WSU hopes to keep doctors local with new med school

Hundreds of students leave Washington every year to attend medical school outside of the state.  WSU's new medical school is hoping to change that by taking a unique approach.

The college welcomed its first class this semester, a group of students that will be immersed in communities throughout Washington.  The idea is for students to become invested in their assigned areas, and ideally stay after graduation.

Dr. Farion Williams, Associate Dean of Clinical Education at WSU Tri-Cities, believes in the importance of these "learning communities."

"If they have a connection with the community, the likelihood of them staying or returning after their training is higher." 

The 60-student class is divided among four cities: Spokane, Everett, Vancouver and Tri-cities.  The students spend their first two years based at the Spokane campus.  They'll visit their assigned cities a few times a year and stay with host families.

During their last two years of the program, they will live full-time in their respective cities working in local clinics and hospitals.

The students based in Tri-Cities were here for a visit last month, and they'll be back again in March.

The program does still need hosts for next year's class.  If you're interested, you can find more information on the College of Medicine website.


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