Seven Lower Valley students enter med school

Kristen (Wedam) Gavin and Travis Nash of Sunnyside stand side by side after receiving their white coats at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima on Aug. 10.

Credit: Courtesy of Sue Wedam
Kristen (Wedam) Gavin and Travis Nash of Sunnyside stand side by side after receiving their white coats at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima on Aug. 10.



Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine has a new batch of students, including two Sunnyside High School graduates and five others from the Lower Valley.

Kristen (Wedam) Gavin and Travis Nash were welcomed into class of 2022 with the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 10, in Yakima. 

Both Kristen and Travis attended Outlook Elementary and Sunnyside High schools. 

They began their medical school journey Monday, Aug. 13.   

Gavin is a graduate of Washington State University.

Dr. Lloyd Butler of Sunnyside was the guest speaker at the White Coat Ceremony, which is a presentation of the students’ medical jackets.

He is a founding Board Member of the university and interim president.

Gavin, the 25-year-old daughter of Sue and Mike Wedam of Sunnyside, said she received a Bachelor of Science in animal sciences at WSU.

She graduated in 2015 and has been working the past three years, saving money for medical school and supporting her husband’s pursuit of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Washington State University’s hands-on, applied program provided her with the foundation for her medical school pursuits, Gavin said.

“They offer a unique experience, and the undergrad program provides the required prerequisites for medical school,” she said.

Medical school will take four years — two years of lecture-based training combined with some clinical experience and another two years of clinical rotations, Gavin said.

After completing their four years of medical school, she said the students will enter into another four years of residency.

“I plan to be a family practitioner when I am done,” Gavin said.

Knowing she is among other students from the Lower Valley, including former high school classmate Travis Nash, is exciting.

“Knowing we all are benefiting from the university, founded by a Sunnyside doctor, is really neat,” Gavin said.

In addition to Gavin and Nash, Mireya Cruz of Wapato, Daniel Flores of the Yakima Valley, Joshua Marsh and Carrie Tackett of Zillah, and Juan Razo of Grandview are among the class of 2022.



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