Program Goals

  • Contribute to regional primary care workforce needs by educating culturally-competent PAs for strategic areas of need in the WWAMI region, Hawaii and beyond.
  • Recruit qualified individuals from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds for careers as physician assistants.
  • Utilize community-based clinical preceptorships to develop effective physician–physician assistant relationships.
  • Develop, implement and maintain MEDEX decentralized didactic campuses in the region for the purpose of increasing access to physician assistant education.

Details demonstrating the program’s success in meeting these goals are found as follows:

Student Enrollment

A total of 1329 candidates submitted applications for acceptance to MEDEX Northwest in 2019. Of these candidates, 132 were accepted into the program.

Student Diversity

MEDEX Northwest continues the tradition of training minority students. Of the accepted students 25.8% are from ethnically diverse backgrounds:  0.8% African American, 3.8% American Indian/Alaska Native, 12.1% Asian/Other Asian, 8.3% Mexican American/Hispanic, 0.8% Hawaii/Pacific Island.

Military Students

The percentage of students with military experience selected for the 2019 entering class is 12.9%.

The history of the PA profession and MEDEX Northwest began with military medics and corpsmen. To continue this tradition of providing PA education to military medical personnel, MEDEX is committed to creating opportunities, to participating in outreach activities with a focus on building a strong military applicant pool, and to providing PA training to current and former military members.

Regional Connection

MEDEX is a regional program committed to training students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI), and from the state of Hawaii. The percentage of students accepted in 2019 from the WWAMI region is 78.1%.  This breakout includes:  52.3% Washington, 0.8% Wyoming, 16.7% Alaska, 4.5% Montana, and 3.8 Idaho.

Gender Diversity

The gender breakdown of the total accepted class in 2019 is 58.3% female and 41.7% male.

Average Age

The age of MEDEX students ranges from 21 to 54 with the mean age of 30.

Reapplicant vs. New Applicant

New students accepted in the 2019-2020 application cycle accounted for 65.9% and the number of reapplicants accepted makes up 34.1% of the 2019 accepted class.

Graduate Practice Information

Over 74% of program graduates serve the WWAMI region in both primary care and specialty practice. MEDEX graduates working in primary care total 43% with others working in emergency medicine (14%), surgery (20%), medical specialties (8%), and other areas (13%).

Utilization and Building of Relationships with Community-Based Clinics

The centerpiece of the clinical phase of training is the four-month primary care preceptorship.  This is most often completed in a family practice setting, or students may work with general internal medicine physicians and PAs.  There are also six shorter one-month rotations, called clerkships, which are intended to expose future primary care clinicians to specialty practice.  The required clerkships are behavioral medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, inpatient and a rotation in a medically underserved setting.  An elective rotation rounds out the year.  Students are expected to obtain experiences in maternal health and pediatrics during the longer preceptorship.  Rotations are arranged throughout the five-state WWAMI service region, the state of Hawaii, and beyond. Ninety-four percent of MEDEX clinical rotations are community-based clinics. All students are expected to travel to participate in the community-based training opportunities. Students must return to the program four times during the year for orientation, additional instruction, evaluation and graduation

Campus Locations

Campus Degree Students
Seattle MCHS 46
Spokane MCHS 31
Anchorage MCHS 25
Tacoma MCHS 21
Kona MCHS 17

MEDEX Northwest operates five campus locations. Clinical-phase training takes place throughout the five-state WWAMI region—Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho—and Hawaii.

Campus locations at Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, Tacoma, WA, Anchorage, AK and Kona, HI offer a Master’s of Clinical Health Services degree program. Please see Degrees Offered for further explanation.

The Seattle campus, housed in the University of Washington School of Medicine, is the home base of MEDEX Northwest. Please explore the different campus options below.


Didactic and Clinical Curriculum

MEDEX delivers a full, equivalent curriculum across all distant campuses. Please see the curriculum details here.