Big innovation for small towns
#1 for rural medicine for 26 consecutive years
Graduates of the UW School of Medicine carry the typical memories of any physician who graduated from a top-ranked medical school: classroom training with rigorous standards, and hours upon hours of clinical training. But many graduates of the UW School of Medicine, ranked No. 1 in the country for rural medicine training, also carry not-so-typical memories: rotations in four-room clinics in towns of a few hundred people; patients who arrive for their appointment by snowmobile; and plenty of bears, moose and even sled dogs.
It all happens because of the school's unique five-state rural-medicine education program called WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), which has regional teaching campuses and clinical sites in each state. Now in its 45th year, the program is an innovative catalyst that has forged thousands of partnerships across the largely rural five-state region to open access to medical education and increase the amount of physicians practicing there. That means more highly trained physicians — and better healthcare — for residents of small, rural towns.
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