A five-state medical education creating national impact.
WWAMI is the UW School of Medicine’s one-of-a-kind, multi-state medical education program. The acronym, WWAMI, stands for the states served by the UW School of Medicine: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. UW medical students have access to a variety of settings for clinical training: from a busy Level I trauma center in Seattle, WA, to a small primary care clinic in Libby, MT, to working with Alaska Natives in Anchorage, AK. Community-based clinical faculty volunteer their time to educate our medical students.
Because of our WWAMI program, the UW School of Medicine has been identified as a top medical school for primary care education, as well as family medicine and rural medicine training by U.S. News & World Report. We have also received the AAMC’s Group on Regional Medical Campuses (GRMC) Star Awards. The GRMC Star of Educational Innovation and Star of Community Achievement Awards recognize the significant efforts of regional medical campuses to development programs that help students and strengthen ties with the communities they serve. The UW School of Medicine has received the following Star awards over the past five years:
2017 - The Star of Educational Innovation — UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership
For work incorporating humanities into medical education to promote humanistic skills and professional conduct in physicians.
2016 - The Star of Community Achievement — Montana WWAMI
For promoting student involvement in quality improvement and research skill and development.
2013 - The Star of Community Achievement — University of Washington School of Medicine
For the Targeted Rural Underserved Student Track (TRUST) program
Each of the WWAMI partner states educates a fixed number of medical students from and for their state. Students complete a three-term Foundations Phase at their home state university: in Washington state, University of Washington or Gonzaga University; University of Wyoming; University of Alaska-Anchorage; Montana State University; and University of Idaho. Currently there are 270 incoming medical students each year throughout the five states.
WWAMI has five primary goals:
- provide publicly supported medical education
- increase the number of primary care physicians, especially in underserved areas
- provide community-based medical education
- expand graduate medical education (residency training) and continuing medical education
- provide all of this in a cost-effective manner
Regional medical education in the community.
The UW School of Medicine is central to a network of programs designed to alleviate the shortages of healthcare programs in rural and underserved urban areas. These programs include:
- WWAMI Area Health Education Center Network (AHEC): A program that works to improve the diversity, distribution and quality of the health workforce in the WWAMI region, partners with communities to promote health career pathways, creates educational opportunities for students from junior high school (middle school) through professional and post-graduate training, and supports healthcare providers caring for underserved populations.
- The UW Center for Health Workforce Studies conducts research in the WWAMI region that can inform policy and advance workforce needs to address state healthcare workforce issues.
- WWAMI Rural Health Research Center focuses on policy affecting rural and underserved areas.