Welcome to the Spokane Advanced Clinician Track! As part of the University of Washington’s Psychiatry Residency Training Program, the Spokane track was formed in 1991 to help address the demand for well-trained Psychiatrists outside major metropolitan areas. Our program is accredited through the University of Washington School of Medicine and admits three residents each year: two PGY-1 positions via the National Residency Match Program and one PGY-2 position filled outside the Match. We have been fortunate over the years to have physicians from other specialties change career paths and pursue Psychiatry training in the Spokane track. This contributes to our unique blend of 3rd and 4th year residents, who spend 1-2 years training together in Seattle before coming to Spokane. Our residents consistently form a diverse and supportive group. They also perform very well after graduation, as over the past 5 years 99% of our graduates have passed their American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology examinations.
The Spokane Track is structured so that Psychiatry residents complete a portion of their training in Seattle and a portion in Spokane. We believe this arrangement provides not only a rich array of training opportunities, but also life experiences. In Seattle, residents train at a premier academic institution with a variety of affiliated hospitals and clinics. They benefit from an amazing collection of academic and clinical faculty members, many of whom are involved in special clinical programs and conduct a wide range of research activities.
As part of a smaller group in Spokane, residents still train at the major tertiary health care center between Seattle and Minneapolis. However, they work more intimately with faculty members who have a more community-oriented focus. In this more intimate setting, it is possible to streamline the experience to the special needs of each resident. The close contact with the clinical faculty provides an opportunity to become acquainted with the lifestyle of the practicing psychiatrists and psychologists in the region. Other Spokane residency programs enrich the learning experience and expand the collegial network for those who stay and practice in the area after completing their residency.
Spokane Track clinical rotations at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, Spokane Mental Health, the Spokane Veteran’s Affairs hospital, Family Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency - Spokane clinics, and Gonzaga University are based on their educational value. Funding for the Spokane Track has always been based on combined resources from local hospitals, clinics and agencies. This means that while in Spokane, in part due to the small cohort and variety of training settings, resident on-call responsibilities are limited to those that are of significant educational value. Residents complete their Emergency Psychiatry requirement in Seattle, and on-call services in Spokane are provided by staff psychiatrists.
Central to the philosophy of the Spokane Track is the opinion that to be an excellent clinician, one must be well-trained in diagnostic case formulation and in applying various treatment alternatives. This requires comprehensive and appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward both psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. The clinical and didactic curricula, as well as other training opportunities, emphasize these educational objectives equally. As you are exploring a future in Psychiatry, we hope you will pay a visit to Spokane to get acquainted with the area and meet our residents and faculty.
Matthew Layton, M.D., Ph.D.
Thank you for your interest in the Spokane Advanced Clinician Track of the University of Washington Psychiatry Residency Program. This track is designed to provide superb and balanced training for those residents planning careers in smaller, non-urban settings.
As the only medical school for five states (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho), the University of Washington has, as one of its core missions, the goal of training physicians for this region. The Spokane Track grew out of our department's commitment to this mission, as well as the regional and national shortage of psychiatrists practicing outside of large urban areas. The goal of the program is to provide the broad-based training necessary to prepare residents to work as general psychiatrists in underserved communities.
To this end, the program has a unique structure, which combines the strengths of the academic university environment in Seattle with those of the community practice setting of Spokane. Residents spend the first half of their training in Seattle, where they can take advantage of a large and diverse academic faculty, specialized clinical opportunities, and active research programs. After completing primary care, inpatient psychiatry, consultation-liaison and outpatient experiences in Seattle, senior residents in Spokane then benefit from an integrated adult and child, inpatient and outpatient practice, which mirrors the practice of psychiatrists within the community.
Didactics, clinical rotations, and psychotherapy training are planned across the years in Seattle and Spokane to form a cohesive and high quality educational program.
We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about the Spokane Advanced Clinician Track. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet you in the future!