Dr. James E. Branahl has been honored by the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine for his outstanding contributions to teaching medical students at the WWAMI community clinical training unit in internal medicine in Boise. Branahl practices general adult medicine as well as geriatric medicine (care of the elderly) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise.
WWAMI is a partnership among the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho to educate new physicians for the region. Among the training opportunities WWAMI provides is the chance for third-year medical students to take their required clinical courses, called clerkships, at several towns and cities in the five-state region. In Boise, UW medical students can take clerkships in obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, psychiatry, family medicine and internal medicine.
Branahl will receive a 1998 WWAMI Teaching Excellence Award in Internal Medicine, given for the first time this year. Recipients were selected from a pool of nominees on the basis of their enthusiasm and dedication to medical student teaching.
Branahl has coordinated UW medical student training in internal medicine in Boise since 1986, and has been a member of the UW School of Medicine’s clinical faculty since that time.
He is the assistant chief of the medical service at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise and medical director of its Extended Care Unit. He is a past recipient of the Veterans Administration Hands and Heart Award.
In addition to teaching general adult medicine and geriatric medicine to medical students, Branahl teaches students preparing to be physician assistants in the UW’s MEDEX Northwest program and physicians-in-training in the Seattle/Boise Primary-Care Internal Medicine Residency Program. Branahl also has a long-standing interest in medical ethics.
He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. He did his residency in internal medicine at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, and a two-year fellowship in gerontology and geriatric medicine in a program held jointly at the UW and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise.
Other WWAMI faculty receiving Teaching Excellence Awards in Internal Medicine from the UW his year are Dr. Wesley Wilson of Missoula, Mont., Dr. George Novan of Spokane, Wash., and Dr. Ronald Smith of Billings, Mont. Along with award presentations in each city, a commemorative plaque has been installed in their honor at the medical school’s Seattle campus.