Prospective Student Expectations

Policies and background for future UW School of Medicine students

The UW School of Medicine is looking for individuals who have:

  • the academic ability to complete medical training and pass licensure examinations
  • sufficient knowledge of the practice of medicine to demonstrate that they are making an informed career decision
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • awareness of current problems facing medicine and society in the U.S.
  • problem-solving and analytic abilities
  • familiarity with ethical issues in medicine
  • broad interests and diverse life experiences

Candidates for admission are considered comparatively on the basis of motivation, maturity, personal integrity and demonstrated humanitarian qualities. All applicants are expected to have seriously investigated the challenges involved with a career as a physician in the U.S., including observation of doctor-patient interactions, before they submit their applications.

Applicants are expected to read and comply with the following policies:

  • Honor Code: The University of Washington School of Medicine believes that high ethical standards are essential to the practice of medicine. As we aspire to cultivate and maintain a community of professionalism and academic integrity, we place at the foundation of our endeavors and in all of our interactions the ideals of excellence, integrity, respect, compassion, accountability and a commitment to altruism. Through the Honor Code, we attempt to articulate the most basic principles that should guide our professional behavior throughout our education.
  • Clerkship Policy: The University of Washington School of Medicine takes pride in the vast array of clinical educational opportunities available to our students throughout the WWAMI region. Our Clerkship Policy enables student​s to take advantage of these opportunities. Students are expected to spend 20 weeks of their required clerkships outside of a 50-mile radius from Seattle, and regional or Spokane students spend 12 weeks within Seattle. Applicants will be made aware of this policy at the time of application to the UWSOM and, as part of the application process, will be asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy. Once enrolled, students will be further reminded of this policy when they are planning and submitting requests for their required clerkship schedules. Exceptions to this policy are granted rarely.
  • Essential Requirements: The M.D. degree is recognized as a broad, undifferentiated degree requiring the acquisition of general knowledge and basic skills in all fields of medicine. The education of a physician requires assimilation of knowledge, acquisition of skills and development of judgment through patient care experience in preparation for independent and appropriate decisions required in practice. The current practice of medicine emphasizes collaboration among physicians, allied health-care professionals and the patient. There are numerous components to the UWSOM Essential Requirements of Medical Education: Admission, Retention, Promotion, and Graduation Standards.
  • UW Medicine Policy on Professional Conduct: UW Medicine is committed to high standards of professionalism in patient care, research and education among our faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students. Professionalism is integral to our mission of improving health, and includes demonstrating excellence, respect, integrity, compassion, altruism and accountability in all endeavors and creating an environment supportive of diversity in ideas, perspectives and experiences. Read the UW Medicine Policy on Professional Conduct.

The UW School of Medicine, as part of the University of Washington, is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran status. When requested, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified students with disabilities.