Working for a 4-Year Medical School in Spokane Print E-mail

Would boost economy and keep young talent in the region

You may already know 3 years of medical school training takes place at Spokane’s Riverpoint Campus downtown. Did you also know 80% of students who apply to WWAMI’s program (a collaboration between Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, plus the University of Washington and Washington State University) are denied admission? We’re exporting hundreds of medical students out-of-state in connection with our region’s number one industry, healthcare.  At the same time, the Inland Northwest faces a shortage of about 200 physicians. Primary care doctors, especially, are in short supply.

We have the opportunity to keep our talent local and educate more family docs: Greater Spokane Incorporated, with partners in higher education and the business community, have been working to make a 4-year medical school reality in Spokane. We’re asking federal lawmakers this spring for around $9 million for a biomedical building and related  improvements. We’re also launching a public awareness campaign so more local people understand the importance of the medical school to the Spokane region’s economic and physical health.

GSI and its partners have hired a national firm to study the economic impact of a 4-year medical school. We’ll also meet with federal lawmakers during our annual D.C. visit in April to advocate for this crucial link in our education and medical system. At the same time, we’re asking state legislators for their support. If we’re successful, the first class of 100-120 aspiring new physicians will start classes in 2013.