Washington’s two research universities are once again asking lawmakers for extra money for both of their medical-school programs in Spokane.
But the frosty relationship between the University of Washington and Washington State University over medical-school funding seems to be a thing of the past.
“Finally, we see this as behind us,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz, speaking during a joint interview on the Seattle Channel show Civic Cocktail on Wednesday with UW President Ana Mari Cauce.
Two years ago, the two schools fought publicly over which one was more qualified and capable of quickly expanding doctor training in the state. WSU proposed — and ultimately won — the right to open its own medical school on its Spokane campus.
That school — the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine — is on track to admit its first group of students this fall. It’s reviewing 340 applications for 60 slots for its program.
The UW, which had partnered with WSU to teach medical students in Spokane, went its own way last year, starting a partnership with Spokane’s private Gonzaga University to host its medical-school program. (The UW’s cooperative, five-state medical education program is known as WWAMI — an acronym formed by the names of the five states that participate: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.)
Schulz was not WSU president during the medical-school fight; he joined WSU in June 2016. Cauce became president of the UW in the fall of 2015, after the debate was largely over.