Friends of the UW School of Medicine (FUWSOM)

Mission and history

The Friends of the University of Washington School of Medicine (FUWSOM) support medical students in their education and experience. The volunteer advisory board consists of current and former faculty, alumni, staff, spouses and other community members interested in learning about and supporting medical students. Founded in 1949 as the Medical Faculty Wives, the group later expanded its role and in 1978 changed its name to the Medical School Auxiliary. In 1993, the organization expanded again, adopting its current name.

Supporting medical students

Throughout its history, the Friends have provided vital assistance to medical students. In recent years, the Friends have focused their efforts on raising money to support a wide range of projects that benefit medical students, including student scholarships, an emergency loan fund, several health and wellness programs, visual thinking strategies and the Community Health Advancement Program (CHAP). The Friends have helped hundreds of students over the years, providing emergency loans to 445 students and scholarships to more than 200 students.

Join the Friends

Membership in the Friends is open to all current and former faculty (including emeritus and retired faculty), UW School of Medicine alumni, staff members, spouses and members of the greater community who are interested in medical education. Activities include an annual meeting at which members make recommendations on allocating funds raised during the year, receive an update from a School of Medicine leader and may meet students who have benefited from their support.

Planned Giving

To ensure a successful future for these long-established medical education programs supported by the Friends, several members have made the organization a beneficiary of their estate or retirement plans. Planned gifts provide creative and flexible strategies for your estate and charitable planning. Some planned gifts provide you with income. Many of them can reduce your taxes. The greatest benefit, however, lies in knowing you are supporting the UW School of Medicine and medical students in perpetuity.

Contact Angela Dugan, director for philanthropy, to discuss your options with you or connect one of our planned giving experts with your adviser. For more information, please contact Angela at

For more information

If you would like to learn more about joining the Friends, please contact co-presidents Kevin O’Brien at or Rena O’Brien at You can also reach out to Angela Dugan, director for philanthropy, at 206.618.3318 or