About the WWAMI Program
WWAMI 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 medical school at the University of Idaho, the 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 medical 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 & Future
The Idaho Legislature currently reserves 40 seats in the University of Washington School of Medicine for its residents. The program has been in place since 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.