WWAMI is a cooperative program of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. It is a program which makes medical education open to students in the northwestern United States by decentralizing the educational process and by sharing existing facilities and personnel in universities and communities in the WWAMI states. Support of WWAMI by the State of Montana allows 20 qualified Montana residents to be admitted to the University of Washington School of Medicine every year.
The WWAMI Medical Program has two main objectives. The first is to make public medical education open to Montana residents. The second is to encourage graduates to choose careers in primary care medicine and to locate their practices in the non-metropolitan areas of the northwestern U.S., many of which have problem with adequate number of physicians. furthermore, the program encourages talented students, especially minority students, in the WWAMI states to enter the field of medicine.
WWAMI is a medical school program, not a premedical program. Students who enter the program are enrolled in the University of Washington School of Medicine, but they take their first year of medical school basic science courses in their home states. First year programs exist at Washington State University in Pullman , the University of Wyoming in Laramie, the University of Alaska in Anchorage, Montana State University in Bozeman, and also the University of Idaho in Moscow. At all these sites first year medical students participate in a curriculum similar to and in consonance with that of the University of Washington School of Medicine's first year. After the first year, WWAMI students join their classmates on the Seattle campus.