3 Best Medical Schools in Washington State

The best medical schools in Washington offer the best medical programs and clinical training in the medical and healthcare fields. 

The schools offer the best residency matches, various hands-on training opportunities, and a rigorous curriculum. Washington med schools are committed to training highly competent and compassionate health care professionals who are willing to practice in underprivileged and underserved populations, especially in regions with a drastic shortage of quality medical care.

Washington state is home to six public four-year colleges and universities. There are more than 300 independent universities, colleges, and career schools. These colleges and universities offer various bachelor’s degrees, masters, postgraduate degrees e.t.c and are regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

We’ve provided a detailed list of the 3 best medical schools in Washington, the quality of these schools, curriculum, rankings, hospital affiliations, and lots more. 

Best Medical Schools in Washington State

How to Get Into Medical Schools in Washington State

Medical schools in Washington seek the passionate and most exceptional, aspiring physicians. Therefore, admissions committees use a holistic approach to choosing the right applicants. Though having impressive GPA scores or high MCAT scores increases your chances of getting accepted, it is not a guarantee that you will make it through the first round of interviews.

The requirements to get admission into medical school in Washington is include ninetieth percentile or higher scores (as it is mandatory for acceptance by the top 3 medical schools in Washington), previous clinical experience in Washington, exceptional GPA and MCAT test scores, strong application, and college essays that show your desire to become a medical doctor in Washington.

The acceptance rates at most Washington medical schools are 7% and 6%, respectively. An average applicant is expected to have a high academic record,  high MCAT scores, clinical experience, and extracurricular activities that show how your experiences and interests inspired you to want to study medicine. Students with experience working with the local community in Washington or those who are able to show a strong commitment to serving patients in Washington are highly considered during the admission process.

You should also have completed internships, and/or had job experiences in the medical field, to increase your chances of getting accepted. You can choose to volunteer at a free clinic, or with a hospital service, as it is one of the best ways to show your commitment and passion for medicine. You’ll get to experience what working in an emergency room or another medical profession is like.

You can also be Paid while doing a number of jobs to get work experience in the medical field. You can work with professors in reputable medical colleges If you enjoy research. You may find lab internships and assistantships vacancies to collaborate with other researchers on their projects or even do research on your own project.

Applicants are also required to submit letters of recommendation and Casper test results. If invited for an interview, he/she must have a secondary application that includes a 250-word essay that answers an open-ended question or prompt. The above requirements are necessary for applicants to ace the interview. Some other Washington med schools exclude the Casper test amongst their similar requirements for the application process.

PreMed Experience in Washington

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate program and gone through a PreMed curriculum. When invited for an interview or to submit a secondary/supplemental application, you need to be able to give a detailed overview of the clinical experiences that prepared you for a career in medicine.

Pre-med internship programs, organized by region, provide good clinical experience opportunities. You may also find internship opportunities closer to your school of interest. If you have no idea where to start looking for internship vacancies, speak to a pre-health academic advisor at your school. They will give you the right information and help you decide between on and off-campus opportunities and resources.

Other on-campus and local opportunities available can be in the form of voluntary work like voluntary ambulance service or student-run organizations. To increase your chances of getting accepted into Washington state med schools, internship and volunteering opportunities focused on helping people in underserved and underprivileged areas are very important.

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Extracurricular activities tell the admission committee who you really are. It tells the admissions committees more about you, not just as a potential student or applicant, but as a person.

Hobbies, for example, are very important because participation in hobbies can develop and strengthen various personal qualities, such as leadership, determination, motivation, and communication. It also helps some students in stress management.

If your extracurricular activity can help you handle medical school’s inevitable stress, it will increase your chances of getting accepted. Your hobbies should involve activities that are significant to you, and those that you really enjoy.

Finally, make sure you can show a significant time commitment to each extracurricular activity you chose to include in your application. It is recommended to pursue fewer extracurriculars for long periods of time rather than many extracurriculars for short periods.

MCAT and GPA Scores

One of the top admission requirements for med schools is high MCAT and GPA scores. Therefore, admission into these med schools is competitive. Applicants are advised to put more effort into other aspects of the application, but their academic record and MCAT scores should be paramount. These medical schools receive thousands of applications each year, so a high academic record and MCAT scores will increase your chances of passing through the first round of application reviews.

While most medical schools in Washington don’t have a minimum MCAT requirement or GPA, the average GPA for the most recently admitted class was between 3.4 – 3.68 while the MCAT score was between 503 – 520.

To qualify for the secondary application, applicants must also meet certain GPA/MCAT score combination requirements. For example, the MCAT scores of applicants with an overall GPA of 3.8 or higher must be 27th percentile rank or higher. Lower GPA scores must have higher percentile ranks. The admission process may be very selective that applicants will even have an MCAT score of 506 or above or an above-average GPA of 3.59 or higher.

However, these MCAT and GPA requirements should discourage you if yours is not very exceptional. However, these med schools are very reputable and must accept excellent applicants. If your academic record and test scores are less than average, you should put more effort into the other aspects of your application.

3 Best Medical Schools in Washington

  1. University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, WA)
  2. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (Yakima, WA)
  3. Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine (Spokane, WA)

1. University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, WA)

The University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is a large public medical school founded in 1946 and located in the northwest the United States. It is top on our list of best medical schools in Washington. U.S. News & World reports 2022 ranks the University of Washington School of Medicine #1 in the U.S  for primary care education and #7 for research.

The school has 100 towns and cities across the five-state region in a network of teaching facilities. UWSOM’s partnership with “WWAMI”  ensures that medical students from Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho spend their first year and a half at the University of Wyoming, Montana State University, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the University of Idaho, respectively. In addition, WWAMI states residents get more preference and a class of sixty students is based at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

In UWSOM, you’ll find various innovative facilities and labs, including the Harborview Medical Center Campus, the UW Research Programs site, and the biomedical research hub located at South Lake Union. The school’s humanitarian curriculum focuses on training doctors and health care professionals who can make a lasting impact when serving underprivileged and underserved populations in the states of Washington, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho (WWAMI), and Montana. 

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The school is committed to addressing and providing solutions to the shortage of qualified physicians, by training more doctors and building healthcare facilities in underserved areas. The Office of Rural Programs was established to create and implement clinical training opportunities in the WWAMI region and lots of other medical care settings, ranging from urban and rural private practices, community hospitals, Indian Health Service Clinics, and international health clinics.

On the other hand, the UWSM Community-focused Urban Scholars Program (CUSP) was established to address the needs of unprotected and underserved populations in urban regions. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded over $780 million in grants to the school of medicine. Being a research powerhouse for years, UWSOM has been the leading institution in the research on Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, genetic disorders, infectious disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. 

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2. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (Spokane, WA)

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) is a private medical school founded in 2005 and located in Yakima, Washington. In the Pacific Northwest, the university of health sciences was the first new medical school to open after sixty years.  

PNWU consists of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and grants the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. It is accredited on Osteopathic College Accreditation by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree is a four-year program. Years 1 and 2 of the DO program focus mainly on classroom-based learning, which consists primarily of the basic sciences.

Medical students in years 3 and 4 of the DO program get involved in clinical rotations in off-site communities. There are currently 18 sites for clinical rotations over the five-state region of Idaho, Alaska, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. Students are required to go as far as many other parts of the Northwestern United States to receive hands-on clinical training. These sites are located in about 15 states including Alaska; Blackfoot, Fairbanks, Idaho; and Portland, Oregon.

The curriculum combines classroom-based learning, and foundation sciences, with clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest including a four-week rotation in rural family medicine, whereby students are trained to tackle medical problems faced by rural populations. Preclinical courses include Scientific Foundations of Medicine and Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP).

98 and 100 % of graduates secure a residency match every year in internal medicine, general practice, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. The average passage rate of the comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) exam by PNWU students is around 92%. PNWUHS proves that even the newest med schools can train high-quality doctors and health care professionals in the medical field. Over 4,455 applications were received in 2022 and only 7% of applicants were admitted. 

PNWUHS faculty is made up of nationally recognized experts in different specialties. Mark Baldwin, D.O, the former Chief of Internal Medicine at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, brought decades of experience into the classroom learning and clinical training of young osteopaths. Another outstanding faculty member is Ruth Bishop, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine. He earned a Master’s in Public Health and served on the Industrial Insurance Medical Advisory Committee while practiced general surgery for eight years. He is currently a lecturer at Pacific Northwest.

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3. Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine (Spokane, WA)

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is a public medical school founded in 2015 as part of Washington State University and located in Spokane, Washington. It is the second public medical school in the state and one of the best medical schools in Washington. 

The College of Medicine is located in a cultural and economic hub with fast-growing healthcare industry. Students have ample opportunities for hands-on, patient-centered training because of the school’s proximity to six major hospitals.

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The Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is less than a decade old and offers a creative, community-based curriculum, a newly established rural residency program, and numerous clinical partnerships with hospitals and clinics in Washington. In the first two years, students focus on foundational sciences for medicine, combined with the fundamentals of clinical practice.

They start with an intensive training program that lasts 2-weeks; learning how to take a patient history and vital signs, how to conduct a physical exam, and other fundamentals clinical skills. At the end of the training program, students complete the first of three, one-week clinical experiences at various assigned regional sites. These clinical continue at the start of every quarter during years one and two, until students complete their third- and fourth-year clinical clerkships.

It has proven itself to be a reputable institution where the brightest and most passionate, aspiring doctors can start their medical journey. Students at Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine have a promising future in medicine as they learn through innovative approaches to medicine and are open to ever-expanding opportunities, facilities, and resources. 

From the first year, students get rigorous classroom learning starting with the foundational sciences for medicine. This is combined with the fundamentals of clinical training and a comprehensive, clinical experience with the school’s partner clinics including the Providence Holy Family Hospital, Bonner General Health and Hospital, Pullman Regional Hospital, and many more, throughout Everett, Spokane, and Vancouver. 

The school has one of the best Teaching Health clinics that serves as a rotation site for health science students and a site for the Spokane campus’ medical residency programs. Medical residents are supervised by seasoned doctors as they treat patients in internal medicine, radiology, obstetrics, family medicine, and sports medicine.

Visit School Website 

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Conclusion

U.S state capital, Washington, is home to the best medical schools to pursue a medical school degree in the U.S. These medical schools are either public or private institutions committed to training highly competent doctors to serve underprivileged and underserved populations. There are equipped laboratory facilities, training spaces, residency matches, and affiliations with reputable teaching hospitals. Students who graduate from these medical schools become proficient doctors and physicians.

FAQs on Best Medical Schools in Washington

What is the number 1 medical school in Washington?

The University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is a large public medical school founded in 1946 and located in the northwest, United States. U.S. News & World Report 2022 ranks the University of Washington School of Medicine #1 in the U.S  for primary care education and #7 for research.
In UWSOM, you’ll find various innovative facilities and labs, including the Harborview Medical Center Campus, the UW Research Programs site, and the biomedical research hub located at South Lake Union. The school is committed to addressing and providing solutions to the shortage of qualified physicians, by training more doctors and building healthcare facilities in underserved areas.

How many medical schools are in Washington?

There are three medical schools in Washington.

What is the best medical program in Washington?

University of Washington School of Medicine’s humanitarian curriculum focuses on training doctors and health care professionals who can make a lasting impact when serving underprivileged and underserved populations in the states of Washington, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho (WWAMI), and Montana. In UWSOM, you’ll find various innovative facilities and labs, including the Harborview Medical Center Campus, the UW Research Programs site, and the biomedical research hub located at South Lake Union.

How long does it take to graduate from a medical school in Washington?

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program in Washington requires 4 years to complete.

What is the cheapest medical school in Washington?

The cheapest medical school in Washington for 2022 is the University of Washington School of Medicine Local tuition is 11,745 USD, and Domestic tuition is 39,114 USD. 

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