As part of its mission to expand medical education and health care access in communities across the state, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is wasting no time establishing a presence in cities and towns across Washington—particularly in rural areas.
Over the past two years, ESFCOM representatives have met with hospital and clinic staff in 37 of Washington’s 39 counties. As of the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year, the college has secured 63 affiliation agreements with clinical partners across the state, with 24 of them being in rural communities.
In addition, the college has affiliation agreements with the Tulalip Tribe of Indians and has entered discussions with the Spokane, Colville, Kalispel and Coeur d’Alene tribes.
Part of the college’s community-based training model, affiliation agreements allow hospitals and clinics to host and educate WSU medical students during their four years of medical school. Students spend their first two years on the Spokane campus and experience six clinical campus weeks at affiliate sites during those two years. They spend their final two years gaining full-time clinical experience at affiliate sites in communities near WSU campus locations across the state: Everett, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver.
Clinical partners in rural areas are thrilled to host WSU medical students who learn about the town and its people and become part of the community. These clinics and hospitals are often critical access hospitals that are the lifeblood of their communities. By providing unique clinical experiences for students to be embedded in rural and underserved settings, it increases the likelihood they will remain there to practice medicine.