The heart of community-based medical education
Hospitals and clinics across the state of Washington have enthusiastically agreed to clinical affiliation with Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. These partners cluster around 4 distributed clinical campus hubs: Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
Building relationships that last a lifetime
Clinical faculty at partner hospitals and clinics teach first- and second-year students in a series of 1-week clinical experiences. The same clinics and hospitals then host the same students in their third and fourth years and when they return for clinical clerkships.
During their 1-week clinical experiences, medical students live with community members who have volunteered as hosts. The College expects that students will develop deep connections to these communities. The relationships they form increase their likelihood of returning to the region to practice medicine.
“We’re building a pipeline to supply physicians to medically underserved communities across the state. We want medical students to build relationships with the communities where they train and complete their clinical clerkships. We want them to feel like these are their communities. The greater attachment they have, the more likely they are to stay in that area.”
—Kenneth P. Roberts, Ph.D., vice dean for academic and community partnerships
The College’s clinical partners are the cornerstone of a community-based approach to medical education. Their involvement delivers substantial benefits for students and communities alike.
Outstanding preparation for tomorrow’s physicians
Instead of rotating through wards in a university-owned teaching hospital, students train in the diverse health care facilities of clinical partners. Their experiences can include hospitals and clinics large and small, urban and rural, working with diverse patient populations. Instead of learning primarily from medical residents, they learn primarily from seasoned clinicians who may have decades of experience.
By the time medical students begin residency, they will be well ahead of the curve in clinical skills and experience—ready to meet the evolving needs of the 21st century health care system.
Filling gaps in access to medical care
Physician shortages plague many communities across Washington. The College’s clinical partnerships enable medical students to train in rural or medically underserved settings where doctors are scarce. Students form ties with these communities—with the hospitals and clinics where they work, with clinical faculty who teach them, and with the patients they serve. These students will be more likely to return to these regions to practice medicine when they graduate.
“WSU continues to make progress on our commitment to increase the number of doctors serving the people of this state, especially in underserved communities. Improving access, in this case to health care, is part of WSU’s land-grant mission.”
—Dan Bernardo, WSU provost and executive vice president
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Partner with us
Find out how your hospital or clinic can become a clinical partner of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.