SEATTLE — Nineteen medical students from across Wyoming, attending the University of Washington School of Medicine at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, are moving on to the clinical phase of their education. Among those students are Christopher Ellbogen, Alexandra Gobble, Laurel Green, Shaye Lanouette and Jaryd Unangst, second-year medical students from Casper.

The students are all part of WWAMI, a partnership between the UW School of Medicine and the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, to offer residents state-supported medical education with a goal to increase the physician workforce in each of these states.

During a ceremony on Monday, the students were presented with white coats that signal an end to their time in the basic science curriculum and the beginning of their practical study in hospitals and clinics. The ceremony was held at Meany Theater on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Beginning in 2018, the Clinical Transition Ceremony for Wyoming students will be held in Laramie.

During the first 18 months of medical school — the Foundations Phase — students are learning about the molecular and cellular basis of disease, circulatory systems, anatomy, blood and cancer, and other basic science topics. Additionally, through a new curriculum that launched in 2015, each student also spends time in a primary care clinic with a mentor from the very beginning of medical school.

After completing Foundations, they go on to the clinical phase of their education, completing required and elective clerkship rotations at clinics and hospitals throughout the WWAMI region.

“We are very fortunate to have such a high-quality medical school experience in Wyoming,” said Timothy Robinson, Ph.D., assistant dean for the Foundations Phase at the University of Wyoming. “The transition ceremony represents the successful completion of a very rigorous curriculum, and these students and our state should be very proud of their accomplishment. There is nothing better than seeing medical student from Wyoming realizing their dream of becoming a physician through a state-supported program.”

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