Since 1973, the WWAMI program in which I was a professor for 21 years has enabled training of doctors during their first year at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Washington (Pullman), Wyoming (Laramie), Alaska (Fairbanks), Montana (Bozeman), and Idaho (Moscow) with transfer to Seattle for final training.
The leadership role of the distinguished medical school at Seattle ensured high standards of medical education and states without medical schools were represented without developing medical schools. This cost-effective program has been an exemplary model for cooperative regional medical education in the United States.
Recently, pressure has mounted to develop a four-year medical school in Spokane administered by Washington State University, and to move the Washington-Idaho portion of WWAMI to Spokane. Such a move would hurt the basic health sciences at WSU and the University of Idaho and the medical communities in Pullman and Moscow.
I now support the added proposal by the University of Washington to develop a Spokane component of WWAMI to enable training of 80 more doctors without the move of W-I to Spokane.