Medical Education (WWAMI Program)

Dr. Jeff Seegmiller, Director, WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) Medical Education Program (PEB 204, 83844-4207; phone 208/885-0355; e-mail: jeffreys@uidaho.edu). Faculty: Onesmo Balemba, Douglas Cole, Linda Fearn, Lee Fortunato, Peter Fuerst, Craig McGowan, (Biological Sciences, College of Science); Scott A. Minnich (Food Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences), Chantal Vella (Movement Sciences, College of Education), William Cone, Niels Nielsen (Counseling and Testing Center).

Adjunct Faculty of Medical Education: Ron Brosemer, Ph.D., Lane Brown, Ph.D., David Conley, Ph.D., Jon Mallatt, Ph.D., Philip Mixter, Ph.D. (all WSU)

WWAMI is a cooperative medical education program between the University of Washington School of Medicine and the five-state WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho). WWAMI has the mission and goal of increasing the training and education of medical students in their home states or neighboring northwest states, with the intent of exposing them to the unique needs and opportunities for medical careers in the region. In Idaho, students can complete three of their four years of medical school in Idaho, at the University of Idaho for the first year, and in Boise and regional communities for the required third year clerkships and the required and elective fourth year courses. With small class sizes and individual clinical placements, Idaho WWAMI students have the opportunity to interact closely with the faculty and area physicians.

The WWAMI program allows access to medical education for Idaho residents by contract between Idaho and the UWSOM. Currently, 25 first-year students are admitted annually. The WWAMI program was developed in Idaho to train Idaho residents in medical studies, to address the need for more primary care physicians practicing in rural areas, to extend the resources and facilities of an excellent medical school into Idaho, to improve the quality of patient care, and to minimize the cost of medical education by the use of existing facilities. Eligibility for consideration as a WWAMI medical student requires certification as an Idaho resident. UI's Undergraduate Admissions Office is responsible for residency certification.

Students interested in WWAMI apply directly to UWSOM. Idaho residents take their first year of medical studies at UI. First-year courses are offered conjointly by UI and WSU in parallel with courses at UWSOM. All participating WWAMI faculty at UI and WSU hold adjunct faculty appointments at UWSOM and are eminently qualified scientists and teachers.

Many of the physicians in the Moscow-Pullman-Lewiston area are involved in the preceptorship program in which the students work a half a day each week with local physicians and observe/participate in their practice, either in the office or at the hospital.

Participants in the WWAMI program are matriculated students of the University of Washington Medical School. Upon completion of their studies, they receive the M.D. degree. Following graduation, a postgraduate (internship/residency) training period of three to five years is required for medical practice. Medical students may also be approved for graduate studies at the University of Idaho or UWSOM leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. The UWSOM M.D.-Ph.D. program usually requires a minimum of six years of study.