The most important and the one that prompted high fives and whoops and hollers heard all the way across the state was the October 19 decision by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or LCME – the allopathic medical school accrediting agency in the U.S. and Canada – to grant preliminary accreditation to the college so that it may accept medical students.
As an American Indian teenager in Rapid City, South Dakota, Yvette Roubideaux (pictured above, second from left) experienced long waits when she went to the doctor at the local Indian Health Service clinic.
She heard from relatives who were frustrated at not knowing which physician they would see, and who were not happy with their care.
It got her to thinking that maybe she could be one of the solutions to the problems in Indian health.
When Elson Floyd envisioned a Washington State University medical school, he had big dreams.
He spoke about training more doctors in Washington to alleviate the state’s physician shortage and about using WSU’s stature as the state’s land-grant university to extend the new school’s influence into every county.
Nearly a year after his passing as the new school that now bears Floyd’s name is in the process of being created, the expectations are high. Prospective students are contacting the school to find out when they can apply. Several of Washington’s health care providers have signed agreements to teach WSU medical students in clinical rotations. And Founding Dean John Tomkowiak, M.D., is leading the effort to give the state’s newest publicly-funded medical school its own unique identity.