MCW-Central Wisconsin Welcomes First Class of Students

2016 MCW-Central Wisconsin White Coat Ceremony

The latest milestone in the Medical College of Wisconsin's years-long journey to expand its medical school into several regions around the state was celebrated on July 5, 2016, when the first class of 26 students at MCW-Central Wisconsin began two days of orientation. Two days later, the campus's inaugural White Coat Ceremony was held at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County's Center for Civic Engagement, followed by a welcome picnic at the nearby Rothschild Pavilion.

Of the 26 MCW-Central Wisconsin medical students, 50 percent are female and 50 percent are male – and 21 of them hail from ten Wisconsin counties.

At the Ceremony, each student received the traditional short white lab coat worn by medical-students-in-training, and was "coated" by an individual with an interest or belief in the respective student's ability and dedication to the practice of medicine.

Lisa Grill Dodson, MD, campus dean of MCW-Central Wisconsin, shared that while all medical students are chosen for their intelligence and academic skills, drive and potential, MCW-Central Wisconsin students have an additional unique characteristic: they were chosen by the community, "the very people for whom you will care."

"This community believes in you. We collectively believe that you can and will be the physicians who will make healthcare more accessible, more just and equitable, higher quality and more sustainable for the region."

A small group of area physicians, alumni, MCW faculty and staff, and the students' loved ones attended the Ceremony.

The program included remarks from John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW (the vision for creating new regional medical school campuses); Joseph E. Kerschner, MD '90, FEL '98, dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice president (history of the White Coat Ceremony); Michael Curtis, MD '89 (student welcome on behalf of the Alumni Association); and Steven Bergin, MD '74, GME '78 (sponsorship of the white coats by the Wisconsin Medical Society and the administration of the Physician's Oath).

The chief medical officers of the region's two major healthcare systems (and important MCW-Central Wisconsin clinical partners) – Aspirus and Ascension Wisconsin – also offered formal welcoming remarks. Charles MacCarthy, MD, a longtime regional ophthalmologist and community partner, delivered the keynote address on humanism in medicine.

After the White Coat Ceremony, students, parents, friends, community members and MCW faculty/staff attended a picnic and a larger community celebration to introduce the inaugural class.

Also in early July, MCW-Green Bay welcomed its second class of 30 medical students (16 male, 14 female); 25 come from 12 Wisconsin counties.

– Sara L. Wilkins

MCW Magazine: Scholarship story

What the opening of MCW-Central Wisconsin means to first-year medical students Britt DeRuyter and Christopher Zeman

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