My informal poll of local physicians would reveal that most are not in favor of expanding medical education in Spokane. Training medical students is very expensive and time consuming, and requires a huge time commitment from a medical staff with a broad range of experiences. Most physicians in this town are not capable or compensated for hosting and educating medical students, and are working harder than ever with increasing nonsensical busywork.
Currently, there are very few spots for medical students to do rotations in Spokane, outside of a few full-time physicians employed by the school. Most physicians in private practice in this town have no time or interest to perform that critical function.
Educating medical students here has a very low chance of increasing the numbers of physicians practicing in rural Washington, which is the goal at the core of both programs. That problem needs to be addressed at the federal level in the form of better reimbursement, lower malpractice and more sensible documentation requirements.
Before a second school begins to gather a head of steam, a very realistic polling of the local medical staff should occur to judge how many students could be accommodated and educated by local physicians.
John Shuster, M.D.