WWAMI Missoula

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Liz Kelsey, Coordinator, 406-243-4763

The WWAMI program has been housed with Western Montana AHEC since 2014.  WWAMI is a cooperative program of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. It is a program which makes medical education accessible to students in the northwestern United States by decentralizing the educational process and by sharing existing facilities and personnel in universities and communities in the WWAMI states. Support of WWAMI by the State of Montana allows 30 qualified Montana residents to be admitted to the University of Washington School of Medicine each year.

The Missoula Track started in July 2008 with four third-year students participating. Missoula offers all six required third-year clerkships and currently offers fourth-year clerkships in Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, and Neurology, with more to come. Meals are provided free of charge by both hospitals and The University of Montana food service to all WWAMI students. Housing is located on a bus route (bus pass included) but we strongly suggest coming to Missoula with a bicycle or car.

This past year, WWAMI celebrated several milestones:

  • 48 students completed 78 rotations and had 3 visiting Internal Medicine UW Residents during the 2015-'16 academic year
  • Students attended a special interprofessional education (IPE) day at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, MT
  • Two faculty development sessions provided discussion time to address needs of different learning styles/types.

WWAMI Students in downtown Missoula

WWAMI students and staff enjoy a Thirst Gear tour of downtown Missoula

Third-Year Required Clerkships

Third and fourth-year medical students have the opportunity to take required and elective clerkships in Montana. All six third-year required clerkships are available in Missoula.

  • Family Medicine - The Family Medicine Clerkship student in Missoula has a unique opportunity to participate with family practice doctors in a wide range of settings, including multispecialty clinic practice (Western Montana Clinic) to community health center (Partnership Health Center), hospital based single specialty practice (Community Medical Center) and HMO (Curry Student Health Center at the University of Montana).
  • Internal Medicine - Experience in general medicine and subspecialty instruction in both office and hospital settings are offered here, with an excellent medical faculty, conferences, and educational offerings.
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology - Students work with 4 OB/Gyns at the Western Montana Clinic, a multispecialty practice. Students' hospital experience is spent in the clinic and at Providence St. Patrick Hospital.
  • Pediatrics - This clerkship is based in a large pediatric office at Community Medical Center with emphasis on both sick and well child care. Faculty provides teaching at inpatient, ER and NICU areas of the hospital.
  • Psychiatry - This clerkship is based at the Providence Center of St. Patrick Hospital & Health Sciences Center and at the psychiatry offices at Montana Neurobehavioral Specialists. Students work with both adult and adolescent psychiatrists in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • Surgery - Students are assigned to the surgical service of one of the major affiliated hospitals where they will serve a significant role as a part of the total patient care team. This clerkship is based at two practices, Missoula Surgical Associates, PLLC next to St. Patrick Hospital & Health Sciences Center and General Surgery at the Community Medical Center.