allows the medical students to train all four
years in their home state, with their first two years on the Palouse and
Clearwater Valley, increasing their familiarity with rural Idaho, as well as
the health care needs of their region and state. This increases the likelihood that students
will select further training or practice opportunities in Idaho, once their
training is complete.
After completing their second year of training at the University of Idaho, WWAMI students have the opportunity to complete their clinical training requirements in Idaho. These clinical rotations are coordinated through the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI (Idaho) Office for Clinical Medical Education in Boise. Following receipt of their M.D. degree, University of Washington School of Medicine graduates have the opportunity to apply to the three primary care residencies in Idaho. In addition to these formal training programs, Idaho physicians have opportunities for informal continuing medical education through seminars, programs, consultations, or academic affiliations with the University of Washington School of Medicine through its Idaho WWAMI program.
History and Future
The program has been in place now for 43 years. It began in 1972. In 1996, Wyoming joined Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho as the fifth state in the consortium.
In recent years, medical educators have gained an understanding that medical students need to learn medicine where it is practiced - in the community rather than only in an urban, academic hospital setting. The philosophy of WWAMI is to put emphasis on a decentralized form of medical education. A significant part of any given student's education occurs within the WWAMI region in communities utilizing a combination of both full-time and volunteer teachers.