Health Care Access and Equity Take Center Stage at 2023 CLIC Conference

WSU presenter at 2023 CLIC conference
David Garcia, associate dean for Community, Health Equity, and Belonging, presents at the 2023 CLIC conference.

Medical thought leaders from around the globe gathered as the WSU College of Medicine hosted the 2023 Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (CLIC) Conference. The conference was held September 21-24 in Spokane.

Guided by the theme of Abundant Resilience: Flipping the Script of Health, Hardship, and Social Justice in Washington State, the 2023 CLIC conference included speakers, small group discussions, debates, poster presentations, and workshops. Every session was developed to foster constructive discussion and inspire potential solutions to the logistical and financial challenges inherent in medical education.

After two years of planning, most of which was done remotely, event organizers from the Collaboration for InterProfessional Health Education Research & Scholarship (CIPHERS) say they are thrilled with the outcome. Dawn Dewitt, MD, senior associate dean for CIPHERS and Coordinator Jennifer Anderson also want college partners to know that they couldn’t have done it alone.

“I am beyond proud of our COUG team,” said DeWitt “We managed to create an incredibly welcoming environment with extraordinary warmth and professionalism. Faculty and staff contributed generously to make this an exceptional experience.”

The conference hosted 230 in-person attendees—including 29 medical students—and more than 20 virtual attendees. Participants even traveled from as far away as Canada, Wales, Norway, South Africa, Korea, and Australia.

Attendees were treated to an immersive schedule with an emphasis on health care access and equity. A two-and-a-half-day showcase, more commonly referred to as a conference on the move, encompassed engagement with community partners, site visits, and regional experiences in Idaho and Eastern Washington.

“Our visits to our clinical and academic partners were fantastic! Dr. Beall King and colleagues in Pullman gave amazing presentations on world-changing research that really resonated with our theme,” said DeWitt. “Attendees marveled at the geography, the expertise, and the partnerships that we have created in our first years as a new, community-based, statewide medical school.”

The CLIC conference also included a welcome ceremony and reception with opening remarks from Dean Jim Record, a drum performance by Sonny Doney and the Silent Hill Singers, and land acknowledgement from Dave Brown Eagle of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. Many attendees commented on the powerful message he shared.

The WSU Center for Native American Health Sciences, led by Director Naomi Bender and her team, provided a day of workshops that DeWitt called inspiring and eye-opening. As were multiple plenary speakers, poster presentations, and learning sessions. Attendees also enjoyed touring the newly renovated Medicine Building and seeing the state-of-the-art teaching venues.

CIPHERS will be hosting an online-only Leap Year Finale to the CLIC conference on February 29, 2024.

What is CLIC? CLIC is a network of medical educationalists from universities around the world engaged in the development and delivery of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship programs for medical students.

Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have the following common core elements:

  • Medical students participate in the comprehensive care of patients over time.
  • Medical students have continuing learning relationships with these patient’s clinicians.
  • Medical students meet, through these experiences, the majority of the year’s core clinical competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.