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WWAMI – Wyoming’s Medical School

WWAMI – Wyoming’s Medical School

WWAMI is an acronym for the five states that participate in the Medical School program: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, and serves students from those states who don’t have their own medical schools.

The state of Wyoming began its affiliation with the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1997, with 10 students who started their medical education at the University of Wyoming and completed their medical degrees at the University of Washington in Seattle. The WWAMI program reserves 20 seats each year for qualified Wyoming residents. Students accepted to the program spend 18 months on the University of Wyoming campus, and their third and fourth years are spent at selected clinical sites throughout the WWAMI region.

As of August 2019, 343 Wyoming students have entered the WWAMI program, with 80 students currently enrolled. A total of 161 students have completed residency training and 66% have returned to Wyoming to practice medicine.

WWAMI graduates on the Campbell County Health medical staff include: Katie Houmes, MD, and Steven Clements, MD, Hospitalists; Jake Rinker, MD, General Surgery and Doug Watt, MD, Radiology.

The WWAMI program also includes clerkship programs for third-year medical students in several specialty areas. Community-based clinical faculty volunteer their time to educate those medical students. In Gillette, Wyoming those clerkship opportunities are in Internal Medicine with Dr. Nick Stamato, at the Campbell County Medical Group (CMG) Cardiology clinic; and Obstetrics and Gynecology with Dr. Angela Biggs, Summit OB GYN.

WWAMI also sponsors the R/UOP (Rural/Undeserved Opportunities Program) for students completing their first year of medical school. They spend four weeks working with rural physicians to encourage medical practice in rural communities. The program gives students the opportunity to discover how patients receive healthcare in places without the highly specialized resources of the academic setting in Seattle, WA.

WWAMI Student Marina Tkachenko did her 2019 R/UOP rotation with Dr. Erica Rinker at the Family Medicine clinic.