Many personal connections draw Bauer to service
Between her familial ties and longtime service to her alma mater, Cynthia A. Bauer, MD ’74, GME ’75, has been an active participant in The Medical College of Wisconsin’s history. Her recent appointment as the alumni representative on the Board of Trustees will now afford her a significant opportunity to shape the College’s future.
“Serving on the Board of Trustees is an honor,” she said. “In the short time I have held the position, I have had the opportunity to see the Medical College in a new perspective as a dynamic, growing, innovative medical institution that not only educates new physicians but is involved in exciting medical research and health care program development.”
As a trustee, Dr. Bauer said she hopes to be a voice on the board for the thoughts, concerns and perspectives of alumni. Though this position is new, her advocacy for alumni is not, which is why she was selected as the recipient of the 2009 alumni Distinguished Service Award.
As someone who has always looked upon her service as a way to say “thank you” for what the Medical College has given her family, Dr. Bauer was humbled that the College would say “thank you” back. Her connection to the school begins with her father, Delore Williams, MD ’48, who graduated from Marquette University School of Medicine and passed on his calling to his daughter.
Dr. Bauer also met her husband, orthopaedic surgeon Mark Bauer, MD ’73, GME ’87, while they were both students at the College. Of their five children, two sons – Aaron J. Bauer, MD ’02, and Anderson A. Bauer, MD ’07 – have received a Medical College education. Adding another special connection for the family was Anderson’s recent marriage to one of his classmates, Cindy M. Salm, MD ’07.
With so much stake in the College’s vitality and legacy, Dr. Bauer found service on the Alumni Association Board to be an intuitive way to stay connected to the school and the many alumni who support it. She dedicated seven years to the board including one year as president. This followed her consistent involvement with her class reunion committees.
“I almost feel I have gotten more from my alumni activities than I have given,” she said.
Her education similarly gave her the ability to enter a career she loves. At the outset, she was an emergency medicine physician, even prior to that discipline’s recognition by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Now she is a staff physician in the urgent care environment, practicing in the Milwaukee area.
“Though I enjoyed emergency medicine for many years, the shift to urgent care has been exciting for me because I have more time to go beyond diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Bauer said. “There is more opportunity to educate patients. Helping patients to understand the illness, how to prevent it and live healthier lives overall is just as important.”
This philosophy of a personalized approach is woven throughout Dr. Bauer’s volunteer activities. She is quick to distribute credit for the College’s successes, from the exceptional teachers and mentors she remembers as a student to today’s faculty, leadership and community support. She encourages alumni to not only renew their connections with old friends and traditions, but to learn to know the College as it exists today. To her peers, she says:
“Know that your alma mater is something to be very proud of. Our school is a medical educator, research leader, and health care innovator, continuing to grow in so many ways but still holding quality education of new physicians as a core function.”
View the entire summer 2009 issue of Alumni News. (opens as a pdf)