Division of Medical Student Education

Welcome to the Division of Medical Student Education for the Department of Family and Community Medicine!

If you are an MCW student in any year, with a curiosity or interest in the specialty of Family Medicine, you are welcome to participate in the Family Medicine Learning Community (FMLC), coordinated by MCW’s Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM).

Learning CommunitiesFamily and Community Medicine Pre-Doctoral Education

Learning communities are “intentional communities” that engage students and faculty to enhance learning through a common purpose, similar interests and learning experiences.

Our “student-type” Family Medicine Learning Community is focused on:

  1. Medical school education at MCW with Family Medicine enrichment/perspective
  2. Service learning and Family Medicine enrichment activities
  3. Career education and advising activities
  4. Social functions, including athletic and cultural activities
  5. Intentional peer-to-peer educational and social interaction/collaborations, especially between upper and lower classmen (vertical integration among classes)
  6. Leadership and professional development activities

Successful learning communities are collaborative. The faculty in the DFCM Medical Student Education Division are dedicated to working with MCW student organizations and individual students to foster student connection, excellence, learning, leadership and service. Below is a diagram of individuals who identify themselves as part of the FMLC.


The goal of our Family Medicine Learning Community (FMLC) is to foster student connection, excellence, learning, leadership and service in primary care and Family Medicine. The FMLC brings together students interested in Family Medicine across all four years of medical school with MCW Family Medicine faculty, residents and community family physicians. The objectives of the FMLC are to:

  • Encourage students to explore the dynamic field of Family Medicine through formal and informal activities, working closely with each other and Family Physician mentors/advisors.
  • Promote the balance of basic science knowledge with primary care competencies and decision-making skills through active learning.
  • Support students in their professional development regardless of their ultimate specialty choice.

FMLC Opportunities and Activities

Below is a list of FMLC Opportunities:

  • FMLC Saturday Free Clinic (two or three times a year, the Saturday Free clinic is staffed primarily by FMLC students and faculty)
  • Service Learning; many of these opportunities are provided through MCW’s National Award-winning Family Medicine Student Association (FMSA). FMSA is a student-run organization that coordinates a number of worthwhile important community projects (including Tars Wars, Health Room Helper, Ready Set Fit, and Homeless Clinic). The DFCM provides a faculty liaison and staff support.
  • Evidence-Based Medicine Journal Club
  • Special Olympics Physical Day
  • Social events, including the annual Helfaer Field softball game
  • Pathway support, for projects with a Primary Care/Family Medicine emphasis
  • Pathway support for literature reviews on topics important to primary care

For More Information

For more information on any of these opportunities, please contact Leslie Ruffalo, PhD at lruffalo@mcw.edu or (414) 955-8710.