UW, Gonzaga partnership celebrates largest class of medical students ever in Spokane

The University of Washington School of Medicine’s partnership with Gonzaga will create the largest class of medical students ever in Spokane. This class will comprise 60 new students, and 40 second year students who will attend the program on the Gonzaga campus beginning in the fall.

The partnership addresses the shortage of primary care physicians in Washington and the need to retain the physicians who are trained in the state. In a statement Ana Mari Cauce, President of the University of Washington spoke about what this partnership means for Washington:

“This is a significant milestone in our commitment to educate the next generation of health professionals for eastern Washington and the state…The growth in our Spokane class is a testament to our new partnership with Gonzaga, the excellence of our UW School of Medicine faculty and incredible support from the state and the Spokane medical community.”

After news of the partnership was announced in March, State of Reform sat down with Gonzaga University’s President Thayne McCulloh. He highlighted the need for more qualified and well-prepared medical doctors coming out of medical school, not just in the state, but nationally.

“It’s going to require new and different ways of organizing medical [education] as well. If we look at what is happening too narrowly and view these two schools in isolation—or if we look too specifically at Spokane and what it is trying to do in this moment and what it can manage, we deny ourselves the opportunity to look more broadly at not only the entire state but the entire region.”

Both Gonzaga and UW have been active in supporting physician training in the region through the UW born WWAMI Regional Medical Education Program, which supports the training of new physicians in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.