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Medicine e-Connection 


Welcome to the new academic year

In addition to vacations, warm nights and Summerfest, July brings the new academic year for MCW. In the past week, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of new faculty and staff, as well as many of our new residents. The enthusiasm, the intellectual curiosity, and the diversity of culture of the new members of our community inspire me, just as our current faculty, staff and residents have done in my past two decades with the Department.

It is with great excitement that we welcome our new faculty members to MCW. These extraordinary physicians and scholars bring exciting new ideas, perspectives and methodologies to our campus, fostering innovation in our clinical, research and academic programs. Together with our current faculty, they will advance MCW’s focus on patient care and student success, as well as our national leadership roles in research and creative endeavors. You can view this newsletter for a complete list of all new faculty members in the department.

I am very pleased that the process of revising the medical student curriculum continues, and our own Dr Jose Franco has been names New Curriculum Director. In this role, the will lead the group charge with facilitating and implementing the new student curriculum. I hope that the entire department will support Jose in this important role.

Given our dedicated and gifted faculty and staff; commitment to excellence in patient care, education and research; and collaborative environment, I believe that the MCW Department of Medicine will long continue its role as a leader at this institution and in academic medicine.

Ann B. Nattinger, MD, MPH

Education for the Future

A core mission for MCW, and perhaps the most unique of its missions, is education. The MCW Mission Statement begins "To be a national leader in the education and development of the next generation of physicians and scientists; …” MCW exists to prepare men and women to become physicians and provide the best care possible to their patients. As baby boomers turn 65, there is greater demand for the health care system to provide quality care to elderly population. The Department of Medicine and its Division of Geriatrics/Gerontology are focused on this imperative.

MCW has obtained funding this past year to help promote this important agenda. The Donald W Reynolds Foundation awarded MCW a grant to help hospitalists and specialty physicians improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes in geriatric care. Groups of specialists, educators, geriatrics content experts, fellows, residents, and students are forming to develop curricular interventions that will meet this goal. These Geriatrics Education Teams (GETs) will be forming and operating the next four years. One active example in medicine is the Nephrology GET. This team is led by Dr Brahm Vasudev, who is using his skills as a clinician educator to help plan and implement a geriatrics curricular intervention. Other GETS are currently operating in PM&R and Trauma Surgery. Through funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), MCW has a subcontract with Marquette University's Geriatric Education Center. This has allowed for another GET to focus on primary care physicians. The Department of Family and Community Medicine is planning a major department wide focus on geriatrics education through its central department residency curriculum this next academic year.

At the medical student level, the Village at Manor Park (VMP) Foundation has supported MCW for a decade to sponsor a Senior Mentor Program at the Village at Manor Park site. This program for first year medical students (M1s) pairs the student with an older resident, i.e., a Senior Mentor. Through the M1 year, the student fulfills his/her requirement in the Clinical Continuum course by making structured visits to the older person and addressing a variety of health concerns. Department of Medicine geriatrician, Mary Cohan MD, leads this effort with David Lillich MD from the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Each year, MCW medical students meet the Marquette University dental students for a softball game outside Miller Park at Helfaer Field on the day of a Brewer game to raise funds for the VMP Foundation to support this effort. This year the "Thriller at Miller: Super Students Swinging for Seniors Softball Showdown" will be on the afternoon of Saturday July 30, 2011. All are invited to cheer on the MCW students. For more information contact Annette Cernohous at 414-805-0526.

Another important initiative in geriatrics education is continuing medical education. To meet the need of preparing practicing health providers to update their knowledge and skills in geriatric care, Wisconsin's two medical schools have teamed together to develop a comprehensive overview of the field and will present the "Wisconsin Board Review in Geriatrics" this fall from September 28-October 1, 2011. The course will be held at the Grand Geneva in beautiful Walworth County during one of the nicest times of the year in southeast Wisconsin. The location is readily accessible to both medical school campuses. The course directors are Kathryn Denson MD from MCW and Steven Barczi MD from the University of Wisconsin. These two accomplished geriatrician clinician educators have assembled a course faculty from their two medical schools. These faculty are known for their teaching abilities as well as expertise in geriatric care. The course is aimed at those health providers (physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, PharmDs, dentists, and others) who want to have a 'cutting edge' overview of the approach to geriatric management. As a board review course, the emphasis is on the efficient transmission of information and a panoramic overview of geriatrics. This is one of only a few such courses offered in the United States. The course has been offered every other year since the late 1990s and the course directors and staff continue to update the material and speakers based on past course attendee evaluations as well as advancements in the field of geriatrics. For more information please contact Zoe Wolf 414-955-7090.

In summary, MCW is focused on the future. Demographic trends indicate that all internal medicine specialists and subspecialists will have a growing responsibility for care of geriatric patients. MCW and the Department of Medicine are working on insuring that this care will be evidence-based and high quality as the result of the curricula developed for learners at all levels. MCW is an acknowledged leader through its recognition from national and local foundations as well as government granting agencies who have invested in MCW to develop educational models.

Article written by
Edmund H. Duthie, MD
Professor and Chief
Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology

Newsletter Committee


Carla Clark Staff Writer
Bradley Condon Staff Writer
Rick Hampton Staff Writer
Robin Karst Staff Writer
Susan Knaebe Staff Writer
Janice Lewis Staff Writer
Phyllis Meyer Staff Writer
Jennifer Oium Staff Writer
Nicole Panico Staff Writer
Lisa Pelzek-Braun Web Design and Publishing
Kathy Rafel Editor
Tracy Stasinopoulos Staff Writer
Cheryl Tolliver Staff Writer
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Page Updated 07/20/2011