WSU College of Medicine welcomes largest, most diverse class of med students | WSU Insider
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine today welcomed 80 new medical students to the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus. The class of 2023 is 33 percent larger than the previous two classes and the most diverse class since opening its doors to students in 2017.
Drawn from a pool for more than 1,500 applicants, the class of 80 is comprised of 54 percent women, 22.5 percent from rural counties in Washington, 37.5 percent first generation college graduates, 55 percent low socioeconomic backgrounds, 14 percent from underrepresented races and ethnicity in medicine, 59 percent non‑traditional (age 25 and older), and 6.3 percent U.S. military service. The class hails from 20 counties across the state, 12 of which are rural, and 100 percent are from or have significant ties to Washington.
“We are so proud to welcome not only our largest class, but our most geographically, socioeconomically and racially diverse class in just three years of admitting medical students,” said Dr. John Tomkowiak, founding dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “From the beginning, our goal was to draw students from across the state who represent the widely diverse individuals and communities in Washington, and each year we continue to see the fruits of that effort.”
He added, “This further underscores our focus on expanding medical education access to students in all parts of the state from all backgrounds to increase the likelihood they will return to their communities or find innovative ways to serve these communities from a distance using advances in technology.”
Complete enrollment figures for the WSU system will be compiled in the coming weeks as the University works to verify the total number of expected students to show up for the new academic year at all six campuses.
The addition of 20 medical students this fall was part of the original growth plan of the College of Medicine and made possible by the Washington Legislature funding the college’s $14.4 million request for the 2019‑21 biennium.
Since it first began accepting applications in late 2016, the college has experienced a steady rise in interest and student diversity. Applicants have more than doubled; the college has exceeded national averages for admission of females and average age; and factors including low socioeconomic status, first‑generation college graduate, underrepresented in medicine, and non‑traditional students have risen year over year.
The profile of the class of 2023 is noted below.
- Females: 54%
- Washington residents: 94% *The 6% non‑legal Washington residents must demonstrate they are from Washington by meeting at least 3 of the 4 requirements: born in Washington, childhood address in Washington, graduated from a Washington high school, parent/guardian currently lives in Washington
- Childhood rural Washington county: 22.5% *Based on Office of Financial Management Data
- Washington counties represented: 20 (Adams, Asotin, Benton, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima
- 1st generation college graduate*: 37.5% *Parents did not earn Bachelor’s degree
- Low socioeconomic status*: 55% *Based on AMCAS EO1/EO2, Pell Grant, and Fee Assistance Program
- Underrepresented in medicine: 14% *African American, American Indian, Hispanic, enrolled tribal member
- Average age: 26 / Range 20–39
- Non‑traditional: 59% *25 and older
- Advanced degrees: 17.5%
- Military service: 6.3%
- Total AMCAS applications: 1,553
- Total secondary applications sent: 725
- Total completed applications: 701
- Total interviewed: 344
- Matriculated class: 80
For more information, visit medicine.wsu.edu.
Christina VerHeul, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509‑368‑6850
About Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is Washington’s community-based medical school. Named after Washington State University’s late president, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, the college was created to expand medical education and health care access in communities across the state. Accredited in October 2016, the college welcomed its inaugural class in August 2017. For more information, visit medicine.wsu.edu.