Meet Dr. Craig Porter, Faculty Leader for the Faculty Development Work Group

When Craig C. Porter, MD, joined the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in 2008, his talent for cultivating faculty was already recognized. He was appointed Vice Chair for Faculty and Professor of Pediatrics at MCW after nearly 18 years at the University of Iowa.

When the opportunity to be involved in faculty development for the community medical education program arose, Dr. Porter was drawn to participate. He enjoys positioning faculty for success through an understanding of their talents and aspirations.

“I have a longstanding commitment to help individual faculty realistically identify their true academic strengths and to help them marry those strengths with true passion,” Dr. Porter said.

His extensive experience in this area allows him to understand fairly deeply the complexities of and differences between undergraduate and graduate faculty life. This understanding, requisite for properly addressing professional development needs, made Dr. Porter well-suited for leadership of the Faculty Development Work Group.

Since the work group’s formation, members have concentrated on determining and helping codify the rules of engagement for faculty and staff participating in the community-based program. They have explored models of faculty hiring, course administration and appointment processes, for example. As the development phase of the regional campuses progresses, the work group’s efforts follow suit.

“Against the backdrop of these discussions and with the work of developing a framework around who will teach in our program and how those teaching efforts will occur having been largely completed,” he said, “we have more recently begun to address the detailed ways in which our Milwaukee campus faculty and staff as well as our regional campus faculty and staff will acquire the skills necessary to successfully move students in our 133-week program from matriculation to graduation and into competitive residency slots.”

Planning faculty development for multiple campuses has unique challenges. Dr. Porter suggests that breaking down campus boundaries both geographical and organizational is critical for success and fostering a common sense of purpose.

“As the program moves forward, its leaders will need to constantly reassess the needs of all our faculty and staff, irrespective of their location, and this will mean that they will have to be visible to them and engaged with them in their efforts within their community.”

The work group is currently focused on welcoming regional campus members to a comprehensive and ongoing orientation program that will launch in July 2014 and complete its first cycle in July 2017. During that time, team members will continue to expand the toolkit for faculty and staff development.

“Our work group members are working closely with other work group members and leaders to develop not only a successful medical education program but also a national model,” Dr. Porter said. “It is great fun and a real challenge.”

A pediatric nephrologist, Dr. Porter practices medicine at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“My desire to care for children was driven by the comfort felt in communicating with them effectively and the candor with which they responded,” he said, considering what drew him to his specialty. “My interest in nephrology arose from the intellectual rigor with which this particular group of practitioners approached their work and what I perceive as the elegance of the organ’s functionality.”

Dr. Porter earned his MD from Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and his fellowship in pediatric nephrology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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Page Updated 12/11/2013