Medical Education Program
WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) was founded in 1971, and is one of the most successful models for medical education in the United States. Each fall, WSU Spokane welcomes 20 first-year undergraduate medical students who immerse themselves in basic science classes. The students are assigned preceptors, who are local doctors who mentor students in clinical settings for at least a half-day every other week. Students can also choose to do community service work.
Second-year students now have the option of studying at the University of Washington in Seattle or in Spokane as part of a pilot program that emphasizes small-group, case-based studies. The pilot allows students to spend all four years of their classroom and clinical studies in Spokane. The second-year program in Spokane is open to students from Washington first and, if space allows, also to students from Montana.
Third and fourth-year students have the option of coming back to Spokane or attending other Eastern Washington sites to serve some or all of their clinical rotations. Students interested in rural medicine can apply for the "WRITE" program, which allows them to work half of their third year in rural hospitals or clinics.
A Regional Partner of the
University of Washington School of Medicine
Students in the WWAMI program are part of a collaborative medical education program accredited through the University of Washington School of Medicine. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked the top primary care medical school in the nation for the last 19 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. The WWAMI Medical Education program brings this curriculum to medical students at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington State University in Pullman, University of Wyoming in Laramie, the University of Alaska in Anchorage, Montana State University in Bozeman, and the University of Idaho in Moscow.
WWAMI was founded with five goals:
- provide publicly supported medical education
- increase the number of primary-care physicians and correct the maldistribution of physicians
- provide community-based medical education
- expand graduate medical education (residency training) and continuing medical education
- provide all of these in a cost-effective manner.
Doctors in dozens of Northwest communities supervise medical students in clerkship and residency programs. Students may also elect to complete their third and fourth years in any of the participating WWAMI locations.
Why WWAMI Spokane?
Spokane's four hospitals, supportive clinical base, and five residency programs make it ideal for medical training.
Our campus boasts a biomedical research presence that includes world-class research in sleep and neuroscience, chromosome biology, and substance abuse.
- During your first year, you'll partner with a local physician—a "preceptor"—for four hours a week learning clinical skills and observing the practice of medicine in the community.
- Spokane's large medical community means you'll choose from a body of more than 60 preceptors in a variety of specialties.
- This one-on-one work will put you ahead of the curve.
- The following summer offers additional opportunities to gain practical experience, reach out to communities, and conduct research.
- A mentoring program allows students to connect with physicians who share similar interests.
The WWAMI Medical Education Program is also offered in Pullman.
See the other WWAMI locations on this WWAMI Program map.
Choose to interview in Spokane
You can schedule your admission interview right here in Spokane! Read more
About WSU Spokane
Speak to a Student
If you would like to speak to a student who spent their first year in Spokane, we have several students who have volunteered and would be happy to answer your specific questions. Please contact us and we will put you in touch with them.
Medical Education Program
Hear from some of our students about the Spokane WWAMI Medical Education Program:
First year students
Fourth year students who matched with residency programs in 2013
WWAMI Eastern & Central Washington
View a brief History of WWAMI presentation, compiled for our 40th Anniversary Celebration.