Ivinson Memorial Hospital continues to support the Wyoming WWAMI program, serving as a clinical education site for the first 18 months of students’ medical education.
Students previously spent 12 months in Laramie studying before going to Seattle for the remainder of their foundations of clinical medicine studies. Ivinson has served as a clinical education site for the WWAMI program since 1996 and, beginning in August 2019, will host two 20-student cohorts for their hospital medicine education as WWAMI students extend their time in Wyoming.
Goodfellow looked at all of the literature on predictors of primary care physician practice location in under-served urban and rural locations in the U.S., and one of the important findings was that students who were trained in medical school curricula that support rural and under-served practice goals had significantly higher rates of actual practice in these types of locations. When the University of Washington School of Medicine asked the regional partners in Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho to extend the training of their medical students from one year to 18 months, the opportunity was embraced. “By U.S.D.A. standards, all of Wyoming is classified as ‘rural’ and so it is essential that we are able to train our medical students in Wyoming during their foundational years (i.e., the first 18 months of medical school),” said Tim Robinson, the director of the Wyoming WWAMI program.
Knowing that Ivinson’s role would expand to support WWAMI medical students, the hospital made adjustments to better meet the needs of students, clinical instructors and the community. Dr. Julie Carlson, Ivinson hospitalist and WWAMI assistant clinical professor, spent time this summer working with both WWAMI and Ivinson to implement small changes that would enhance students’ hospital medicine experience at Ivinson. In addition to a smoother patient flow due to support from Ivinson’s lead nurses, students now have a clinical classroom on-site that is centrally located and allows immediate access to the patients they work with. With all of the changes made, Ivinson will be more equipped to support 40 medical students each year.
In speaking about the support from Ivinson in this transition, Robinson stated, “All of these [changes] have greatly enhanced the medical student’s experience here in Laramie. We are very grateful to IMH for their continued support of the WWAMI program. Hopefully this translates into more physicians coming back to Laramie to practice!”