WSU College of Medicine

Kaiser Family Foundation

Native people are among the least likely to be tested for the coronavirus. There are several reasons for that, including lack of access to health care.

A team led by a Washington State University medical professor has won a federal grant to reach out to Native American communities and try to increase testing.

WSU Covid Tracker Allows Urban, Rural County Comparisons

Jul 30, 2020
WSU College of Medicine

It’s not hard to track coronavirus statistics from around the country. The states of Washington and Idaho and several local health districts make Covid data available on their websites.

But one site created by Washington State University researchers sorts that information so you can compare Covid information from rural and urban areas.

WSU College of Medicine

Covid has become fertile ground for health sciences researchers, including those headquartered at Washington State University.

Two faculty members in the WSU College of Medicine have earned new grants for projects related to Covid and cancer.

Professors Ofer Amram and Patrik Johansson have each been awarded $100,000 from the Andy Hill CARE Fund for cancer research in western Washington.

WSU College of Medicine

Spokane public health officials have recruited medical and nursing students to be part of an enhanced contact tracing team. Their job will be to contact and follow people who test positive for the coronavirus.

One Washington State University medical student is already involved in a similar effort.

WSU Study Looks At Who Is More Likely To Die Early

Feb 4, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington State University researchers say people in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to die early — that is, younger than 65 — than people who live in more affluent neighborhoods.

Dr. Pablo Monsivais and his team examine health disparities between people in different segments of society. In this case, they were interested in why some people die earlier than others.

Cori Kogan/WSU College of Medicine

Washington State University is working to get more Native American students to consider careers as medical doctors. A very small percentage of the doctors in the U.S. are Native and the pipeline is generally empty. WSU’s College of Medicine says, out of nearly 22,000 medical students in the U.S., 44 are Native.

One of them is Grace McPhail. She’s a first-year WSU medical student from Long Beach, Washington.

Today on Inland Journal, two stories from Spokane’s medical schools.

The University of Washington and Gonzaga are teaching the next generation of doctors about how to become leaders.

“We hear from our community partners when we work in the clinical setting that doctors don’t have the leadership skills necessary for the roles that they’re foisted into. That’s been recognized more and more by clinical health systems, but even more so recently, there’s been a call from big organizations, the Institute of Medicine, from the accrediting body for residency programs, and others who have said leadership skills need to be part of medical school training," said Darryl Potyk from the UW School of Medicine.

Cori Kogan/WSU College of Medicine

Only a tiny percentage of the physician population in the U.S. is Native American. And the pipeline from Native communities to medical schools is providing only a trickle of students.

Washington State University’s College of Medicine is working with two other West Coast medical schools to increase the number of Native people prepare for careers as physicians.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on Inland Journal, Spokane moves one step closer to determining whether it should consider modernizing its jail or building a new one.

"I think the best financial situation for Spokane would be to put in place these initiatives and continue to expand on them so there would not need to be any new construction.”

WSU Unveils New Mobile Health Coach

Oct 9, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington State University today [Wednesday] unveiled a new mobile health unit that will travel the state and provide care for people, especially in rural areas.

The mobile unit has two exam rooms and a medication dispensary. Faculty members and students from the colleges of medicine, nursing and pharmacy will provide care.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The science behind CPR, cardio pulmonary resuscitation, has changed over the years and so have the recommendations for practicing it.

Washington State University is now requiring its medical students to test their CPR skills every three months to stay sharp.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Class began Monday for Washington State University students, including its 80 medical students.

It’s the largest of the three WSU medical school classes. The legislature allowed the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to add 20 to its class this year.

There’s something else new as well.

WSU College of Medicine

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, bringing opioid treatment to rural communities.

Many small towns in the U.S. have been devastated by opioid addictions. One of the contributing factors is that rural providers are often not equipped to help their patients overcome their addictions. They have to direct their clients to clinics and treatment centers in urban areas. And for many, that’s not a good answer.

A team of WSU health sciences researchers has developed a plan to train small teams of health providers and students to go to rural towns and teach doctors, nurses and pharmacists how to provide basic treatment to people with addictions.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A team of WSU health sciences researchers now has the resources to develop a training program for rural providers who see patients with opioid addictions.

The team has landed a $1.9 million, five-year federal grant that will allow its members to develop a treatment program and then export that to people who can most use it.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Premera Blue Cross says it’s giving more than $10 million to two organizations that are working to expand the physician work force and medical capacity in rural eastern Washington.

Premera CEO Jeff Roe announced today [Wednesday] that it would grant $5.5 million during the next four years to Washington State University’s College of Medicine.

Inslee, WSU Celebrate Expansion Of Medical School

Jun 7, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington Governor Jay Inslee today [Friday] celebrated an expansion of WSU’s medical school during a ceremony on the university’s downtown Spokane campus.

The legislature this year approved funding to allow the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to increase its annual class from 60 to 80.

Inland Journal, March 29, 2019: Milk Or No Milk?

Mar 29, 2019
Missy Nadvornick

Friday on the Inland Journal podcast, to drink milk or not to drink milk? For years, WSU researcher Nancy Potter has been investigating a little known disease known as duarte galactosemia. It affects how babies digest milk and there’s been no universal advice for parents as to whether to feed their children milk, until now. Potter and a national team of researchers say they have the answer.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

This week, researchers with the WSU College of Medicine released a report showing residents in eastern Washington are more likely to die early from most of the 10 major causes of mortality than people on the west side. Some of those illnesses include cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke and diabetes.

WSU Medical Students Get Exposure To Rural Practice

Sep 6, 2018
Lincoln Hospital

When WSU’s second-year medical students came back for the new academic year last month, they were sent out on a road trip. Before I continue, I should explain that, even though the 60 students in that class will study in Spokane this year, they’re formally assigned to four WSU campuses. So the home campus for 15 of them is Spokane, 15 are assigned to the Tri-Cities campus, 15 to Vancouver and 15 to Everett. For the road trip, the 15 Spokane students spent a week in hospitals and clinics in towns like Davenport, Colville, Usk and Pullman.

“I often joke that I came out of the womb with a Coug onesie on,” said medical student Erik Stiles.

WSU College of Medicine

Dr. George Novan is an important figure in the development of medical education in Spokane. Last week, Novan retired from being a full-time faculty member at WSU. During his time, Spokane has blossomed, now with 120 new students per year between the two medical schools.

WSU News

The public perception of opioids is not good right now. Thousands of people around the United States die each year due to opioid overdoses. But doctors prescribe them for a reason; they’re good at alleviating pain. Many, though, given the addictive qualities of opioids, are prescribing different regimens for their patients.

A new study by a WSU medical researcher shows that, in many cases, those other regimens are just as good at controlling pain.

Idaho Democratic Caucus

Medical education is undergoing a renaissance in the Inland Northwest.

For years, the University of Washington controlled medical education opportunities in the five-state region consisting of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. It had the only med school in the region, allowing first-year students from those states to study close to home before recalling them to Seattle.
Now, Washington State University — focused on Washington students — has its own medical school with its second class about to start in August. The privately-funded Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in Meridian will welcome its first class in September.

But medical school is only half of the doctor training equation.

WSU Looks to Create Medical Residency Program

Jun 7, 2018
Washington State University

On Friday, the Washington State University Board of Regents will be asked to allow the WSU College of Medicine to get into the medical residency business.

In the American medical education system, students normally get a bachelor’s degree, then go on to four years of medical school. That’s unknown as undergraduate medical education. They get their M.D. and then match with a hospital system or clinic or other health care provider that provides training for the first few years of practice. That’s known as graduate medical education, or GME.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington State University is naming a cancer research laboratory on its Spokane campus after a former Ritzville woman.

The space is named after the late Tamara Hennings, who died in 2012 of cancer.