The Health Partnership is expanding and enhancing top-ranked medical education in Spokane to improve the health and vitality of our region.
The increasing demand for physicians, coupled with dynamic changes in healthcare, underscores the timely need to find solutions that are cost efficient and leverage resources. Gonzaga University is the first private institution to join the UW School of Medicine WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) program as a full partner. Working together, we are advancing a new model of institutional collaboration to benefit our students and the communities we serve.
WWAMI is an unparalleled regional medical education program spanning five states and was created to serve rural under-served populations. The program gives students residing in this five-state region access to high-quality, cost-effective medical education by decentralizing the educational process and sharing existing facilities and personnel in universities and communities in the WWAMI states. Support of WWAMI in Spokane by the State of Washington allows 60 qualified students to be admitted to the program each year.
The University of Washington School of Medicine - Gonzaga University Health Partnership is a medical school program, not a premedical program. Students are enrolled in the UW School of Medicine, and complete their Foundations Phase (the first 18 months) of medical school in Spokane. The Foundations Phase integrates basic science and clinical education, as well as rural training early in the curriculum. It is taught by Clinical Skills Instructors and Foundations Guides, both on the Gonzaga campus and in the community.
The WWAMI Medical Education Program, including the UW-GU Health Partnership, strives to attain two main goals: to make public medical education accessible to residents throughout the five states, and to encourage graduates to choose careers in primary care and family medicine and ultimately locate their practices in non-metropolitan areas of the northwestern U.S. Many of these areas lack an adequate number of primary care physicians and access to healthcare in general. Additionally, the program encourages talented students, especially minority students, in the WWAMI states to enter the field of medicine.