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Bruner honored in WWAMI program

Meaghan Bruner

Meaghan Bruner

— A second-year University of Idaho medical student from Cottonwood is among those being honored Dec. 14 as future doctors in the WWAMI Medical Education Program transition to the clinical phase of their education.

The class of 40 students in Idaho’s medical school, a partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine, will be honored with white coats to mark their completion of the basic science curriculum and the beginning of intense study in clinic and hospital settings.

Meaghan Bruner of Cottonwood is among the WWAMI students who will be honored in the ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Best Western Plus University Inn, 1516 W. Pullman Road, Moscow. She is a graduate of Prairie High School and is the daughter of Dr. Teel and Kelly Bruner of Cottonwood.

Idaho is one of five states in the WWAMI program, which also includes students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska and Montana. The students spend 18 months in a classroom-intensive foundations phase of the program, followed by clerkship rotations at hospitals in Idaho and the five-state WWAMI region.

The students began the foundations phase on U of I’s Moscow campus in August 2016. The students will next review concepts and take their first national board examinations before beginning clerkship rotations at hospitals around Idaho and the Northwest.

“We are very fortunate to have such a high-quality medical school experience in Idaho,” said Jeffrey Seegmiller, director of the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program. “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 a resident of Idaho accomplishing their dreams in a state-supported program – homegrown physicians for Idaho.”

Idaho WWAMI has 31 required clerkships in 11 communities across the state. Among those sites are hospitals in the Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) program, which partners with medical centers that serve rural and underserved populations.

Bruner is one of six TRUST scholars who will spend the majority of their clerkship experiences at sites in Hailey, Jerome, McCall, Nampa, Orofino or Sandpoint during their four years of medical school. Bruner is slated to serve patients in the greater Sandpoint community.

More than half of Idaho WWAMI graduates return to Idaho after completing medical school. Idaho currently has 42 first-year residency positions.

Funding from the state of Idaho has supported medical training at U of I since 1971.

According to a 2016 study, the state sees a $5.10 return on investment for every dollar spent on the medical students.


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