What They’re Watching: Catherine Brazil, UW

Catherine Brazil is the Director of Spokane & Eastern Washington Relations at the University of Washington. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss how UW is addressing rural medical education through partnerships with Gonzaga and Eastern Washington University and the WWAMI program.

Well first of all, regarding medical education here in Spokane, we’ve been doing it for over 40 years but we’re really excited that the legislature supports our students. And we have 60 new students that just started a couple weeks ago over on the Gonzaga campus. And so our medical school is thriving, so we have 120 students, first and second years. And besides that, we have our physician assistant program and then we also have RIDE students. And the RIDE students are Rural Initiatives in Dental Education students. And so it’s really nice for them with the partnership with Eastern Washington University to be here in Spokane, but then they go out into rural areas to get their training.

Our doctors, we have a five-state regional program for our medical school. It’s called the WWAMI program, so it’s Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. And students from each one of those states along with students from Washington State all work together with our medical school to be out in rural areas. So they can decide to work and do some of their studies in Seattle or they can be in Cheyenne, Wyoming or in Alaska or in Idaho in rural areas. So we’re really happy to know and really pleased to have the program, the WWAMI program because we know that we’re one of the top in the nation schools that bring rural medicine to those areas.