Projecting a looming shortage of doctors in the state, Washington State University is exploring the creation of its own medical school.

The Pullman-based university has commissioned a feasibility study, due at the end of June, on whether a medical school in Spokane would succeed.

The Association of American Medical College says doctor shortages are expected across the country as baby boomers age, physicians retire and more people gain insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The University of Washington for four decades has operated the WWAMI program, training doctors for Washington state, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

Randy Hodgins is the University of Washington vice president for external affairs. He says the the cheaper solution is to spend the money to expand enrollment slots at the UW School of Medicine.