Alaska Track

What is the Alaska Track?

Alaska Track logoThe University of Washington/Seattle Children's Pediatric Residency Alaska Track is a primary care track of our three-year categorical pediatric residency program.

Why did we develop this track?

Patty ClayOur training program is the only civilian pediatric residency in the entire five-state WWAMI region. We feel that one of our most important responsibilities is to train pediatricians to meet the primary care needs of children throughout this area. The Alaska Track was created to immerse a group of residents within the rich culture of 227 native Alaskan tribes. While approximately half of our graduates already choose a primary care career, we would like to increase the number of graduates who eventually practice in the WWAMI region. In addition, this track helps pediatricians develop skills in community building, culturally competent care and maximization of medical resources for patients throughout a vast geographic region.

How will residents’ time be spent?

Alaska track, bicycleIn each of the three years of residency, residents in the Alaska Track will spend eight months of the year in Seattle and four months of the year in Alaska. Each year, four residents match into the Alaska track. Each class spends a different portion of the year in Alaska, which means the Alaska training sites now have UW–Seattle Children’s residents working year-round.

The time in Seattle is focused on inpatient medicine, subspecialty electives, intensive care and ED rotations spread over the three major teaching hospitals that are part of our program.

The time in Alaska is focused on ambulatory rotations in two different practice settings. The sites are paired so that each resident spends time in one setting that serves a primarily Alaska Native population and one setting that serves the general population. Rotations take place at one Anchorage site and one site outside of Anchorage, either Bethel or Fairbanks. Pediatricians in each location supervise and mentor residents, and the residents meet with each other and Drs. Tan Cadogan and Schumacher (program directors) weekly via video teleconference.

Anchorage/Fairbanks

Southcentral Foundation Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage

Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) is the referral tertiary hospital for the Tribal Health System in the State of Alaska. ANMC offers a complete spectrum of pediatric care, including a large outpatient pediatric clinic, inpatient pediatrics, a pediatric subspecialty clinic and pediatric/neonatal intensive care. The providers and staff at ANMC are dedicated to working with the Alaska Native community to provide the highest quality pediatric care in Alaska.

Tanana Valley Clinic, Fairbanks

Tanana Valley Clinic Pediatrics provides full-service pediatric care to residents of the interior of Alaska and the surrounding areas. The 10 board-certified pediatricians oversee an active outpatient practice as well as inpatient service including a Level 2 NICU, a busy newborn nursery and a 12-bed pediatric floor.

Anchorage/Bethel

The Children’s Hospital at Providence – LaTouche Pediatrics, LLC, Anchorage

LaTouche Pediatrics is the largest private pediatric clinic in Anchorage and offers full spectrum pediatric care from newborn through adolescence. This practice has a leadership role in the medical communities throughout the state. LaTouche Pediatrics also provides the opportunity to mentor and teach WWAMI medical students from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Bethel

Pediatricians in Bethel serve as pediatric specialists for the local region, which is about the size of Oregon. They attend complex deliveries and pediatric emergencies, travel to outlying villages for clinics and care for all pediatric patients in the outpatient setting. This site provides residents an opportunity to work with experienced pediatricians to build on the community strengths in this highly underserved area to improve the health of a high-risk population.

Won’t this be expensive for residents in the track?

Alaska Res RaceThe residency program provides residents in this track with:

  • Round-trip airfare from Seattle to Alaska
  • Housing in Alaska
  • The use of a car in Alaska
  • Licensure in Alaska for all three years of training.

This offsets most, if not all, of the additional expenses of participation in the track.

What makes the Alaska Track different from other primary care tracks?

Alaska track, dogsResidents in the Alaska Track have all of the benefits that the UW/Seattle Children's categorical residency has to offer and at the same time have an incredible opportunity to work in both the Alaska Native and private practice settings with an exceptional group of practicing pediatricians.

What do Alaska Track residents have to say about the experience?

Patti Clay“I chose the Alaska Track for residency without hesitation because of the unique experiences to train in both a rural setting and at a large, urban referral center. I highly value longitudinal experiences in smaller communities complemented by rigorous academic training. Practicing in Alaska has sharpened my skills as an independent thinker and problem solver, while working at Seattle’s major academic institutions has improved my depth of knowledge in evidence-based medicine and enhanced my skills as an interdisciplinary team player. In addition, the Alaska Track residents I met during my interview were inspirational, motivated and compassionate, and I was excited to join this group of physicians that are changing healthcare in Alaska for the better.”

“I chose the Alaska Track because of the unique opportunity to get to do four months of primary care training per year in a more rural setting. I love primary care pediatrics and there is not another program in the country that offers a full year of primary care training like the Alaska Track.” – Justin Willis

“Far and away, the best thing about the Alaska Track is the opportunity to train in three unique settings. I can't imagine a better, more well-rounded training experience because you truly get to ‘do it all.’ From the highly sub-specialized to the true rural general pediatrician, you get a taste of all the types of medicine.” – Lye Ching Wong

See our FAQ section for more quotes from residents about the program!

Why choose the University of Washington?

Alaska track, treesThe University of Washington is known throughout the country for the WWAMI program, which has been at the forefront of innovation in decentralized medical education.

For over 35 years, all of our pediatric residents have spent two months in their PL-2 year in one of five rural pediatric practices in the WWAMI region. Residents have consistently voted this experience as one of the most important rotations in their three years of training.

With over three decades of experience with this model, the University of Washington has developed an incredible infrastructure to support primary care education.

How do I apply to the Alaska Track?

As with the other individualized training pathways the UW Pediatric Residency Program offers (Global Health, Advocacy and Research Pathways), the residents in the Alaska Track are firmly integrated within the categorical program and are a part of the larger family of the pediatric residency program.

Due to the extended time commitment in Alaska (four months per year), however, there is a separate match number to apply to the Alaska Track. To be considered for both the categorical program and the Alaska Primary Care Track, you must apply to each separately using their individual match numbers.

Please note that the interview process for the Alaska Track will involve an interview in Seattle and one in Anchorage. Should you decide to apply to both the categorical program and the Alaska Primary Care Track, you will only need to interview in Seattle once, and we will work to coordinate your interview in Anchorage during the same trip. In consideration of the additional cost involved with the two-step interview process of the Alaska Track, you will be reimbursed a portion of the cost of your travel to Anchorage.

Please follow the instructions on how to apply to the University of Washington/Seattle Children's Pediatric Residency Program.