WWAMI...Alaska's Medical School
The Alaska WWAMI Program began at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (as WAMI) in 1971. The program moved to the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1989. Historically, ten Alaska residents were admitted to the Alaska WWAMI program each year. However, through the combined efforts of the Alaska WWAMI Program, the University of Alaska, and the Alaska legislature, the Alaska WWAMI class size has been doubled.
Prospective students apply to the University of Washington School of Medicine; upon admission, Alaska's WWAMI students complete their first year of medical school at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The first year of training includes courses in basic sciences and an introduction to clinical medicine.
Students from all five WWAMI states attend second-year courses at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The third and fourth years of the medical school curriculum are comprised of "clerkship" rotations in the various medical specialty areas. These clerkships may be taken in any of the five WWAMI states. Students who choose the "Alaska Track" can take nearly all of these clerkships in Alaska.
The first WWAMI Faculty Development Workshop was held March 7-9 in conjunction with the Alaska Academy of Family Physicians' annual Winter Update at the Hotel Alyeska. Guest speakers were Dr. Heidi Coombs and Dr. Jesse Markman, from the University of Washington School of Medicine. A panel of Alaska "Master Teachers"—physicians who, for decades, have taught WWAMI medical students and residents—also tok part in the workshop.
Dr. Stephen Tower, an Anchorage orthopedic surgeon, demonstrates shoulder exam techniques with WWAMI students. The network of instructors and physicians who train Alaska's WWAMI students is long standing, but Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska recently made a generous donation to WWAMI's effort to tighten the network into a more coalesced faculty. Read more.
Alaska WWAMI Distinguished Lecture Series and UMEDRA was presented by Dr. Jay Butler and Dr. Allen Harmsen on November 12, 2013 at the UAA Health Sciences Building. "Influenza Virus Emergence and Prevention: It's Not 'Just The Flu'" & "Use of viral-like particles as nonspecific and specific influenza vaccines". Stay tuned for information on the next lecture in the series.