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Central Wisconsin

DISCOVERY Curriculum Central Wisconsin

It’s a lifelong journey of learning and DISCOVERY.

Curriculum Schedule

Basic Sciences

Your first-year course of study ensures you master fundamental basic science content before progressing to complex biomedical problem-solving in organ system units. Your second-year courses are fully integrated and continue your preparation for the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1. Systems-based and symptom-based units are organized around common symptoms and focus on assimilating your knowledge of the basic sciences acquired in year one.

Early Clinical Experiences

Beginning in the First Year summer, you will begin learning the basic clinical competencies required for meaningful patient interaction in the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course. Additionally, your Clinical Apprenticeship runs through the Year One Fall and Year One Spring. In both Foundations of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Apprenticeship, preceptors mentor you, observe your respective levels of patient care and provide direct feedback. Your Clinical Apprenticeship emphasizes clinical skills practice, allowing you to hone the skills you have absorbed in the clinic. Beginning in the Year One Spring, you will have dedicated learning activities through the Bench-to-Bedside course, that will supplement direct patient care experiences and include basic science context to enhance your learning and retention.  Your Second Year Summer and entire Third Year features increased exposure to the clinical experience by way of clerkships and sub-internships, enabling you to integrate science with clinical medicine and put it into practice.

Scholarly Concentration

As an MCW-Central Wisconsin student, you’ll participate in our Physician in the Community Pathway, linking your medical education with the resources of our clinical partners and the needs of Central Wisconsin-area communities to promote health in Northern Wisconsin. This unique MCW experience is designed to cultivate your medical skills and interests, transforming them into a quest for lifelong learning in your practice as a primary care physician, general surgeon or psychiatrist.


You will learn about and participate in various IPE sessions throughout the curriculum. You will be introduced to IPE early on and have an opportunity to work in student interdisciplinary teams with partnering institutions. In the succeeding years, you will choose from IPE electives including hands-on IPE simulations, IPE panel discussions and IPE interdisciplinary case-based discussions to appropriately assess and address health care needs of a patient. Your IPE experiences will provide you with the tools to identify your own professional role, identify the roles of other professionals, and learn how to effectively collaborate with other health professionals in order to establish mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity and trust.

MCW Central Wisconsin Campus Partners:


Individualized Study Time

MCW-Central Wisconsin understands that everyone learns in a multitude of ways. The Discovery curriculum includes dedicated independent study time to allow you to prepare and/or review material in a manner best suited to your learning style.

Clinical Years

The longitudinal integrated clerkships in the MCW-Central Wisconsin Discovery curriculum begin at the end of your first year and commence in your third year. MCW’s eight clerkships include required experiences in: Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. You will have elective time available allowing flexibility in your schedules to explore career opportunities and provide time for interviewing in addition to solid preparation for residency requiring two Acting Internships, an outpatient clerkship and a Capstone course.

Continuous Professional Development

Corresponding with the clerkships, in your Year Two summer and Third Year, you will be enrolled in the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) course that focuses on the longitudinal progression of clinical skills and integration of cross-cutting topics including the basic sciences. The CPD course ensures you will become a well-rounded student, prepared for residency and having mastered the MCW Global Competencies (PDF) helping you to become a successful physician.

Scholarly Pathways

The Scholarly Pathway is a required component of your curriculum for all M-1 and M2 students. The Scholarly Pathway will allow you to individualize your medical training while exploring a career path of interest. You will work with peers and faculty, building on the foundation of their medical school experiences, to pursue an area of common interest in greater depth.

The pathway course features two components, the first is a structured curriculum with a core set of competencies delivered through a series of workshops. The second comprises flexible, experimental non-core activities in which you are guided by a faculty advisor and your own individualized learning plan (ILP) to apply the core concepts in a variety of settings. At the end of your M2 year, you must have completed a scholarly project. You will give an oral presentation (poster or podium) of your project to peers, faculty, advisors, mentors, and community members.

Page Updated 04/25/2017