicians in our region. The university decided to look at the concept of pursuing its own fully-accredited medical school in order to train more students to care for patients in this region.
We expect a full report from MGT by the end of June and will share the findings with you when we receive them.
Second-year pilot program under way
WSU Spokane has completed its first class of second-year medical students in the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI (Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho) program. They were the first second-year students to study in Spokane as part of a two-year pilot project that will test a new small-group, case-based curriculum. Fifteen of the 19 started their medical education in Spokane and chose to stay, rather than go back to Seattle for the traditional second-year program. Two joined us from the Pullman WWAMI program, two from Montana.
The second-year curriculum in Spokane offers the same courses as in Seattle, but are taught in a small group format. The courses are led by practicing clinicians that we call clinical guides. The guides teach in small groups using case studies and active learning modalities.
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.