The Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) is a rural education program within the MD Program curriculum at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Medical students participate in an integrated rural core curriculum during all four years.
The School of Medicine and Public Health has developed the ForWard Curriculum, a three-phase model that fully integrates basic, public health and clinical sciences throughout medical students' education.
Phase 1 is completed in Madison, where students can also participate in rural enrichment activities like the Rural Health Interest Group and the Overview of Rural Health elective. In Phase 2, WARM students can be matched with a rural preceptor.
In the summer before second year, students participate in WARM Welcome, a one-week enrichment experience that focuses on the cultural and historical context of rural Wisconsin, community development, team building skills and self-care strategies.
WARM students relocate to an assigned site for Phases 2 and 3 of the curriculum. Aurora BayCare in Green Bay, Gundersen Health System in La Crosse and Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, and their respective network of rural clinics host WARM students.
In addition, Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine students complete a community health project and participate in rural WARM core days, providing additional skill training in medical procedures such as suturing, laceration repair, casting and bracing orthopedic injuries, cardiac stress testing and other skills needed in rural settings. Students in the rural medicine program benefit from hands-on learning in small groups and gain a variety of clinical skills relevant to rural practice.