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Seventeen Receive Medical Degrees through UW WWAMI Program

June 19, 2015
group photo of people in black caps and gowns
The 2015 UW WWAMI graduation class members.

Seventeen 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 15th cohort of Wyoming residents to graduate from the University of Washington School of Medicine via the Wyoming WWAMI program. WWAMI 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.

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. As of this spring, 263 Wyoming students have started medical school through WWAMI; 175 have graduated from the University of Washington with medical degrees as of June 2015; 107 have completed residency training and are eligible to practice medicine; and 74 have returned to Wyoming to practice, most in primary care. Wyoming’s return rate of 74 of 107 graduates (69.16 percent) is the highest of any state in the WWAMI region.

Under the WWAMI program, Wyoming medical students spend their first year taking classes at UW, 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, residency program specialty and site, are:

Alpine -- Kimberly Cranford, psychiatry, University of California San Francisco-Fresno.

Casper -- Christopher Ideen, physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Washington affiliated hospitals; Ashley Klone, internal medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center; Dean Lorimer, pediatrics, Phoenix Children’s Hospital; and Stephanie Lyden, neurology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

Cheyenne -- Matthew Fournier, orthopedic surgery, University of Tennessee College of Medicine; and Dhairyasheel Patel, radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Cody -- Jeff Bank, internal medicine, University of Utah affiliated hospitals; and Tanner Clark, radiology, University of Utah affiliated hospitals.

Gillette -- John Barnes, anesthesiology, Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, Calif.

Green River -- Mattson Mathey, family medicine, Fort Collins Family Medicine.

Lander -- Maxwell Matson, internal medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Laramie -- Steven Flynn, emergency medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center; and Mark Wefel, family medicine, University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program, Cheyenne.

Lyman -- Landon Bluemel, anesthesiology, University of Utah affiliated hospitals.

Rawlins -- Lauren Johnson, internal medicine, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, Wash.; and Greetha Sridharan, pediatrics, University of Chicago Medical Center.

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