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Students Complete First Year Medical Studies at UW

June 30, 2015
man helping woman put on white coat
Sarah Koch, of Cheyenne, left, receives her white coat from Laramie physician Ken Robertson after completing the first year of medical studies at the University of Wyoming. She and 19 other UW students will study this fall at the University of Washington School of Medicine as part of the WWAMI medical education program. (WWAMI Photo)

Having recently completed their first year of medical studies at the University of Wyoming, 20 students from across the state will move in the fall to the University of Washington School of Medicine as part of the WWAMI Medical Education Program.

The students were recognized at an annual white-coat ceremony that marked their advancement to the next stage of training to become physicians. The WWAMI program -- which stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho -- allows Wyoming students to attend UW for the first year of medical school before earning their degrees from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Each year, students receive white coats from their preceptors, with whom they’ve worked for the past year. The preceptors, who provide the service to the WWAMI program voluntarily, are local physicians in a variety of specialties.

Since the inception of the Wyoming WWAMI program, 263 Wyoming students have started medical school through WWAMI; 175 have graduated from the University of Washington with medical degrees; 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 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 74 of 107 graduates returning to the state to practice – 69.2 percent -- is the highest in the WWAMI region.

Speakers at the white-coat ceremony were College of Health Sciences Dean Joe Steiner; Wyoming WWAMI program Director Tim Robinson; and WWAMI student Levi Hamilton, of Gillette.

WWAMI will now host the white-coat ceremony at the beginning of the school year rather than at the completion of the first year. Members of the incoming class will receive their coats at the event scheduled Aug. 21.

UW students who received their white coats, listed by hometown, academic major and school attended as an undergraduate, are:

Auburn -- Aislinn Lewis, physiology, UW.

Casper -- Brandon Douglass, physiology, UW; and Morgan Johnson, kinesiology and physiology, UW.

Cheyenne -- Danielle Borin, neuroscience, Brandeis University; Allison Dawson, physiology and biology, UW; Sarah Koch, physiology, UW; and Justin Romano, physiology, UW.

Cody -- Brittany Myers, biology, Rocky Mountain College.

Douglas -- Tricia Jensen, molecular biology and physiology, UW.

Gillette -- Levi Hamilton, chemistry with a physiology minor, UW; and Casey Slattery, biology with a chemistry minor, University of Denver.

Glendo -- Rage Geringer, physiology with a chemistry minor, UW.

Jackson -- Bryan Feinstein, biochemistry and molecular biology, Dartmouth; and Katelyn Miller, social work with gerontology minor, University of Montana.

Lander -- Lydia Clark, biology, Reed College.

Newcastle -- Lauren Millett, microbiology, bacteriology and molecular biology with a history minor, UW.

Otto -- Coulter Neves, exercise science, Brigham Young University.

Powell -- Galen Mills, biology with a chemistry minor, Carroll College.

Rock Springs -- Andrea Habel, microbiology, bacteriology and molecular biology, UW.

Worland -- Jason Reynolds, microbiology and bacteriology, Idaho State University; M.S. medical science, University of Southern Florida.

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