Washington State University OKs new med school plan
Washington State University’s board of regents unanimously approved the administration’s controversial effort to start a new medical school in Spokane, citing the “dire need” for more doctors in the state.
“The easy path for us to take would be to support the status quo,” said regent Scott Carson. “The data tell us there’s a need, and we should move forward to fill that need.”
WSU’s plan is opposed by the University of Washington, which operates the state’s only publicly funded medical school.
While approving WSU President Elson Floyd’s pursuit of the independent medical school, the regents said the university should continue its partnership with the University of Washington’s WWAMI program, which trains doctors for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming.
“We need both WWAMI and a new medical school to meet the needs,” regent Laura Jennings said.
The board’s approval came after a consulting firm report affirmed that the state suffers from a doctor shortage, especially outside Seattle, and that the shortage is likely to grow.