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WSU College of Medicine receives initial accreditation for graduate medical education

Medical student takes patient's blood pressure.
WSU medical student with patient. (Photo by Cori Kogan, WSU Spokane)

By Christina VerHeul, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine announced Monday, Oct. 15, that it received initial accreditation for graduate medical education.

The initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which comes a little more than a year after the college welcomed its inaugural class of students in August 2017, allows the college to begin developing and sponsoring ACGME residency and fellowship training programs.

“This is a key milestone in enabling us to fulfill our mission of improving health care quality and access in rural and underserved communities in Washington,” said John Tomkowiak, founding dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “Not only does expanding graduate medical education increase the chance that students will remain in Washington to practice medicine, it offers increased opportunity to build residency programs in more communities east of the Cascades where they’re needed most.”

Graduate medical education (GME) is the three‑ to seven‑year phase of medical education following graduation from medical school that prepares physicians for independent practice in a medical specialty. While about 43 percent of medical school graduates will practice in the state where they graduate, that number increases to 70 percent when they complete both their medical education and their residency in the same state.

According to 2018‑19 ACGME data, there are 170 ACGME accredited training programs in Washington, however, 158 are located west of the Cascades and 12 are located east of the Cascades. This results in approximately 33 trainees per 100,000 population west of the Cascades and just nine trainees per 100,000 population east of the Cascades. The national average is 37.8 ACGME trainees per 100,000 population.

To learn more about the program visit the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine website.

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