Agreement with University of Alaska Fairbanks Aims to Bring More Physicians to "The Last Frontier"


Agreement with University of Alaska Fairbanks

New agreement with University of Alaska Fairbanks aims to bring more physicians to "The Last Frontier."

In yet another major step in addressing the needs of our communities, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) has agreed to a partnership with University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) which will guarantee qualifying UAF students an interview with our COM. The agreement is expected to help further address the Pacific Northwest’s physician shortage. 

“This fits perfectly with our mission, which is the basis for our creating this affiliation agreement,” explained Dr. Thomas Scandalis, Dean of PNWU’s COM. “It doesn’t guarantee admission, but it cements a partnership that adds to our ability to attract applicants from our five-state catchment area, potentially adding to the number of physicians ultimately practicing in Alaska.” 

According to Alaska’s 2015-2016 Primary Care Needs Assessment, the demand for physicians continues to grow faster than supply in Alaska as well as across the nation. The report states that Alaska will require an additional 237 primary care physicians by 2030, which represents a 49 percent increase of the state’s 486 active family medicine/general practice physicians. 

“Most students are required to go through several layers of review prior to the interview process,” said Carolyn Chaplin, UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics’ undergraduate advisor. “The UAF and PNWU memorandum of understanding means that UAF students who are well qualified have a few less steps to go through before they are invited to interview.”