Who will be the next generation of healers?

56 percent of current medical class is female

— A new overview of the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine charter class shows it is comprised of a strong percentage of women, low socio-economic status and first-generation students.

The class, a group of 60 students who are current residents of or have significant ties to Washington, represent a population of talented students who otherwise would have been forced to go out of state for their medical educations, school officials said.

Selected from more than 700 applications that were submitted in just 27 days – the timeframe between receipt of preliminary accreditation and the application submission deadline – competition was stiff for the coveted spots.

“Our recruitment cycle for this first class was extremely truncated,” founding dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Dr. John Tomkowiak said.

“While most schools began recruiting in the summer, we couldn’t begin recruitment until November 2016. Despite the challenge, the fact that we received more than 700 applications in less than a month only highlights the pent-up need for medical education in this state,” he said.

With a focus on drawing students from a wide cross-section of rural and urban underserved areas across the state to increase the likelihood they will return to their communities to practice medicine.

The college then selected students from 15 of the state’s 39 counties, with 15 percent of the class hailing from rural communities. The college exceeded national averages for admission of females and had great success recruiting first-generation college graduates, as well as students with low socioeconomic status.

“We are proud of the highly accomplished group of students we selected for this charter class,” said Tomkowiak.

Below is a profile of the charter class:


Females: 34 (56.7%)

Legal Washington residents: 57 (95%) *The 5% nonlegal 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 in a rural Washington county: 9 (15%) *Based on Office of Financial Management data.

Childhood in a medically underserved Washington county: 58 (96.7%) *Based on the area health resources files from Health Resources & Services Administration.

Washington counties represented: 15, including Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grant, King, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima

First-generation college graduate: 11 (18.3%) bachelor’s degree

Low socio-economic status:20 (33.3%) Based on AMCAS EO1 or EO2

Average age: 26 / range 21-36

Advanced degrees: 7 (11.7%) 


Total AMCAS applications: 711

Total secondary applications sent: 501

Total completed applications: 466

Total interviewed: 332

Matriculated class: 60


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