Perspectives: Patrick McBride Reflects on 30-Year Career
Patrick McBride has had a distinguished career as a Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association board member, physician, researcher, administrator and medical educator.
I am so grateful for the privilege of working at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) and UW-Madison. The school and university have undergone many changes since I started here as a medical student in 1976 and joined the faculty in 1984. I would like to share my perspective as I retire from the SMPH.
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Every day, I am amazed at the sterling work I see throughout the SMPH and UW Health. I am always happy to tell our alumni and citizens about the dedicated efforts of our faculty and staff and the results of their work. We are among the nation’s leaders in education, research and clinical care, which I know makes our graduates proud and increases the value of our degrees.
The quality of our faculty, staff and students motivates me to do my best every day, in line with our goal to provide the highest quality of care possible for our patients. Our faculty and alumni are superb role models for our learners.
I have had the opportunity to provide patient care and conduct scientific studies in family medicine and cardiovascular medicine (preventive cardiology), and to serve as the SMPH associate dean for students and associate dean for faculty affairs. I work with clinicians, researchers and staff who continually improve clinical care and find solutions for our most challenging medical problems. I treasure most the opportunities I’ve had to teach and interact with students. This makes me strive to be the best physician, teacher and professional I can be.
Research funding is increasingly difficult to obtain, yet our scientists work extraordinarily hard to keep us among the top tier of universities in the nation in scientific grant funding and increase our amount of support for scientific investigations. We recruit study participants, including patients and collaborating health care professionals, from throughout the region. SMPH teams are cutting-edge in revolutionizing health care.
In my career, I have participated in five curriculum transformations. Our medical education team works hard to provide training that is innovative and built upon best practices. Our school’s new ForWard Curriculum is based on providing our students with excellent opportunities to learn and choose their specialties. We are committed to providing the highest quality curriculum and evaluations so we can prepare our graduating physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists and other health care professionals to meet the myriad needs of patients and work in complex health care systems in their future careers.
Faced with escalating demands for new health care professionals to serve Wisconsin, our nation and the world, the SMPH is dedicated to successfully fulfilling its missions while it overcomes continuing challenges in technology, informatics and facilities.
We are proud that approximately 45 percent of our medical alumni practice in Wisconsin. This school could not function without the dedication of so many SMPH graduates and other clinicians who teach our students, often on their own time, and serve as role models in providing the highest quality health care. Patients throughout the state are in great hands due to the outstanding SMPH alumni who practice all around Wisconsin.
I had the opportunity to work with our Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine and Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health Programs, which seek to boost the numbers of physicians who practice in medically underserved rural and urban areas of our state and beyond. These unique programs make a difference by exposing trainees to work in environments that face physician shortages and preparing graduates to practice in those areas.
When I started at this school, state support provided almost 60 percent of the SMPH’s funding, but this has dropped to about 10 percent. Thus, we rely more heavily on donor support to keep tuition costs affordable for students. Every dollar contributed to the UW System generates $24 for our state’s economy—it’s an incredible investment!
As a Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association board member, physician, researcher, administrator and medical educator, I witness every day the support that our alumni and others provide to our school. We could not function without the assistance of our donors who provide financial gifts, and the alumni and other clinicians who step up to teach our students.
I am most grateful to all of you for the privilege to work with incredible students, faculty and staff. I applaud my colleagues who push me to be the best I can be. Thanks to everyone for your support of the SMPH.
Patrick McBride, MD '80, MPH, is the associate dean for faculty and professor in the Departments of Medicine and Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. This article appears in Quarterly magazine.
Date Published: 06/19/2017