NEWS: Rep. Kawasaki Proposes University of Alaska Law and Medical Schools

Rep. Scott Kawasaki

January 13, 2015

Juneau – Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) has pre-filed legislation that would grant the University of Alaska Board of Regents the authority to create a law and medical school.

“Some of our brightest UA graduates are forced to go outside for their professional education,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “We need to halt this brain drain and train Alaska’s professionals in Alaska.”

The University of Alaska Anchorage participates in the WWAMI medical program in partnership with the University of Washington, yet the program only enrolls 20 students per year. A full-fledged medical school would train and keep more doctors in the state to address Alaska’s rising and aging population. Most students tend to remain in the area in which they earn their degrees while the small ‘Alaska Family Medicine Residency’ program has seen 70% of its graduates stay in state.

“An influx of new doctors would address the medical needs of our rural areas as we’d have more professionals trained in the field,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “Additionally, a law school could specialize in Alaska Native law which is unique in the country.”

Alaska is the only state without a law school, although there have been attempts to create a partnership with other law schools that would allow for distance education.

For further information contact Riley Leonard in Rep. Kawasaki’s office at 907-465-3466.



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