Alumni and Student Updates

Excellence, Rewarded

Our alumni are hard-working, inspiring, committed, engaging — and we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize three alumni whose stories caught our eye over the past few months. For more stories and inspiration, please see the ClassNotes section.

Honoring a Veteran
Veteran Richard Layton, M.D. ’54, received the University of Washington’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Veterans Award in November 2014. A petty officer, second class, in World War II, Dr. Layton traveled to Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on a top-secret mission, charting the effects of atomic bomb blasts on naval ships at sea. Following his service, Dr. Layton practiced family medicine and served as director of the family medicine residency program at Providence Hospital. An advocate for rural medicine, he also helped pioneer the WWAMI and MEDEX Northwest programs.

Dr. Layton is pictured with his wife, Marilyn; photo: Tara Brown.

A Local Humanitarian
Acknowledged by her peers and patients as a vital part of the Native American healthcare community throughout the state of Montana, LeeAnna Muzquiz, M.D. ’00, was given the Dr. George Saari Humanitarianism Award by Montana State University in 2014. Dr. Muzquiz is the medical director and a full-time physician for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (of which she is a member). In addition to serving as a specialist in adolescent medicine, women’s health and diabetes for the Tribal Health Department, she is active in health policy and advocacy issues. Dr. Muzquiz also serves on the WWAMI Montana Program admissions committee.

Photo: Clare McLean.

An Award for Advocacy
In October, the Multicultural Alumni Partnership honored alumnus Benjamin Vazquez, M.D. ’07, with the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Vazquez was recognized for his commitment to underserved communities in southwest Washington and for his advocacy in promoting healthcare careers for minority, LGBTQ and rural students.

UW Night at the Mariners

Photos: Lynne Salkin Morris

Last year, more than 100 UW School of Medicine alumni and their families came together for a night at the Mariners. Join us again this year at Safeco Field’s Lookout Landing for 300-level seats and a private barbeque dinner with baseball favorites. Mark your calendar, and stay tuned for more details!

Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels
Friday, July 10 • 7:10 p.m.

To learn more, contact the UW School of Medicine Alumni Relations office at, 206.685.1875 or toll free at 1.866.633.2586.

Small Investment, Big Impact: HOST

Every fall and winter, thousands of fourth-year medical students traverse the U.S. Collectively, they spend a great deal of money to interview for residency positions. But our alumni are making a dent in the bill by participating in HOST (Help Our Students Travel). Each year, alumni open their homes to our students, providing a comfortable place to stay and perspectives that only experience can offer. On behalf of our students, we thank the 70 hosts who participated in the 2014–15 school year.

By the Numbers

Number of volunteers: 70

Number of classes represented: 48 (1966–2014)

Number of cities represented: 47

Most frequently visited cities: Albuquerque, Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Portland, San Diego

Number of students participating: 157

Number of requests made: 320

Number of nights students were hosted: 285

Approximate savings for students: more than $40,000
(assumes lodging costs of $150/night)

You Can Help!
To HOST, all you need is a spare bed or couch. The more volunteers we have, the more students we can serve — and it’s never too early to sign up. Visit to register, or contact the UW School of Medicine Alumni Relations office at, 206.685.1875, or toll free 1.866.633.2586.

A Taste of “Real” Life With the SAID Program

Vijaya Galic, M.D. ’04, Res. ’10, spoke with students interested in her work as an OB/GYN at a regional cancer center.

Remember what it was like in medical school? Were you enthusiastic and full of questions about life as a physician? Today’s students are, too, and through Student-Alumni Informational Discussions (SAID), they have an opportunity to hear directly from the alumni who were once in their shoes.

SAID is a long-standing program that provides students with an opportunity to speak with alumni — over a meal or coffee — in an informal setting. The program takes place twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. In November, 30 physicians representing more than 20 specialties met with 82 students to share their perspectives.

“The students are always engaged and grateful for the candid conversation and the connection we make,” says host Jane Lester, M.D. ’86, Res. ’90. “We talk about autonomy, night call, hospital rounds, income, burnout, student loan debt, specialty practice, residency, fellowships, role models and more. I learn as much from them — about medical education today — as they learn from me.”

If you’d like to host a group of students, visit for more information. You may also contact the UW School of Medicine Alumni Relations office at, 206.685.1875 or toll free at 1.866.633.2586, and they will be glad to let you know when it’s time to sign up for the fall session.

A Good Time for Graduates

Last fall, graduates gathered in Boston and Salt Lake City to meet, mingle and reminisce. The East Coast contingent was joined by Fernanda Delgado, a fourth-year student completing a research year in Boston. “As the only medical student there, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet alumni from a variety of specialties and WWAMI sites, and many shared useful career advice,” she says.

Are you interested in hosting a regional alumni happy hour in your city? Contact us at, 206.685.1875 or toll free at 1.866.633.2586. The UW School of Medicine Alumni Relations office will take care of the planning; all you need to do is suggest a venue and attend the event.

Readiness for Real-life Doctoring: Curriculum Renewal

Marcella Pascualy, M.D., Res. ’88, and R. Lane Brown, Ph.D., participate at a planning meeting for the new curriculum. The meeting, held in January 2015, brought together faculty from throughout the five-state region of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. “It was great to meet in person, rather than simply over the phone,” says Ryan.
Photo: Robert Steiner, Ph.D., Res., (obstetrics and gynecology)

What’s the bottom-line goal for curriculum renewal in 2015? “We’re making sure we’re preparing students for how they’ll be practicing medicine,” says Michael J. Ryan, M.D., Res. ’89, Chief Res. ’90, associate dean for curriculum for the School of Medicine.

At the UW School of Medicine and throughout the WWAMI states, medical educators have been putting their heads together, considering how best to anticipate the knowledge and skills M.D. students will need after seven-plus years of medical school and residency. Their answers run the gamut from developing skills at evidence-based medicine, to learning to work on teams with other medical professionals, to assessing and managing the needs of groups of patients with specific conditions.

The courses in the new curriculum are being built by teams of scientists and physicians from throughout WWAMI, and they will present science that is important to the practice of medicine. There will be a significant reduction in the number of traditional lectures; most sessions will be interactive, based on clinical cases. And exposure to patients and clinical care during the early classroom phase of the curriculum will increase — and will start as soon as the students arrive.

“The input and feedback we’ve received has been incredibly valuable,” says Ryan.

The curriculum rollout is slated for fall 2015; look for an update in a future issue of UW Medicine.

Thanks, Alumni!

When alumni get involved in their education, students really appreciate it! First-year students from the WWAMI Montana Program sent this card to thank the UW School of Medicine Alumni Association for gifts of white coats and stethoscopes.



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