Physician Engagement

Inspire future doctors.

Share your enthusiasm

Someday you’ll have to replace yourself. There are many ways to share your enthusiasm that don’t involve having a student seeing patients with you. Please send us your contact information and tell us in which ways you could make yourself available to help grow future doctors. We can be contacted at

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Answer emails or return phone calls to students who have questions about your specialty and type of practice.
  2. Take a pre-med student or a medical school applicant to lunch or dinner and talk about what it is like being a doctor. If your background is underrepresented in medicine, meeting you can be especially inspiring for pre-medical students when they realize that their dreams can come true. You can also introduce them to what is going on with minority health professionals in the local community. (If you are especially interested in meeting students from underrepresented minorities in medicine, contact Nora Coronado, Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  3. Provide overnight lodging for applicants who come from out of town to interview for University of Washington School of Medicine. Interviews are held in Anchorage, Boise, Laramie, Seattle and Spokane.

Physician shadowing

Like many medical schools across the country, the UWSOM wants to make sure that applicants are making an informed decision before they spend their time and money to apply to and attend medical school. Shadowing provides prospective physicians with the opportunity to witness firsthand both the joys and frustrations of practicing medicine. To learn more about being shadowed by a pre-med student, please visit our Shadowing page.

Working with UDOC/SHPEP

The Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UWSOM provides free summer enrichment programs for high school and college students who are interested in pursuing medicine or dentistry. These include the following.

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP):

SHPEP at the University of Washington is committed to increasing the diversity of the pool of health professionals thus improving access to quality healthcare. The University of Washington program involves rigorous academic enrichment through classes that provide a strong knowledge base in the basic foundational sciences and statistics. It is best suited for students completing their freshman year of college who are about to take these courses or those who have taken them already and feel that they could use some additional help mastering these subjects.  SHPEP is a free, 6-week summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP is implemented at 13 program sites across the nation.  SHPEP at the University of Washington is a collaboration of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health. If you have questions or are interested in SHPEP please contact Danielle Ishem at or at 206.616.5866.

If you have questions or are interested in either of these programs, please contact Nora Coronado, Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at or at 206.685.2489.

Participate in panel discussions

Panels on careers in medicine are coordinated for pre-medical students by Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the pre-medical honor society with chapters on many campuses in the WWAMI region. If there is no chapter in the college near you, consider helping the college start one. Panels are also coordinated for current medical students by the Medical Student Association and the Student Affairs Office at the Seattle site of the University of Washington School of Medicine and by the respective WWAMI Assistant Deans’ offices at the Spokane, Pullman, Anchorage, Bozeman, Laramie and Boise sites.

Opportunities for physician involvement

UW Medicine Alumni Association: A nonprofit, non-dues organization which cultivates unity among alumni of the UWSOM. If you graduated from the UWSOM, or one of its residency programs, check out the UW Medicine Alumni Association for a variety of ways to help prospective and current medical students. You can also contact them at 206.685.1875 or toll free 1.866.633.2586 or for questions or more information.

University of Washington Alumni Association (UWAA): Offers opportunities for membership benefits and activities, learning, networking and news. Produces Viewpoints, a magazine published in partnership with the diversity community of the UW, Columns Magazine, and UW Newslinks.

SAID (Student-Alumni Informational Dinners): These dinners occur three times a year and match medical students interested in a given specialty with UWSOM alumni who practice in that specialty.

HOST (Help Our Students Travel): The HOST Program has helped hundreds of UW's fourth-year medical students find a friendly home while traveling for their residency interviews.

Health Sciences/UW Medicine Tour Guide: Guide eager high school students and future healthcare professionals through the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center and the UW Medical Center.

Community Health Advancement Program (CHAP): Work in a volunteer clinic alongside medical students and faculty.

Al-Shifa Clinic: Al-Shifa is a student-run clinic for underserved, predominantly immigrant communities.

Aloha Inn: The Aloha Inn provides transitional housing for 66 formerly homeless residents and has an inter-professional, student-run free clinic. Also see Students In The Community (SITC).

Introduction to Clinical Medicine course: Help teach physical exam, or evaluate medical students on their ability to perform physical exams and do case presentations.  Please contact Julie Calcavecchia for more information.

Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs): Observe and evaluate second and fourth year medical students on their ability to perform basic clinical skills (physical exams, medical interviewing, clinical reasoning). Testing dates occur four times a year in winter, spring and summer. Contact Jennie Struijk if you are interested.

Global Health Group: Help promote international clinical and research experiences for medical students. Global Health Department

Preceptorships: Medical students may elect to complete one preceptorship in either their first or second year of medical school. A preceptorship consists of a minimum of eight four-hour sessions during which the student spends time with a physician in a clinic. You must be a member of the clinical faculty to be a preceptor.

Rural Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP): The Rural Underserved opportunities Program (RUOP) is a four-week, elective immersion experience in community medicine for students between their first and second years of medical school. Students work side by side with local physicians in the WWAMI region providing healthcare to underserved populations.