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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellen Harder—1932 to 2013
MEDEX mourns the loss of our graduate, fellow-faculty member and friend, Ellen Harder. Ellen died at home on Tuesday evening, September 17, 2013 from complications of cancer treatment. Her son John was with her.
Students Awarded Tillman Scholarships
Two current MEDEX students, DJ Smith of Seattle Class 46 and Dustin Golding of Yakima Class 19, have been awarded the prestigious Tillman Military Scholarship. Of 1,800 total applicants, only 60 were selected based on their service already rendered and their desire to continue that service. MEDEX Northwest congratulates DJ and Dustin for this recognition.
Ruth Ballweg Named Full Professor
In 2012 MEDEX Section Chief Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C, received the Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement, the most prestigious award in the physician assistant world. In 2013 the UW School of Medicine further recognized her achievements and promoted Ruth to full Professor.
New Book from the PA History Society
The Physician Assistant: An Illustrated History was recently published by the PA History Society. Ruth Ballweg, our own MEDEX Northwest Section Chief, is one of the four authors of this book. This is a timeline handbook, punctuated with images and brief biographies of the major contributors and events central to the PA profession over the past half-century.