The UW School of Medicine and Public Health will bestow the prestigious 2018 Max Fox Preceptor Award to a family practice doctor from Westby.

William Calkins, MD, who practices at the Vernon Memorial Healthcare’s Bland Clinic, received the award, now in its 50th year, that is named in honor of Dr. Max Fox, the first award recipient in 1969.

The award is given to an outstanding preceptor or preceptors (private practitioner who instructs medical students at his or her clinic) whose effective service as a mentor and teacher has guided UW medical students.

“A primary goal of the school is to increase the number of physicians who practice medicine in Wisconsin, especially in underserved rural and urban settings,” said Robert Golden, MD, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Dr. Calkins serves as an outstanding role model for our students, providing each of them with individualized learning experiences in a rural setting.”

Students typically do their training with preceptors in the fourth year of medical school before graduation and going into a residency program, as a means of learning how to apply their training to real-world settings.

The school recently completed a transition to a new medical student curriculum called the ForWard curriculum. With this change, the traditional fourth-year preceptorship was transitioned to the Ambulatory Acting Internship, or AAI, as of July 2017.  

The AAI maintains the emphasis on exposure to real-world medicine outside of an academic setting, and focuses on building skills in patient care that students will need immediately when they graduate from medical school and begin postgraduate residency clinical training programs.

Today, 50 physicians from 35 different communities across Wisconsin teach in the Ambulatory Acting Internship.

The Max Fox Award ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m., June 13, at the Branches Winery in Westby.