The University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) supports students’ access to healthcare. Because insurance coverage can vary out-of-state, it can be challenging for students to locate healthcare providers when traveling around the WWAMI region. The information below is provided to assist medical students in locating healthcare options across the 5-state WWAMI region.
For non-urgent questions related to any of the areas below, medical students should contact the Student Committee on Healthcare Access (SCoHA) directly. They have representatives from each WWAMI Foundations site and are willing to support medical students as they are able.
Students receive one free visit to Hall Health during each quarter that the student is registered for coursework. Students must be registered (paying tuition for that given quarter) to receive this benefit. The cost for this visit is covered by the student activities fee that students pay to the UW each quarter that they are enrolled. Note: Hall Health will initially bill your health insurance if it is one they contract with and then any fees not covered by your health insurance will be forgiven.
The free Hall Health visit entitles enrolled students to one visit with a medical provider for a problem or concern per quarter OR for a pre-travel consultation. This visit can be in-person, via telephone, or via telehealth. Additional services such as lab tests, immunizations, imaging, x-rays, and/or medication are billed to the student’s insurance plan. The student is responsible for any cost not covered by their insurance plan.
Information coming soon
If a student requires an in-person healthcare appointment and is not located near Hall Health in Seattle, they should contact their respective insurance provider for assistance in locating a healthcare provider who accepts their insurance plan.
The assistant clinical dean for the site/state the student is currently located in is also available to assist them. The assistant clinical dean will make every attempt to support the student in finding a solution while trying to ensure that they are not seen by a healthcare provider who is also one of their preceptors/graders. Per both LCME accreditation standards and UWSOM policy, medical students should not receive healthcare from a preceptor/grader except if there are no other healthcare providers available or in the event of an emergency.
If the student requires emergency care, they should go to their nearest emergency department. Emergency department care is required to be covered by insurance, even when out-of-state (though it may be charged at a higher rate).
The Student Committee on Healthcare Access (SCoHA) is in the process of creating a resource sheet for common clerkship sites and where the most common insurance plans are typically accepted. As of October 2023, this resource is not yet available.
Medical students across WWAMI can receive free counseling services through the School of Medicine. More information about services and available counselors is available on the UWSOM Counseling and Wellness Services website.
Medical students who wish to see counselors outside of the School of Medicine should contact their respective insurance provider for assistance in locating a counselor who accepts their insurance plan and is accepting new patients.
Two physicians from Hall Health are licensed to provide telehealth services to medical students in all 5 WWAMI states while they are enrolled on clinical rotations. More information about that program, services, hours, and financial costs are available on the SOM-Hall Health telehealth program website.
If a student is in need of a telehealth appointment and does not wish to use the SOM-Hall Health telehealth program, they should contact their respective insurance provider for assistance in locating a healthcare provider who accepts their insurance plan and provides telehealth services in their respective location.
- Note: Many providers will not be licensed to provide telehealth services and/or able to prescribe medication across state lines. Medical students should contact providers directly to inquire about their licensures and ability to provide services across state lines (if applicable).
Telehealth or distance counseling is available to medical students through the School of Medicine. Available counseling services are determined by a student’s physical location and are dependent upon state licensing agreements. More information about services and available counselors is available on the UWSOM Counseling and Wellness Services website.
Regardless of the student’s location, any medical student may reach out to the Seattle-based counselors for a phone consultation. If desirable, the Seattle-based counselors will assist the student in identifying mental health resources in their location. Students may also seek services on their own from community mental health providers.
Medical students who wish to see counselors outside of the School of Medicine should contact their respective insurance provider for assistance in locating a counselor who accepts their insurance plan, provides distance counseling, and is accepting new patients.
- Note: Many providers will not be licensed to provide distance counseling and/or able to prescribe medication across state lines. Medical students should contact providers directly to inquire about their licensures and ability to provide services across state lines (if applicable).
Per the UWSOM attendance & absentee policy, medical students are allowed time off for healthcare appointments that are unable to be scheduled during breaks/vacation time or that are an urgent/emergent need.
If you receive pushback against your request to take time off, students should follow the steps below:
- Contact the clerkship director immediately. The clerkship director can help liaise with the site director/preceptor to ensure you get the time off that you need.
- If the clerkship director is unable to assist you, escalate the incident to the assistant clinical dean for the site/state that you are rotating in.
- If the clinical dean is unable to assist you and/or you need more assistance, contact the assistant dean for student support.
Additionally, students are encouraged to reach out to the following groups for ongoing support in navigating the process:
- Contact your college mentor (or a mentor that you feel comfortable talking to) for help and support navigating the situation
- Contact the Student Committee on Healthcare Access (SCoHA) student group. This group serves as student peer navigators and advocates. They can escalate issues through the clinical deans and clerkship directors, and provide ideas, resources, and additional contact information. SCoHA is also developing a peer network of students who are familiar with navigating the healthcare systems in each of the WWAMI states. They are also familiar with each of the assistant clinical deans and can help you effectively liaise with them.
- Report the incident to the learning environment through the end-of-clerkship feedback survey or any of the reporting channels currently used by the learning environment office.
More information coming soon.
The Student Committee on Healthcare Access (SCoHA) recruits new members annually during fall quarter and requires a minimum 1-year commitment to the project.
For questions and/or inquiries about joining, please contact SCoHA directly via email.
Additionally, SCoHA always welcomes information on resources they may not know about related to student healthcare access as well as unidentified challenges you may be having related to medical student healthcare access.
Their email inbox is monitored intermittently throughout the week, so please expect approximately a one week turn-around time for a response. If you need something urgently, SCoHA recommends you contact your mentor, your site-specific dean, or the Student Affairs office.