Sixteen Receive Medical Degrees through UW WWAMI Program
Sixteen students from Wyoming recently took another giant step toward reaching their dreams to become physicians when they were accorded medical degrees from the University of Washington School of Medicine.
They are the 13th cohort of Wyoming residents to graduate from the University of Washington School of Medicine via the Wyoming WWAMI program. The WWAMI program is a unique medical education program that trains physicians, many of whom practice in Wyoming and other northwestern states. WWAMI stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
“Having earned their M.D. degrees, the students still must complete their residency requirements and, if all goes according to plans, they will then return to their home state to practice medicine,” says Timothy Robinson, who directs the WWAMI program at the University of Wyoming. He cites statistics to show that since the first WWAMI class enrolled at UW in 1997, the program has been successful in providing physicians to help meet Wyoming’s health care needs.
As of this spring, 243 Wyoming students have started medical school through WWAMI; 158 have graduated from the University of Washington with medical degrees; 95 have completed residency training and are eligible to practice medicine; and 64 have returned to Wyoming to practice, most in primary care.
Wyoming’s WWAMI students must return to the state to practice medicine for three years after completing residency, or they must repay the state the amount of money expended on their behalf. Wyoming’s rate of 64 of 95 graduates returning to the state to practice -- 67 percent -- is the highest in the WWAMI region.
Under the WWAMI program, Wyoming medical students spend their first year taking classes at the University of Wyoming, spend their second year in classes at the University of Washington in Seattle and then spend their third and fourth years in clinical rotations throughout the five-state region.
The new Wyoming MDs, listed by hometown, undergraduate institution and major, and residency program specialty and site are:
Buffalo -- Krystal Jones, University of Arizona, physiology; residency specialty in dermatology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.
Casper -- Jacquelin Foss, Arizona State University, plant biology; residency specialty in pediatrics at University of Utah affiliated hospitals; and Megan McKay, UW, kinesiology; residency specialty in emergency medicine at University of Nevada affiliated hospitals, Las Vegas.
Cody -- Lindsay Capron, UW, physiology; residency specialty in obstetrics/gynecology at Mountain Area Health Education Center, North Carolina; Trenton Morton, Carroll College, biology; residency specialty in plastic surgery at University of Washington affiliated hospitals.
Evanston -- Kyle Hancock, University of Southern California, biology; residency specialty in orthopedic surgery at University of Iowa hospitals and clinics; Dane Hill, Grand Canyon University, biology; residency specialty in family medicine at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Health Care.
Gillette -- Ryan Abbaszadeh, UW, physiology; residency specialty in surgery at University of Washington affiliated hospitals.
Jackson -- Orion Wells, University of Utah, biology; residency specialty in family medicine at Valley Medical Center, Washington.
Laramie -- Catherine Cantway, University of Colorado, biological sciences; residency specialty in family medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, Colorado.
Sheridan -- Elise Lowe, University of Montana, sociology; residency specialty in internal medicine at University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Alyse Springer, UW, physiology; residency specialty in family medicine at Utah Health Care Institute.
Smoot -- Katie Houmes, Chadron State, human biology; residency specialty in family medicine at University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Ten Sleep -- David Mills, BYU, nutritional sciences; residency specialty at McKay-Dee Hospital Center, Utah.
Wheatland -- Amy Kennedy, Gonzaga, biology; residency specialty in internal medicine/global health at University of Pennsylvania Medical Education facilities.
Wilson -- Emily Read, Grinnell College, general science; residency specialty in pediatrics at University of Washington affiliated hospitals.
These students are the 13th cohort of Wyoming residents to graduate from the University of Washington School of Medicine via the University of Wyoming WWAMI program. (WWAMI Photo)