The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health invites applications and nominations for the position of chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

The opportunity

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DMFCH), which has been at the forefront of the field of academic family medicine for nearly 50 years, sustains robust and innovative clinical care and education programs while maintaining a high standard for cutting-edge research and scholarly inquiry.

A key and distinguishing feature of DFMCH is its institutional setting within a top-tier research institution and the nation’s first School of Medicine and Public Health.

U.S. News and World Report ranks UW–Madison as 13th in the country among all public universities and ranks the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health 8th for training in family medicine. DFMCH is a leader in family medicine education: its residency program was one of the original 15 family medicine residency programs offered in the the United States. The dedication of faculty, staff, and learners to improving health at the community level was formalized in 2015, when “Community Health” was added to the department’s official name.

By upholding a tradition of collaboration and collegiality, members of the school and the university bring together the strengths of unique resources to advance the portfolio of the department.

The incumbent will foster the department’s reputation as a preeminent scholarly home for family medicine faculty physicians who practice the full spectrum of primary care. S/he will champion DFMCH’s commitment to promoting health equity throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond.

The successful candidate will expand upon the department’s research endeavors, including current areas of strength such as prevention and treatment of substance abuse, infectious disease surveillance, and systems-engineering approaches for improving ambulatory care.  S/he will promote the advancement of health and well-being by caring, teaching, discovering, leading, and connecting. This individual will be at the forefront of the field, with proven leadership and management skills as well as an outstanding academic background and strong clinical credentials. The chair will provide strategic and administrative leadership of the highest caliber to further the department’s teaching, research, and clinical missions.

Organizational overview


"The University of Wisconsin–Madison is distinctive in its scale and breadth, the premium we place on our relevance to society, and our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense." - Rebecca M. Blank, Chancellor

Since 1848, this campus has been a catalyst for the extraordinary. As a public land-grant university and one of the most prolific research institutions in the world, UW–Madison is home to those who are driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems.

With a total annual budget of over $3.1 billion including more than $1 billion in annual research expenditures, UW–Madison has been in the top 10 in national research spending every year since 1972. The campus is home to more than 22,000 faculty and staff and 42,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. Members of the student body represent all 50 states and 127 countries. The university is ranked 25th worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings.

­The Wisconsin Idea—the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom—has been guiding the efforts of UW–Madison Badgers for more than a century. The university has been dedicated to studying poverty and social inequity for 50 years, is ranked #1 among large schools for producing Peace Corps volunteers, and boasts 19 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.

School of Medicine and Public Health

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is recognized as an international, national, and statewide leader in education, research, and service. Founded in 1907, it transformed into the nation’s first School of Medicine and Public Health in 2005 to integrate the principles and power of interwoven medical and public health approaches in all of its missions.

Powered by more than 4,500 employees including over 1,800 faculty, the school’s engagement spans the entire state of Wisconsin and includes a deep commitment to improvement of the health of the population. This commitment manifests itself in innovative models that serve as paradigms for the rest of the country.

Members of the school rapidly translate discovery into application and continually foster synergies between clinical care, education, and research. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, SMPH has established high-performance academic programs that are intentionally distributed across the entire spectrum of academic medicine. Its faculty members hold appointments in 27 departments—17 in the clinical sciences and 10 in the basic sciences. The faculty is composed of some of the nation’s leading researchers, educators, and clinicians. This includes several National Medal of Science recipients and National Academy of Science honorees.

Mission and values

UW SMPH strives to carry out its mission of advancing health without compromise through service, scholarship, science, and social responsibility by upholding the values of integrity, innovation, compassion, accountability, respect, excellence, and diversity.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important both as an end in itself and also as a valuable driver of eliminating health disparities. The school is comprised of a diverse, inclusive academic community committed to excellence and equity in health; wellness through teaching and learning, clinical service, advocacy; and research in all forms of biological science, population health science, and health care.

SMPH is dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative, respectful, and welcoming environment in which all faculty, students, and staff will thrive. This effort is referred to as Building Community, and includes a call to action for every SMPH member to examine not only our intent, but our impact—“Every Person. Every Action. Every Time.”

Snapshot of SMPH programs and initiatives

SMPH has manifested the institutional philosophy of the Wisconsin Idea by establishing programs and initiatives that directly improve quality of life for residents of the state, the nation, and the world. Examples include:

  • Wisconsin Partnership Program
    • Develops and funds research, educational programs, community engagement, and community-academic partnerships through competitive grant programs and by offering resources and guidance aimed at reducing disparities and advancing population health.
    • Since its creation in 2004, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has infused more than $96 million in grant funding into nearly 300 community organizations and initiatives across the state.
  • Collaborative Center for Health Equity
    • Connects partners from the state’s rural, urban, and tribal communities with university faculty, staff, and students to advance long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships in teaching, research, and service initiatives to improve health equity in underserved communities of Wisconsin.
  • Native American Center for Health Care Professions (NACHP)
    • With a focus on improving the health and wellness of American Indian people, NACHP enhances recruitment of Native students and faculty, establishes Native health education opportunities, and grows Native health programs in tribal communities.
  • ForWard Curriculum—M.D. Degree Program
    • Expands and integrates the public health emphasis in our medical student education program by replacing the traditional model of medical education — two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical experiences—with a three-phase model that fully integrates basic, public health and clinical sciences throughout our medical students' education.
    • M.D. students can choose to participate in a rural medicine program (Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, or WARM) or an urban medicine program (Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health, or TRIUMPH). Additional options for M.D. students include a Public Health path of distinction, a Research path of distinction, and MD-PhD and MD-MPH dual degree options.
  • Pre-medical Pathway Programs
    • A broad portfolio of more than a dozen outreach programs for K-12 and bachelor’s degree students introduce diverse students to health care careers as early as age 9. Examples include Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH), The Ladder, HOPE workshops and internships, INROADS, and the Health Professions Shadowing Program.
    • Hands-on science and medical experiences are used as a conduit for building interest in clinical and public health careers, as well as personal and professional resiliency.

UW Health

UW Health is the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving more than 600,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond with 1,400 physicians and 16,500 staff at six hospitals and 80 outpatient sites. UW Health is governed by the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority and partners with UW School of Medicine and Public Health to fulfill patient care, research, education and community service missions. UW Health Hospitals, which includes both University Hospital on the UW–Madison campus and UW Health at The American Center on the east side of Madison, are ranked as 17th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report among more than 4,500 hospitals analyzed. American Family Children’s Hospital is also nationally ranked as a top children’s hospital.

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) was created in 1970 as one of the original 15 family medicine residency programs in the nation. Highlights of the department’s size, scope and scale includes:

  • FY20 annual operating budget of approximately $68 million, which includes a research portfolio of nearly $7.8 million.
  • 162 core faculty (8 tenure-track, 57 clinical health sciences track, 97 clinician-teacher track) and 99 staff, with an additional 253 clinical adjunct faculty statewide.
  • In FY18, a total of 142 residents in training across all of the department’s statewide three-year residency programs, including four programs sponsored by DFMCH in Baraboo, Eau Claire/Augusta, Madison, and Wausau; and academic partner programs in La Crosse, Lakeland, Milwaukee, and Waukesha; plus 15 fellows
  • Patient care extending across 17 statewide clinics, with approximately 360,000 patient visits annually (150,000 patient panel).
  • Two-thirds of the department’s graduating residents entered practice in Wisconsin, fulfilling the critical needs for a strong primary care physician workforce in the state.
  • National recognition for an innovative primary care redesign effort that was developed through collaboration with internal medicine and pediatrics. Primary care redesign resulted in increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical safety metrics, and improved publicly reported preventive-care outcomes.
  • Scholarly programs affiliated with the department include the Wisconsin Research and Education Network (WREN), a statewide practice-based research network with hundreds of primary care clinicians and academic researchers, and Improving PrimAry Care Through Industrial and Systems Engineering (I-PrACTISE), an educational and research collaborative between the UW–Madison Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Family Medicine and Community Health, Medicine, and Pediatrics, as well as programs administered by the department’s Office of Community Health.
  • View the Executive Summary of the FY18 DFMCH Annual Report

Qualifications and attributes of leadership

The successful candidate will have a compelling vision for the future of family medicine and community health at UW SMPH. The chair will possess a high level of professionalism and empathy, and will apply collaborative approaches to community-building within a geographically disperse unit. 

Applicants must have a M.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.O. or equivalent degree(s); board certification; eligibility for a Wisconsin Physician license; have a substantial record of achievement in administrative leadership, clinical care, teaching across the full continuum of learners; and a strong academic background that would qualify for appointment as a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The community

Located on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison is the capital city of the state of Wisconsin. Madison has been voted #3 Best Place to Live (Liveability, 2019), among the Best Small Cities in America (National Geographic, 2018), #6 Best City for Biking (People for Bikes, 2018), #2 Most Walkable City (Expedia, 2018), #5 Best City for Young Professionals (Forbes, 2016), and #1 Best College Football Town in America (Sports Illustrated, 2019).  Madison technology economy is growing rapidly, and the region is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, Exact Sciences, American Family Insurance, American Girl, Sub-Zero, and Lands’ End, as well as many biotech, healthcare IT, and health systems startups. Wisconsin has been named as the second-best state in which to practice medicine (WalletHub, 2019).

Madison is the second largest city in the state, with a city population of approximately 260,000 and regional population of over 1 million. The city is within easy driving range of Chicago and Milwaukee. Madison offers numerous unique neighborhoods and commercial areas including the Capitol Square, State Street, Willy Street, Shorewood Hills, Maple Bluff, and Hilldale. Suburbs and communities include Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Verona, Cottage Grove, Waunakee, and Fitchburg.

Madison is home to one of the strongest local food scenes in the country with several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. From April to October, the Capitol Square hosts the impressive Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. The city is rich with cultural offerings such as the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, Orpheum Theatre, Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five, UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music Hamel Music Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, UW–Madison Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Historical Museum, and Madison Children’s Museum, among others.

The city has a dedicated athletics fanbase which largely centers around the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sports venues include Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena, Wisconsin Field House, and the Aliant Energy Center. Madison is home to Forward Madison FC, the first professional soccer team in the city, as well as the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team. Marquee endurance sports and specialty sporting events include IronMan Wisconsin and IronMan 70.3, Reebok CrossFit Games, Madison Marathon, and many national and international championship competitions.

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