• Increasing Access to Health Care

    The MEDEX mission focuses on expanding access to healthcare for the medically underserved and in rural and remote settings throughout the five-state northwest service region.  MEDEX is designed as a second-career program, enrolling students with prior clinical experience, which is the first step on the way toward becoming a highly skilled PA.

  • Training Generalists

    The MEDEX classroom (didactic) curriculum has grown and developed throughout the program’s history (since 1969), with the consistent mission of training generalists who will most flexibly increase access to healthcare.  The competency-based design integrates and reinforces material across courses in an organ system approach.

  • Clinical Experiences

    The MEDEX clinical year builds on the program mission.  The core experience is a 4-month primary care continuity experience called the preceptorship.  Additional 4-week clinical experiences include emergency medicine, general surgery, inpatient internal medicine, behavioral medicine, a medically underserved rotation and one elective. All of these rotations develop and reinforce a generalist skill set for those who are planning careers in primary care.

  • Team Relationships

    The primary care preceptorship emphasizes the relationship between the supervising physician and the PA student, and also includes a full-day site visit and evaluation by a MEDEX faculty member.  Preceptorships are also utilized as a recruitment strategy for primary care clinics, who often choose to employ PA students who trained there.


PAEA Virtual Fair 2014

April 22nd and 23rd. Sponsored by PAEA (Physician Assistant Education Association), the Physician Assistants Virtual Fair allows those interested in learning more about the PA profession to connect real-time with 20 PA programs, including MEDEX Northwest. You’ll be able to live chat with the MEDEX Admissions Team from anywhere, and learn more about MEDEX, the admission process, and the PA profession.

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Ruth Ballweg’s Changing Role at MEDEX

Long-time MEDEX leader, Ruth Ballweg, and Dr. Tom Norris, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, have announced that Ruth will step down from her leadership position on May 1, 2014. A graduate of MEDEX Class 11, Ruth joined the MEDEX faculty in 1981, became Program Director in 1985, and moved into the role of Section Chief for MEDEX in 2011. She was promoted to the rank of Professor in the School of Medicine in July 2013.

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Application Cycle

The MEDEX application is now closed for the 2013/2014 cycle!  All CASPA and MEDEX supplemental applications submitted before the deadline will be reviewed and all applicants will be provided application status by email.

For all applicants planning to apply in 2014/2015 the application cycle opens in May with a final deadline of October 1st for enrollment the following year.

MEDEX Tacoma Campus Now Open

MEDEX Northwest is proud to have opened its newest site—for 28 students—on the campus of the University of Washington, Tacoma.   Our opening ceremony on September 16th honored the entering students, but also the leaders throughout the community who have helped to make this happen.

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The Liza Benson Endowed Fund for MEDEX

The Liza Benson Endowed Fund for MEDEX was established in loving memory of Elizabeth G. “Liza” Benson by her mother, sister and brother. This fund will support scholarships for aspiring physician assistants in perpetuity. Donate to the fund.

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New MEDEX “Engagement” Video

What does it take to become a physician assistant? Apart from the basic clinical skills of medicine, one must cultivate trusting relationships with the patients. During their first year at MEDEX Northwest, PA students learn the necessary clinical skills in the classroom setting— taking a medical history, and conducting medical examinations. Then they apply this learning to their first patients: elderly, high-functioning residents at local retirement homes.

Watch the video

MEDEX Seattle Opens New Classroom

On January 6th, the current MEDEX Seattle didactic students returned from winter break to a new classroom, effectively doubling the size of the previous space.

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PAs and the ACA

A recently published article in Academic Medicine examines the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act on large medical education programs, including the University of Washington. Entire sections address the critical importance of physician assistants in implementation of the ACA.

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The Interactive Classroom

“The Interactive Classroom” details the thought, care, and planning that goes into designing the didactic year classroom experience for MEDEX students. Four faculty discuss the move from a purely lecture-based curriculum to physician assistant instruction that engages on multiple levels— kinetically, experientially, and as a team. Members of Seattle Class 46 are featured.

View the video

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