At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

11 years or more

Hourly Wage:

$37.70-$100+ (Mean $111.81)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data for family and general practitioners

One-page Description (PDF):


Professional Activities

The physician’s role involves final responsibility for the examination, diagnosis, and treatment, when needed, of those in their care. This is done directly or in collaboration with other physicians and healthcare providers.

The physician’s tasks include conducting a physical examination of the patient, interviewing the patient and others for an accurate personal health history, performing and ordering diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays, prescribing medications and treatments, and referring patients to specialists for further evaluation and treatment. Besides providing direct patient care, a physician’s career may involve other interesting activities such as health systems planning, administration, research, and education.

Physicians may choose to specialize. Examples of specialties include: pediatrics (care of children), cardiology (heart specialist), neurology (care of brain, nerves and spinal cord), internal medicine, surgery, ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat specialist), ophthalmology (eye specialist), and family practice (primary care for patients of all ages).

Physicians in Alaska work in communities of all sizes and in facilities that vary in level of sophistication.

Educational Requirements

A physician’s training typically involves at least 11 years of education beyond high school.

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in math and science.
  • Graduation from a four-year college with high grades and prerequisite classes for medical school. In the past, most medical students were biology or chemistry majors but today other degrees are acceptable as long as good grades are earned and medical school science prerequisites are met.
  • Graduation from a four-year medical school awarding either a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.
  • Completion of another three to six years of residency is common and expected in today’s complex medical world.
  • Further specialization through additional residencies or fellowships is a common option.

Academic Programs

WWAMI is Alaska’s medical school.  Twenty Alaskan residents are admitted to the program each year.  For the eighteen month Foundation Phase, Alaska’s WWAMI students are taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  The 4-week to 6-week blocks of clinical experiences, called clerkships, beginning after the Foundation Phase and occupying the 3rd and 4th years can be taken in any of the five states. The Alaska Track allows most of these to be completed in Alaska.  Thus, Alaskans can complete all four years of medical school in Alaska through WWAMI.

For the past 23 years the WWAMI program has been identified as the nation’s top primary-care, family medicine and rural medicine training school by U.S. News & World Report.

WWAMI School of Medical Education
University of Alaska Anchorage
Health Sciences Building (HSB) 301
3795 Piper Street
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 786-4789

Undergraduate Premed Activities:  Undergraduate premed coursework can be completed at UAA, UAF or any major undergraduate university.  Premed advising at UAA is provided by the WWAMI School of Medical Education.

Dr. Quentin Reuer
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
Engineering Building Room 307
UAA Biomedical Program/WWAMI
3211 Providence Drive, CPISB 301 M
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-1747

WWAMI offers a summer enrichment programs for high school students interested in health careers.  Participants learn about health careers, shadow health practitioners and learn to live and study on a college campus. For more information, go to the following web site:


State Contact:

Alaska State Medical Association
4107 Laurel Street
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 562-0304

Alaska Academy of Family Physicians
35555 Kenai Spur Highway #266
Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: (907) 258-2255

National Contact:

American Medical Association
AMA Plaza
330 North Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-5885
Phone: (800) 621-8335

Associate of American Medical Colleges
655 K Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001-2399
Phone: (202) 828-0400

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