The University of Washington School of Medicine, or UW Medicine, was one of the first public medical schools in the Northwest. It currently has teaching facilities in more than 100 towns across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI). UW Medicine has become well-known for its work in the fields of rural medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. It has a faculty-student ratio of approximately 2.8 and roughly 1,000 M.D. students.
When students start at University of Washington, they are separated into six colleges named after nature sites. These colleges help divide the students into their own small groups. Each college has a mentor. Aside from a traditional MD, students can also pursue a PhD. About 10 students receive their degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program each year. During their four years, students are required to participate in six-week clerkships in the WWAMI program. After their clerkships, they must present research projects at the Western Student Medical Research Forum. Once UW Medicine students settle into their specialties, they usually gravitate towards internal medicine, family practice, or pediatrics.
Students are able to gain real-life clinical experience through affiliated hospitals, like the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, and Children’s University Medical Group. Students also have the chance to work in one of nine neighborhood clinics or with Airlift Northwest.
Outside of the classroom and hospital, med students are encouraged to get involved in community service, like CHAP (Community Health Advancement Program) or SPARX (Student Providers Aspiring to Rural and Underserved Experience). Students can also choose from more than 50 student organizations on campus. Individuals looking for a unique experience with individualized curriculum should investigate UW Medicine.