What MD Students Say

We think the UW School of Medicine and Public Health is an incredible place, where students learn to be leaders and bench-to-bedside innovation happens regularly. But don’t take our word for it. Hear what our students have to say.

Rufus, Class of 2022

Class of 2022 student, Rufus, with his family

What’s the best part of the curriculum?

The early hands-on experience at a longitudinal clinic.

What’s the best thing about the learning environment?

The administration is very accommodating to the students’ desires. Whether that’s by supporting them when they have children or helping us to start a new initiative, the admin has always either helped me directly or connected me with the right people to give life to my crazy ideas.

What are your favorite things about Madison?

  • City-sponsored programming for families
  • World-class childcare
  • Culture of openness and dedication to equity
  • Huge array of activities both in the city and just a short drive outside of town
  • The Terrace — it’s just a great place to hang out

What five adjectives describe your classmates?

  • Warm
  • Open
  • Talented
  • Dedicated
  • Diverse

Cathryn, Class of 2024, TRIUMPH

Class of 2024 student, Cathryn, with her cat

What’s the best part of the MD curriculum?

I am part of the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program, which combines our clinical training with a public health project, which I work on for two and a half years in Milwaukee, WI. My medical interests have always been rooted in immigrant and refugee health and community health/engagement, so having the option to pursue my medical training in an environment that I would like to practice in the future allows me to dip my feet further into my more specific career path.

What’s the best thing about the learning environment?

It is that we are a school of medicine AND public health, and how that thread is woven throughout our curriculum. For example, discussing the mechanisms of drugs and what is most efficacious for a certain condition is helpful, but we then apply a public health framework into our clinical reference of thinking as to who would be more susceptible to certain conditions and why, along with whether or not the best treatment is the most accessible for our patients. This keeps a realistic perspective on the obstacles that our future patients face.

We also have faculty who care about our learning; our instructors are passionate clinicians who not only love their field but love teaching medical students, too.

Describe life outside of school.

Outdoor activities (hiking, camping, kayaking, etc.), biking, trying my hand at replicating my mom’s recipes, dabbling on the piano, and learning languages.

What are five adjectives to describe your classmates?

  • Compassionate
  • Hard-working
  • Brilliant
  • Curious
  • Here for a good time AND a long time!

Megan, Class of 2022, Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine

Class of 2022 student, Megan

What’s the best part of the MD curriculum?

The integrated curriculum. It is just so intuitive to be able to learn about normal anatomy and physiology of an organ system and then simultaneously learn about disease states associated with it, how to approach the interview and physical exam of a patient presenting with a complaint related to that organ system, and how it is treated, along with the mechanism of the medications used to treat it. It has also helped me develop my thought process in taking care of patients during clinical rotations.

What’s the best thing about the learning environment?

It has a lot of flexibility and multiple formats to allow students to find what works best for them. This includes small-group, medium-group and lecture-style sessions (as well as a lecture capture option) and opportunities to interact with a variety of students. I was provided with enough options to figure out what settings I excelled in and also gain skills in settings I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with, but are important as a physician.

What’s shaped your success?

My classmates have been vital to my success as a medical student. They have pushed me to work harder and learn in new ways but have also helped me to maintain balance in my life by getting me to take breaks from studying and enjoy the social aspects of medical school. My physician mentors, many of which have been set up as part of the curriculum, have also been really important in my success, as they have been able to provide reassurance and guidance when I’ve struggled or had questions.

What are five adjectives to describe your classmates?

  • Impassioned
  • Cooperative
  • Accomplished
  • Devoted
  • Inspiring

Learn more about the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM).

Monica, MSTP, PhD Class of 2023, MD Class of 2024

Medical Scientist Training Program graduate Monica

What sets UW–Madison apart from other MD-PhD programs?

Our community is incredibly thoughtful and committed to making our program better, especially in terms of improving diversity and equity. Outside of having rigorous training and stellar research, having a supportive community was really important in choosing an MD-PhD program for me.

Why did you choose UW–Madison MSTP?

I was excited to join an institution with incredible research opportunities, given that our environment is so interdisciplinary and collaborative. I knew that having clinical experiences integrated early on would help me choose my specialty and get a better idea of how to integrate clinical work and research. It’s helped me to find great mentors who I’ve had the opportunity to work with on rotations throughout graduate school.

What do you like most about living in Madison?

Despite having never lived in the Midwest, I love Madison, where there is plenty to do outside (hiking, parks, lake activities). We have a very fun group of students who enjoy hanging out together — I’ve definitely made lifelong friends in our program.