Dr. James R. Blackman of Boise and Dr. Philip D. Cleveland of Spokane have been named assistant deans for regional affairs and rural health at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine. The UW Board of Regents has approved both appointments.
“The administrative promotion recognizes Blackman’s and Cleveland’s increasing contributions to the medical school’s decentralized educational programs within WAMI,” said Dr. John B. Coombs, acting vice president for medical affairs and acting dean of the School of Medicine. WAMI is an acronym for a multi-state partnership in medical education, research and service. Blackman will continue to be based at the medical school’s Idaho regional office in Boise and Cleveland at the medical school’s eastern Washington regional office in Spokane.
For the past couple of years, Cleveland and Blackman have overseen the medical school’s clinical teaching programs in their respective regions. These include hospital and community-based training courses for UW medical students, physician assistants and other allied health profession students, residents (recent M.D. graduates training in a particular field), and practicing physicians. Innovative examples are the WAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE), in which a medical student can train under a rural physician for six months, and the Idaho Track, whereby third-year medical students can take all six of their required clinical courses in Boise and Pocatello.
Cleveland and his former practice partners in Omak, Wash., started the medical school’s first rural medicine teaching site 26 years ago. Cleveland then went on to head the Family Medicine Spokane residency before becoming the medical school’s coordinator of clinical medical education-Spokane.
Blackman, who holds the same coordinator post in Boise, has directed family practice residency programs in Minnesota and Idaho. He is known for his work on rural health training issues and is a national expert in wilderness medicine.