Group of Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine students and instructors standing in front of a rescue helicopter

Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine

The Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM) focuses on admitting and training students committed to improving the health of rural communities. The goal is to address physician shortages in rural areas, ultimately helping to improve the health of rural Wisconsin communities.

WARM students relocate to one of our statewide academic campuses for 28 months of their curriculum. This includes Aurora BayCare in Green Bay, Gundersen Health System in La Crosse and Marshfield Clinic Health System in Marshfield.

Students who complete the four-year program emerge prepared for residencies in any specialty area. Rural Wisconsin hospitals and health systems have expressed a need for physicians of all specialties, with an emphasis on primary care.

WARM admissions


There’s a significant geographic shortage and maldistribution of physicians that affects rural Wisconsin. While 28 percent of Wisconsin residents live in rural areas, only 11 percent of physicians have rural practices. Sixty out of 72, or 83 percent, of Wisconsin counties are designated as totally or partially underserved and 77 percent of those underserved counties are rural.

The shortage of rural physicians is projected to increase as current rural physicians retire and the population ages, creating a need for more physicians. Further, studies have shown that rural populations are generally sicker, poorer, older and more likely to be uninsured.

Training Focused on Rural Communities

The WARM curriculum focuses on developing physician skills that are most vital to the needs of rural communities.

Learn about the WARM curriculum
A sun setting over a cranberry farm

WARM Graduates by the Numbers


Practice in Wisconsin


Go into primary care


Are in residencies in WI and bordering states

Why Students Choose Rural Medicine

Learn from our current students about what drew them to the WARM program and what has enriched their medical school experience — from clinical rotations to the relationships they have fostered.

Meet Our Students
Madeline Brown
Faculty physicians and students smile together
Drs. Lee and Lansing with WARM students

Scholarships and Financial Aid

WARM students have access to scholarships, the majority awarded to M3 and M4 students, recognizing demonstrated leadership, humanitarian instincts and public health activities. The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health manages loan repayment programs available to graduates who practice in rural areas, including the Health Professions Loan Assistance program and Rural Physician Loan Assistance program. Additional resources include: National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program.

UW School of Medicine and Public Health Scholarships

Tackling the Rural Physician Shortage

Green Bay's WBAY interviews two medical students and a faculty physician for a segment on the “why” behind WARM and its impact on rural areas.

Watch the video
Video still from WBay video on the University of Wisconsin rural MD program


Contact WARM