WARM student practices intubating a patient in a simulation lab

WARM Curriculum

Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) students participate in an integrated rural core curriculum during all four years. The WARM curriculum is integrated with the MD program’s ForWard Curriculum.

WARM students relocate to: the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Green Bay Aurora BayCare, La Crosse Gundersen Health System
Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine sites

During Phase 1, 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, rural community resources and team-building skills.

WARM students relocate to an assigned site for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the curriculum. Advocate Aurora BayCare Medical Center (part of the Eastern Academic Campus) in Green Bay, Gundersen Health System (Western Academic Campus) in La Crosse and Marshfield Clinic Health System (Northern Academic Campus) in Marshfield, and their respective network of rural clinics host WARM students. A lottery is used to assign students to the sites.

During Phases 2 and 3, WARM 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 group and gain a variety of clinical skills relevant to rural practice. WARM students complete the majority of their clinical rotations within the WARM network of sites, including the required Inpatient Acting Internship and Ambulatory Acting Internship experiences.

WARM Curriculum Highlights

  • Rural enrichment opportunities during Phase 1
  • Small learning groups at the WARM sites
  • Community Health Projects
  • Close mentoring relationships with physicians and staff

WARM Regional Sites

Green Bay

Advocate Aurora Health Care/Eastern Academic Campus, Aurora BayCare

Aurora BayCare provides a strong clinical experience, connecting students with opportunities to work in clinics in Sturgeon Bay, DePere, New Franken, Two Rivers, Howards Grove, Sheboygan, and Plymouth. Medical students work one-on-one with attending physicians and participate in patient care, including medical procedures and delivering babies.


La Crosse

Gundersen Health System/Western Academic Campus

Gundersen Health System serves as the training hub for the LaCrosse site. Students may also work in one of five rural underserved clinics in Viroqua, Sparta, Tomah, Whitehall, and Decorah, Iowa, interacting with populations including Plain People, Latinx migrant workers, Native Americans and Hmong communities.


Marshfield Clinic Health System/Northern Academic Campus

Marshfield Clinic Health System offers students clinical training in a variety of rural settings, from the larger specialized care center in Marshfield to smaller clinics and hospitals in communities like Minocqua and Chippewa Falls. Students join resident teams for  rotations and work one-on-one with attending physicians to provide rural health care.