Gonzaga joins UW in medical-school partnership
Building on a collaborative system of strong health sciences – including pharmacy, nursing, dental and allied health programs – the building blocks are in place for an expansion of four-year medical education that is already transforming the landscape.
The University of Washington (UW) has partnered with Gonzaga University to expand its WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) medical school program. Gonzaga University will start classes for up to 100 future physicians on its campus in the fall of 2016. While UW’s relationship with Gonzaga is new, the Seattle-based university has trained medical students through its No. 1 nationally ranked primary care and rural medical education program in eastern Washington for about 45 years, and has taught future physicians in the state since 1946.
Across the Spokane River from Gonzaga University’s campus, Washington State University (WSU) Spokane has hired Dr. John Tomkowiak as the founding dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Tomkowiak led a similar effort to start a new medical school at Florida State University in the early 2000s.
Since Tomkowiak joined WSU late last year, the new medical college has applied for accreditation through the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the main accrediting body in the U.S. and Canada. WSU could receive preliminary accreditation as early as next fall, which would put it on course to enroll its first class of 40 medical school students and begin instruction in the fall of 2017.
Both medical school programs would operate out of Spokane’s University District (UD.) With the intersection of the state’s two largest public universities expanding in Spokane, and the robust regional and community based health care system, the region is experiencing substantial growth of associated research, commercialization and private investment. Spokane’s future as a center for the life sciences industry looks promising.
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