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Gov. Jay Inslee this morning signed House Bill 1559 into law, authorizing WSU to pursue medicine as an academic discipline.

The measure amends a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. Under this year’s bill, WSU is authorized to pursue accreditation with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

The measure was approved by the House 81-17 and by the Senate 47-1 oSigning_1741 (3)n its way to the governor’s desk.

WSU is now authorized to pursue its vision for a community based school of medicine, with students completing their first two years of instruction in Spokane with third and fourth year clerkships occurring in actual clinical settings across the state. In doing so, the university hopes to provide more access to in-state students who now leave the state to pursue a medical education, ultimately producing more primary care doctors for underserved Washington.

President Elson S. Floyd, in an online column posted this morning, hailed the event as historic for the state and university.

Video from this morning’s bill signing is below.