Wash­ing­ton State Univer­sity OKs new med school plan

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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.

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