Medical education is booming in Spokane.

A new medical school by Washington State University — plus a dramatic expansion of a modest medical training program operated by the University of Washington — mean hundreds of future doctors will soon be training in the eastern Washington city.

It's the culmination of years of efforts by civic leaders to expand education offerings that have the potential to grow the economy.

The most high-profile development is Washington State University's creation of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the nation's newest med school.

Named for the late WSU president who pushed for its creation, the Floyd College received preliminary accreditation in October and has started accepting applications for its first class. The school plans to enroll 60 students per class, with the first class starting in August.

WSU President Kirk Schulz said the accreditation news "puts us one step closer to educating physicians who will practice in Washington's underserved communities and furthers the university's land-grant mission to serve the needs of the state."

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