In keeping with the Wisconsin Idea, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison sees the borders of the state as the dimensions of the medical school.
Hundreds of physicians throughout the state volunteer their time and expertise by serving as community faculty and mentors to students in the MD Program. In each of their four years of training, medical students have educational experiences with community faculty at hospitals and clinics throughout Wisconsin.
Beginning in the fall of their first year, medical students at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health start to develop their doctor-patient communication skills as they learn to obtain a history from patients in clinics in Madison and surrounding counties. They also develop physical examination skills at community sites in their first and second years.
During the third year, medical students receive clinical training in rotations not only at Madison sites, but also in La Crosse, Marshfield, Milwaukee and other Wisconsin communities.
The fourth-year preceptorship experience takes place in more than 30 communities across the state. This program, which began in 1926, was the first of its kind in the United States, and was developed in recognition that medical students should learn to apply the science of medicine in community settings.
Some students pursue a Master of Public Health degree, working with public health practitioners during their one-year program with field experiences.