Three years ago, Idaho had 80 students studying under the WWAMI, the regional medical education program. Soon that number will be 140. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:23)
Idaho ranks 49th in the country in terms of the number of doctors per capita. The Idaho Legislature this year provided funding for an additional five seats in the WWAMI program as part of a multi- year effort to deal with that shortage.
Idaho doesn’t have a medical school of its own, but Idaho students can receive a medical education under the five state medical program known as WWAMI by taking classes at both the University of Idaho and the University of Washington, which administers the program.
UI President Chuck Staben told the Idaho State Board of Education this week that the program gives Idaho access to one of the best medical schools in the country, and he said changes are coming:
Chuck Staben: “As you probably know, there’s been a curriculum change, motivated by the University of Washington, where students will, instead of spending 12 months in Moscow, spend 18 months in Moscow, and with the enhanced number of students, and the longer time in Moscow, we’ll be investing in a facility here to accommodate that program.”
Funding from Idaho lawmakers over the last few legislative sessions has brought the number of Idaho’s first year WWAMI seats to 35 this coming fall. In a press release this week, Idaho Governor Butch Otter said that means Idaho will soon have 140 medical students studying through WWAMI, up from 80 three years ago.
I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.
WWAMI at U- Idaho:
Idaho State Board of Education, WWAMI Strategic Plan:
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Posted April 17, 2015