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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

About the College

About the college

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is Washington’s community-based medical school. Named after Washington State University’s late president, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, the college was created to expand medical education and health care access in communities across the state.

The college is also home to the departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Speech and Hearing SciencesTranslational Medicine and Physiology and Medical Education and Clinical Sciences.

Investment in a healthier Washington

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine was created to fill critical health care gaps across the state. It attracts talented students from or with significant ties to Washington – both rural and urban – to train within their communities, increasing the likelihood they will remain there to practice medicine.


The community-based model of medical education enables students to train in a broad spectrum of clinical environments across the state. Beginning in the first year of medical school, students gain experience in the types of health care settings where they are needed most.

  • Future physicians learn how to deliver top quality care to communities most in need.
  • Once they become doctors, students are likely to serve these same regions.
  • With broad-based clinical experience, students can compete at the highest levels for residency in the discipline of their choice in any community or environment.
  • Service learning opportunities enrich students’ understanding of population health issues in communities throughout Washington.


In 20 years , the practice of medicine will differ strikingly from medical care today. Physicians will reference patients’ genetic information to tailor treatment. They will use big data to develop strategies for keeping communities healthy. Multidisciplinary teams of clinicians will work together to improve patient outcomes. New business models and regulations will guide practices. Physicians will participate in tri-directional research and leverage innovations in technology. And they will face issues of access and equity.

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine was created to equip Washington medical students for this future. The curriculum ensures that students will thrive in it.

  • Interprofessional training matches medical students with nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. It’s an approach proven to yield doctors who respect their colleagues and collaborate to improve patient outcomes.
  • Innovative patient care delivery systems enable clinicians to improve health and wellness for individuals and populations.
  • Leadership training equips tomorrow’s doctors to be innovators and entrepreneurs in the delivery of health care.
  • Continuing education and career development will keep graduates at the forefront of health
    care practice.

“President Floyd engendered a sense of community. His words and actions suggested that all of us are equals—members of a cooperative enterprise who should share equal opportunity. His spirit is reflected in our college’s mission: There should be no person in the state of Washington who has to go without quality health care.”
—James Zimmerman, Chief Operating Officer, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Personalized medical education

A student-centered approach to learning accommodates individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. It allows their passion for medicine to blossom.

  • The program nurtures students’ interests, encouraging them to delve deeply into topics they enjoy.
  • To produce the best possible physicians, the program helps students as they master difficult concepts and demonstrate competency.
  • Many students will have the opportunity to learn in clinical environments close to home. Clinical experiences near WSU locations in Everett, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver begin in the first year.

Innovative Research and Technology

Investigations led by Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine faculty bridge disciplines to seek solutions to health care concerns.

  • Discoveries improve the health and wellness of all Washingtonians.
  • Innovations brought to market drive economic growth.

Fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission

As the state’s land-grant university, WSU’s mission is rooted in accessibility and service to diverse communities across the state. By training physicians to deliver health care to Washington’s underserved communities, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine embodies the University’s mission—and will improve countless lives.