Established in 1946, the School of Medicine is the only medical school directly serving the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI). Located in the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center, the School operates a decentralized program of medical education (WWAMI) via a regional network of teaching affiliates.
The School's basic-science departments provide educational opportunities for students from all schools and colleges within the University. Clinical teaching programs are conducted at the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children's hospital, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare System, as well as at other clinical affiliates in Seattle and throughout the WWAMI states.
The School admits approximately 220 medical students to its first-year class and has a total enrollment of over 800 students pursuing the Doctor of Medicine degree. The full-time faculty numbers more than 2,100 members and there are more than 4,500 clinical faculty located throughout the WWAMI region. The affiliated University residency-training network enrolls more than 1,200 house officers. Enrollment in the graduate programs in the basic sciences exceeds 600 students, and approximately 1,000 postdoctoral fellows are enrolled in advanced training programs. The School has baccalaureate and/or graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, and medical technology. The School participates in training a broad spectrum of other allied health professionals. The School is also home for the Physician Assistant Training Program known as MEDEX.
The WWAMI program was initiated in 1971 as an effort to address the maldistribution and shortage of physicians in the Northwest region, provide a broader range of educational opportunities for students, and address the need for primary-care physicians oriented toward rural practice. It is an integral part of the undergraduate medical curriculum and is a fully accredited program of the School of Medicine. The WWAMI program is named for the five states (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) that share resources and responsibilities in the regional educational program. Funds appropriated to the WWAMI program by the Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho legislatures assure each state of positions for its students in the entering medical class each year.
The University of Washington School of Medicine is nationally recognized for its regional training program (WWAMI). In addition to providing unique clinical learning opportunities, the WWAMI program allows a small-group learning experience in the first year at the regional training sites, which many students prefer. Students from Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho complete their first year curriculum in small learning groups in their respective home states. The state of Washington provides three sites for medical students to complete their first year curriculum:
Small group learning experiences are available at Pullman and Spokane. All Washington residents are required to rank one or more of these three sites in order of preference in their secondary application. Every effort is made to match accepted Washington students with one of their preferred sites.
More information and video testimonials from first-year Pullman and Spokane medical students are available at: uwmedicine.washington.edu/Education/MD-Program/Admissions/WWAMI-First-Year/Pages/default.Aspx
All students complete their second year of medical studies at the UW’s campus in Seattle. Offers of acceptance are conditional upon agreement to participate in the WWAMI program.
Third- and Fourth-Year Training
At the conclusion of the second year, students enter the portion of the curriculum that is predominantly clinical. Required, selective, and elective clerkships are described below. As part of clinical training, students complete clerkships at the UW, at its affiliated hospitals, or at community clinical units located in the five-state region. During third- and fourth-year clerkships, School of Medicine full-time and clinical faculty members provide supervised clinical training in required as well as elective clerkships through the WWAMI region.
Bachelor of Science
A program leading to a baccalaureate degree with a major in microbiology is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.
Bachelor of Clinical Health Sciences
A program leading to a baccalaureate degree with a major in clinical health services is offered through the MEDEX program.
Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology
A curriculum in medical technology is offered by the Department of Laboratory Medicine. This program provides study in basic laboratory science that includes clinical laboratory training and is designed to prepare knowledgeable and skilled laboratory scientists for a variety of employment opportunities. Information concerning admission to the medical technology program appears under Laboratory Medicine in this catalog.
Bachelor of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics
The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine offers a Bachelor of Science degree in prosthetics and orthotics. The curriculum provides professional training in the basic sciences and the clinical application, design, and fabrication of prostheses and orthoses. Information concerning admission to the curriculum in prosthetics and orthotics may be found under Rehabilitation Medicine in this catalog.
MEDEX Northwest, UW School of Medicine, is a program designed to train physician assistants. The program has been in existence since 1978 and is accredited by ARC-PA, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. MEDEX currently trains approximately 80 students annually in three didactic training sites (Seattle, Yakima, and Spokane). Discussions are currently underway to have a fourth training site in Anchorage, AK. Students return to their home communities in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) plus a variety of sites in Oregon and Nevada for their clinical year of training.
MEDEX Northwest is currently an eight-quarter program. The first four quarters consist of intense clinical and didactic instruction at one of the didactic training sites. The final four quarters are spent in clinical experiences throughout the Northwest region. At the completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Certifying Examination for Physician Assistants.
Master of Occupational Therapy
The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine offers agraduate degree in occupational therapy. The curriculum provides professional training in the health sciences and in the theory and practice of occupational therapy as it impacts occupational performance across the life span and in the various arenas of practice. Occupational therapy addresses daily living skills including self-care, work, and leisure/play. Information concerning admission to the occupational therapy program appears under Rehabilitation Medicine in this catalog.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine offers a graduate degree in physical therapy. The curriculum provides professional education in the basic sciences and in the clinical use of physical therapy evaluation and management strategies in the treatment or prevention of neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. Information concerning admission to the physical therapy program appears under Rehabilitation Medicine in this catalog.
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy
Work leading to master's and doctoral degrees is offered, in accordance with the requirements of the Graduate School, in the departments of Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biological Structure, Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology and Biophysics. Master's degree programs are offered by the departments of Laboratory Medicine, Medical History and Ethics, and Rehabilitation Medicine. Students may work toward these degrees concurrently with the MD degree, taking additional years beyond the typical four-year medical curriculum.
Concurrent degrees are possible in many other departments and colleges of the University. Recent graduates have pursued concurrent degrees in the basic sciences of medicine and the School of Public Health. A student who intends to work toward a graduate degree should confer with the chairperson of the department in which graduate study is to be pursued and with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Medicine. Specific requirements for admission to work for advanced degrees appear in the Graduate School section of this catalog. Permission to pursue advanced degrees is granted to medical students only if they are progressing normally in the medical curriculum and show evidence of being able to take on this additional work load.
Upon completion of the curriculum of the School of Medicine, the MD degree is awarded to those candidates who (1) have given evidence of good moral character, (2) have satisfactorily completed the requirements of the curriculum, (3) have fulfilled all special requirements, and (4) have discharged all indebtedness to the University.
(Procedures and policies described are subject to change. Information regarding changes is available from the School of Medicine Admissions Office.)
Candidates for admission to the University of Washington School of Medicine are considered comparatively on the basis of academic performance, motivation, maturity, personal integrity, and demonstrated humanitarian qualities. A knowledge of, and exposure to, the needs of individuals and society and an awareness of healthcare delivery issues are desired. Extenuating circumstances in an applicant's background are evaluated as they relate to these selection factors.
Applicants must submit scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This examination must be taken no later than autumn of the year before matriculation and cannot be more than three years old at the time of matriculation. MCAT registration blanks are available through premedical advisers or through the Office of Admissions. Under exceptional circumstances, to be determined by the Admissions Committee, the GRE may be considered during the admission process; however, if accepted, the applicant is required to take the MCAT prior to matriculation.
The following science course requirements must be completed before matriculation but preferably by the time of application: A total of 32 semester hours or 48 quarter hours of undergraduate courses divided into (a) chemistry, 12 semester/18 quarter hours, which can be satisfied by taking any combination of inorganic or organic chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology courses; (b) physics, 4 semester/6 quarter hours; (c) biology, 8 semester/12 quarter hours; and (d) other ("open") science subjects, 8 semester/12 quarter hours, which can be met by taking other courses in any of the three categories above.
Although a biochemistry course is not absolutely required for admission to the medical school, it is very strongly suggested for entering students. The biochemistry course for the first-year medical students focuses on molecular mechanisms central to human health and disease and is taught with the presumption that participants have already mastered the fundamentals of biochemistry, including molecular genetics, structure and activity of proteins, and metabolism. A comprehensive undergraduate biochemistry course is the most expedient way to gain this knowledge.
Under exceptional circumstances certain course requirements may be waived for individuals who present unusual achievements and academic promise. All candidates must demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required courses. Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language and basic mathematics and are expected to have a basic understanding of personal computing and information technologies.
Students who entered in the fall of 2003 had a mean GPA of 3.69 and the following mean MCAT scores: Verbal, 10.0; Physical Science, 10.3; Biological Science, 10.8; and a median Writing Sample of P.
Completion of three years of coursework at an accredited college or university is the minimum required before possible matriculation; however, all entrants in recent years have earned bachelor's degrees. No specific major is advised. A broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged, indeed expected.
The following pre-medical course requirements must be completed prior to matriculation but preferably by the time of application; undergraduate or post-baccalaureate courses must be completed at a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting body. All candidates must demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required science courses. Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language and basic mathematics, and are expected to have a basic understanding of personal computing and information technology. All entrants in recent years have fulfilled requirements for a bachelor’s degree. No specific major is advised. A broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged and expected.
Courses must include a minimum of:
The following courses are recommended, but not required:
For further information, consult:
Under exceptional circumstances certain course requirements may be waived for individuals who present unusual achievements and academic promise.
The University of Washington participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The deadline for submitting an application to AMCAS is November 1 and no waivers are granted. After receiving the application from AMCAS, the School of Medicine asks qualified individuals to submit a $35 application fee and supplemental application materials. Every attempt is made to notify applicants of the final action by the middle of April of the year of matriculation.
Residents of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho are eligible to apply. Candidates from Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho are required to submit residency certifications from their respective state certifying officers. Proof of legal residence for Washington residents also may be requested. Determination of state of legal residence is not made by the School of Medicine; specific instructions regarding this requirement are furnished at the time of application.
Applicants from outside this five-state region who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have demonstrated a commitment to serving underserved populations are considered. Foreign applicants, in addition to the above requirements, must also have a permanent-resident visa.
Individuals with a demonstrated interest in research may apply for the MD/PhD program (Medical Scientist Training Program, or MSTP) regardless of residency.
Applications are not considered from persons who have failed to meet minimum standards at this or another medical or dental school.
The deadline for submitting additional application materials is January 13, 2012. These supplemental materials include:
Inquiries, address changes, or other information regarding the application should be transmitted in writing and directed to the Committee on Admissions, Office of Admissions, Box 356340, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-6340; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic Science Curriculum - 147 credits
The first two years of the medical-student curriculum are identified as the Basic Science Curriculum, consisting of three phases, or groups, of courses in the human biology series, courses in the sciences basic to medicine, organ systems courses taught by basic and clinical disciplines, and introduction to clinical medicine. The first phase is designed to provide the background in basic disciplines required for the organ-system courses. In the second phase, emphasis is placed on learning the normal and pathophysiologic properties of several human organ systems, and upon correlating these properties with clinical methods of data collection and problem formulation. Students pursue the introduction to clinical medicine course throughout the first two years, learning to interview patients, obtain a medical history, and perform the physical examination.
The academic demands of the Basic Science Curriculum are scaled so that most students are also able to take elective courses that broaden their background.
Basic Sciences Curriculum (generally defined as 500-level courses) - 159 credits
Clinical Curriculum (generally defined as 600-level courses) - 148 credits
The clinical curriculum is pursued in the third and fourth years of medical school. It includes prescribed clerkships to be completed by all students (84 credits or 42 weeks) in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery, plus clinical electives (32 credits or 16 weeks) in four clinical areas including clerkships in rehabilitation medicine/chronic care, emergency care/trauma, neurology, and surgery electives. Additional clinical or non-clinical selectives (a minimum of 32 credits or 16 weeks) are also required.
During the clinical curriculum, students gain clinical knowledge and gradually increase their clinical problem-solving abilities while working as junior members of the medical-care team. Each team is headed by a faculty clinician working in one of the medical school-affiliated hospitals, clinics, or practices.
Capstone: Preparation for Residency - 2 credits
Capstone is a required, one week course taught primarily in a small group and workshop format, designed as a “continuing medical education” course, in which fourth-year students (graduating in June of the current year) choose sessions to attend relating to the medical issues, evaluation, management, and procedures involved in their planned specialties. Grading is credit/no-credit only, and is based on attendance and tracked via evaluations.
Total minimum credits for the MD degree - 309 credits
Student Evaluation and Promotion
The awarding of the Doctor of Medicine degree is contingent upon satisfactory completion of academic and noncognitive requirements. The latter includes the acquisition of behavioral patterns and attitudes consistent with the School's professional standards and the oath that all students take at the time of graduation. As such, student evaluation is based on observations by the faculty and others involved in teaching of the student's behavior and conduct as well as papers and examinations. Every student is required to pass Steps 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination, all University of Washington examinations, and to complete an approved independent investigative inquiry project before receiving the Doctor of Medicine degree. Periodic reviews of student performance are conducted by the School's Student Progress Committee. Students are informed of their deficiencies and the remedial requirements, if any, for these deficiencies. Dismissal from the School may occur if the student fails to maintain an acceptable academic record, fails to follow academic directives provided by the School's committees, or fails to develop attitudes and behavioral patterns appropriate to a career in medicine.
The Faculty Council on Academic Affairs (FCAA) reviews the Student Progress Committee's action, and the Dean of the School of Medicine has final approval of the committee's and council's recommendations. A review mechanism is available within this process. Once dismissal or withdrawal from the School has occurred, the student may petition for reinstatement through the FCAA. Reinstatement is not considered without substantial evidence that the problems causing the dismissal or withdrawal have been resolved. Only one petition through the FCAA is allowed. If more than one year elapses after the withdrawal or dismissal, the individual may be required to apply for readmission through the admission process. If a reinstatement petition is denied by the FCAA, the decision is final with no further avenue for review. Subsequent requests for admission must be directed through standard admission procedures.
Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) is a national honor medical society. A charter as Alpha of Washington was granted to the School of Medicine in 1950 by AOA. Members are elected by AOA on the basis of high scholarship and good moral character. The purpose of AOA is to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. Its goals are to promote scholarship and research in medical school, encourage high standards and conduct, and recognize high attainment in medical science, practice, and related fields. Its motto is "Worthy to serve the suffering."
Grades awarded in each course in the MD curriculum are Pass or Fail in the first-year basic science curriculum; Honors, Pass, or Fail in the applied-science curriculum; and Honors, High Pass, Pass, or Fail in the clinical curriculum. The School's goal is to provide a curriculum that defines the competencies to be achieved by the student at each level. However, a pattern of documented evaluator concerns about a student's performance may indicate unsatisfactory performance when the record is viewed as a whole, even though passing grades have been assigned. Honors may be awarded in a course on predetermined criteria that may involve additional work in the subject as selected by the student. The grading system precludes the ranking of students and no class standing is assigned.
The School of Medicine reserves the right to revise or modify the curriculum, system of evaluation, or graduation requirements.
Graduation with Honors
A degree of Doctor of Medicine with Honors may be awarded to students with high achievement who, in addition, have demonstrated initiative and success in clinical and scholarly pursuits related to medicine. Candidates for graduation with honors are nominated by the departments each year and are selected on the basis of a review of their academic records by the Honors and Awards Committee.
Office of Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs assists students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing MD or MD-PhD degrees. The program nurtures interests in medical careers by providing a variety of support services and enrichment activities in the areas of recruitment, education, admission, retention, and professional development. The School considers applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have a demonstrated commitment to work with underserved populations. Students should contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs for assistance during the application process. The program offers counseling and advocacy, referrals to University and community resources, tutoring, financial-aid information, and numerous opportunities to interact with other minority health-care professionals within the community. Various student organizations also provide minority medical students a means to interact socially and pursue shared interests, to offer peer support, and to assist with community-outreach activities.
U-DOC, a high-school summer-enrichment program offered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is a six-week program for students who have completed their junior year in high school. U-DOC's goal is to foster, affirm, and encourage high school students' interest in the medical profession by allowing them to further explore medical careers and to obtain a valuable introduction to college life. U-DOC is offered in each of the five WWAMI states.
The Western Consortium Summer Medical Education Program (SMEP) offers undergraduate and some qualified postbaccalaureate students a six-week summer academic-enrichment program that includes biology, chemistry, physics, communications, study skills, and MCAT preparation. Structured clinical and research activities are also offered. Housing, stipends, and travel assistance are available.
A prematriculation program for entering minority or disadvantaged medical students is offered for six weeks during the summer. The program is designed to facilitate students' entry into medical school by providing instruction in histology as well as enrichment activities in areas such as study skills, stress management, test-taking skills, research, clinical practice, and community health. Stipends and travel assistance are available to students who qualify.
During the regular school year, the Office of Multicultural Affairs serves as a support network for both the academic and nonacademic needs of students, and facilitates students' access to the multiple resources in the School of Medicine, the WWAMI region, and the community.
The Native American Center of Excellence was established in 1992 as part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs to encourage Native American students to pursue medicine as a career, to promote research on Native American health issues, and to foster the preparation of Native American students for faculty roles in academic medicine. The Center of Excellence provides educational experiences that integrate Western medicine with the Native American way of life, offers a variety of support services to promote the academic development of students, and sponsors a variety of educational opportunities within the Native American community.
Inquiries and requests for additional information may be obtained from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Box 357430, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-7430; (206) 685-2489.
Medical Scientist Training (MD-PhD) Program
A limited number of highly qualified candidates who wish to pursue both the MD and PhD degrees are considered annually. MD/PhD students are permitted a wide choice of research specializations from among numerous disciplines and interdisciplinary areas of biomedical sciences. The program emphasizes continuity of both clinical and basic sciences exposure. Among participating graduate departments and interdepartmental disciplines are biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, environmental health, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biotechnology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology and biophysics. The participating interdepartmental and affiliate programs are neurobiology and behavior, molecular and cellular biology. Students can also conduct their research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Applicants who wish to be considered for the MD/PhD program must submit the Medical Scientist Training Program application as soon as possible. Both the application and any supplemental material requested must be completed by January 15. Serious consideration is rarely given to applicants with minimal research experience and/or a cumulative GPA of less than 3.50 or MCAT scores of less than 10 in each category.
Applicants should correspond directly with the administrator of the Medical Scientist Training Program: MSTP
Fees and Other Charges
All fees and extra service charges are payable in U.S. dollars and due at the time specified for such fees and charges. The University reserves the right to change any of its fees and charges without notice. Resident tuition for 2003-2004 is $4,149 per quarter; nonresident tuition is $9,796 per quarter.
Financial aid awards are based on the demonstrated need of the students. All applicants for aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This requires disclosure of financial information from the student and the student's parents. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), Perkins Loan, and the Primary Care Loan are the primary sources of aid. Institutional loans are also available from the School of Medicine. Limited amounts of grant funds are available to Washington state residents who meet specific funding criteria. Parental information is not required for grant funds, the Stafford Loan, or the Perkins Loan.
Scholarships are available through the School of Medicine scholarship fund. These awards vary in amount and require financial information from the student and the student's parents. There is a separate application for the School of Medicine scholarship, which has a May 31 due date.
Financial aid information is distributed to all accepted applicants. The FAFSA form may be obtained at www.fafsa.ed.gov or from the UW Office of Student Financial Aid or the School of Medicine Financial Aid Office. The deadline for receipt of the financial-aid application by the processor is February 28. Applicants must meet this deadline to be considered for all available aid sources regardless of the status of their admission file. Late applicants are awarded only Stafford and Unsubsidized Stafford loans.
Outside employment is discouraged while the student is enrolled in medical-school coursework.
Students may enhance their medical education through a variety of sponsored activities that offer students an opportunity to explore areas of special interest, such as working in rural or urban clinics that serve medically underserved communities, undertaking medical research projects, or participating in an international exchange program with a developing country. Brief descriptions of two of the more formally structured programs follow.
Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP)
This program exposes students to rural medicine and utilizes clinical training sites in all five states. For one month during the summer between the first and second years, students work with physicians in small communities, offering a chance to better understand the challenges and opportunities in these settings. Students receive a stipend supported by the Family Health Foundation, the Academy of Family Physicians, Area Health Education Centers, and the School of Medicine.
Medical Student Research Training Program
Summer research opportunities are offered to UW medical students interested in gaining valuable experience from training in medical research. This research is planned and carried out under the supervision of a faculty sponsor and is undertaken during the summer between the first and second years. Student trainees in the program receive a stipend supported largely by gifts given by donors specifically to fund student research. The project is ten weeks, full-time, on a working schedule of forty hours per week, and the student may not be enrolled in courses for credit during this time. At the conclusion of the summer, the students prepare posters that are presented as part of the Medical Student Research Forum.
The University of Washington School of Medicine offers a broad array of residency and fellowship programs. Training occurs at the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle Children's hospital, and other affiliated training sites in Seattle and throughout the WWAMI region. Postdoctoral research fellowship opportunities in the basic sciences are also offered.
The Office of Continuing Medical Education, School of Medicine, offers a wide variety of courses for physicians and healthcare professionals in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the nation.
Offerings include short courses of one to three days, one- to two-week board-review courses, visiting professorships, preceptorships, and mini-residencies. Other offerings include lecture series at hospitals, video-tape presentations, self-directed instructional materials, and other specific courses requested by members of the medical community throughout the WWAMI region. Information on offerings is available from its website at www.uwcme.org.
All physicians also are invited to participate in continuing medical education programs offered by clinical departments, such as grand rounds and regular conference series.
The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. All programs sponsored by the Office of Continuing Medical Education are applicable to physician relicensure requirements of the Washington Board of Medical Examiners and for Category I credit of the Physician's Recognition Award of the American Medical Association. Prescribed credit for the American Academy of Family Physicians and other types of credit are included in the program offerings when appropriate.
Brochures and calendars for courses are available for more detailed information. For information concerning Continuing Medical Education programs, contact:
University of Washington School of Medicine