The physician’s role involves final responsibility for the examination, diagnosis, and treatment, when needed, of those in their care. This is done directly or in collaboration with other physicians and healthcare providers.
The physician’s tasks include conducting a physical examination of the patient, interviewing the patient and others for an accurate personal health history, performing and ordering diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays, prescribing medications and treatments, and referring patients to specialists for further evaluation and treatment. Besides providing direct patient care, a physician’s career may involve other interesting activities such as health systems planning, administration, research, and education.
Physicians may choose to specialize. Examples of specialties include: pediatrics (care of children), cardiology (heart specialist), neurology (care of brain, nerves and spinal cord), internal medicine, surgery, ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat specialist), ophthalmology (eye specialist), and family practice (primary care for patients of all ages).
Physicians in Alaska work in communities of all sizes and in facilities that vary in level of sophistication.
A physician’s training typically involves at least 11 years of education beyond high school.
- Graduation from high school with coursework in math and science.
- Graduation from a four-year college with high grades and prerequisite classes for medical school. In the past, most medical students were biology or chemistry majors but today other degrees are acceptable as long as good grades are earned and medical school science prerequisites are met.
- Graduation from a four-year medical school awarding either a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.
- Completion of another three to six years of residency is common and expected in today’s complex medical world.
- Further specialization through additional residencies or fellowships is a common option.
WWAMI is Alaska’s medical school. Twenty Alaskan residents are admitted to the program each year. First-year classes for Alaska’s WWAMI students are taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Second-year students from all five collaborating states (WA, WY, AK, MT and ID) attend classes at the University of Washington in Seattle. The 4-week to 6-week blocks of clinical experiences, called clerkships, that occupy the 3rd and 4th years can be taken in any of the five states, and the Alaska Track allows most of these to be completed in Alaska. Thus, Alaskans can complete 3 of the 4 years of medical school in Alaska through WWAMI.
WWAMI is a collaborative medical school involving the University of Alaska Anchorage accredited through the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. WWAMI is the #1 ranked medical school in the US for Primary Care (18 years), Rural Medicine (21 years) and Family Medicine (21 years), (US News & World Report).
WWAMI School of Medical Education
University of Alaska Anchorage
Health Sciences Building (HSB) 301
3795 Piper Street
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 786-4789
Fax: (907) 786-4700
Web site: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/wwami/
Undergraduate Premed Activities: Undergraduate premed coursework can be completed at UAA, UAF or any major undergraduate university. Premed advising at UAA is provided by the WWAMI School of Medical Education.
Dr. Quentin Reuer
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
Engineering Building Room 307
UAA Biomedical Program/WWAMI
3211 Providence Drive, CPISB 301 M
Anchorage, AK 99508
Web site: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/wwami/apply/index.cfm
Two summer enrichment programs for high school students interested in health careers are offered through WWAMI at UAA. Participants learn about health careers, shadow health practitioners and learn to live and study on a college campus. For more information, go to the following web site: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/wwami/programs/dellakeats-udoc.cfm
Participants in the NIH NIDDK STEP-UP Program spend six weeks working on a biomedical research project with an experienced researcher, share the campus experience with Della Keats/U-DOC students and travel to Washington D.C. to present their research results at the annual NIDDK conference. For more information, go to the following web site: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/wwami/programs/niddk.cfm#ugstepup
Alaska State Medical Association
4107 Laurel Street
Anchorage, AK 99508
Contact: Michael Haugen, Executive Director
Phone: (907) 562-0304
Fax: (907) 561-2063
Web site: http://www.asmadocs.org
Alaska Academy of Family Physicians
35555 Kenai Spur Highway #266
Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: (907) 258-2255
Fax: (530) 326-5612
American Medical Association
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (800) 621-8335
Web site: http://www.ama-assn.org
Associate of American Medical Colleges
2450 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1126
Phone: (202) 828-0400
Fax: (202) 828-1125
Web site: https://www.aamc.org
This page was last updated by Janice Troyer on July 01, 2013