The first class of University of Washington medical students who launched their medical education studies at Gonzaga in fall 2016 successfully finished the Foundations phase of their curriculum and have advanced to clinical clerkships in preparation to practice medicine.
The 60 physicians-in-training were the first to study under the University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership.
Now, students customize their learning experiences. Thirty will complete most of their required third year clerkships in Spokane. Others will serve a rural Washington state community as part of UWSOM’s nationally recognized rural and underserved training programs. Still others will serve in places throughout the five-state Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho network.
Departing medical students gave high praise to their 15-month Gonzaga experience, as student body president Justin Thompson, a former army medic from Bothell, Wash., told the Spokesman-Review: “There’s something special about this campus.”
Mackenzie Rinaldi, a Spokane native made note of the fine GU faculty who taught basic sciences and shared content expertise. She added that having a dedicated facility like Schoenberg Center was an important feature in fostering class work as a community. Additionally, the students benefited from GU’s full-service campus, enjoying intramurals, Gonzaga Outdoors, basketball games and more.
“I am a clay artist and have been a member of the GU Clay Club since last spring,” one medical student wrote. “I attend weekly meetings and drop-in studio hours. It has been a fun way to get to know the GU community and feel a part of it. I also love pottery and this stellar resource has been a therapeutic art form during a time I needed it most!”
Medical students bonded in their commitment to community engagement work, a key part of the GU experience, organizing community-based projects like walking school bus in Logan and the Medical Students for Educational Equity (Med for Ed) program, providing clinical services at the Union Gospel Mission, and visiting school classrooms to inspire youth to pursue careers in healthcare.
“I truly believe we are part of the Zag family,” Rinaldi said.
Regional Health Partnership Community Report
A Report to the Community about the UW School of Medicine–Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership, issued on Feb. 15, concludes the program is exceeding the expectations of students, faculty and the community. The partnership, forged in early 2016, "is on a steady path toward realizing its goal of improving the health and economic vitality of our region."