WRITE Program Mission and History
WRITE Program Mission & Goals
The WRITE Program is a clinical medical education program developed by the University Of Washington School Of Medicine as a means to help meet the need for rural primary care physicians in the WWAMI region. The success of this unique program is due to the integration of community involvement, continuity of experience, and a proven curriculum. The impetus for creating WRITE was to expand primary care and rural training options at the University of Washington; develop additional training experiences in the WWAMI states, including rural Washington; foster the primary care mission of the University of Washington; provide more physicians for rural practice in the Pacific Northwest. As the program was developed, much attention was paid to the RPAP program at the University of Minnesota, with Tom Norris and Jim Blackman meeting with students, faculty, and administrators at the U of Minnesota to get their input. UM RPAP preceptor Lyle Muneke was brought out to the UW to meet with faculty and department chairs. After much discussion, the program was scaled down from nine months to six months (ultimately 20 weeks) so that appropriate prerequisites could be completed before students went to their WRITE sites.
The first two sites to host WRITE students were in Idaho (Hailey and McCall) in 1997.
Summary of Implementation of WRITE Program from Jim Blackman
The WRITE Program is designed to give selected third-year medical students an appropriate mix of ambulatory and hospital experience during a 20-week clinical education experience at a rural primary care teaching site. Throughout the program, the WRITE student has the opportunity to develop a practice style while learning how to treat a broad range of medical, surgical and psychological problems. Learning experiences emphasize the rural physician’s responsibilities and roles of diagnosing, treating and managing the majority of health problems on a longitudinal, continuing basis, while calling upon all the health care resources available in the community. The intent of the experience is to allow students interested in primary care to:
- know the day-to-day workings of a rural community practice
- effectively particpate as a member of a rural practice team
- provide continuity care for a panel of patients
- demonstrate social integration into a rural community
- meet all objectives of other clerkships for which he/she will receive credit while participating in the unique WRITE teaching environment
- display confidence in providing care while recognizing his/her limits
- act professionally with patients and members of the health care team
- accurately assess learning needs, develop and implement learning plans to meet these needs
- develop solutions to problems presented in daily practice
The WRITE Program serves to benefit the rural medical community in a variety of ways:
- Physicians who participate in the program may apply for and receive a University of Washington School of Medicine faculty appointment.
- WRITE is an opportunity to showcase the community, thereby leading to greater physician recruitment.
- The medical community’s relationship with the University Of Washington School Of Medicine promotes greater mutual understanding of each other’s respective roles.
- Faculty from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine travel to rural sites to offer consultation and give medical education presentations.
- The Dean’s Office, University of Washington School of Medicine and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation support community-based rural medical education by providing funding to the WRITE Sites to cover infrastructure expenses of the practice and travel for specific faculty development opportunities.