Physiology Education

Undergraduate Education

The Department of Physiology participates annually in an institution-wide summer program for undergraduate students known as SPUR (Summer Program for Undergraduate Research). SPUR provides the opportunity for students to learn first-hand the potential of the biomedical sciences as an interesting and fulfilling career. SPUR provides undergraduate students from all over the country with laboratory experience in science, where they are offered a chance to work with graduate faculty, students, and staff on significant ongoing basic science research issues.

Medical Education

The MCW Department of Physiology is responsible for coordinating and teaching the General Human Physiology course during the second semester of the first year of medical school at MCW. Physiology is the basis of clinical medicine. The objective of this course is to help students think physiologically, that is, to think by integrating knowledge of the functions of various interdependent molecular, cellular, and organ systems to understand the function of the human body as a whole.

Thinking physiologically is a process, not a goal. Therefore, it is not something that a person can achieve and then consider to be complete. The process will continue throughout a lifetime in medical practice. To teach students to think physiologically, we begin with a body of facts that they must learn. How the cardiovascular system works and is integrated with the respiratory system to supply sufficient oxygen to the cells is but one example. After the basic components of the system are understood, students must learn how this integration is altered by a change in the demand on the system such as occurs in exercise where the requirement for oxygen for cellular function is increased. The physician must know how to bring about a return to healthy function when the system is compromised by disease.

The department uses the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system for administration and management of the General Human Physiology course.

The department participates in the Summer Research Training for Medical Students program, which awards fellowships to participate in 8-12 weeks of hands-on biomedical research.

Master's in Medical Physiology

Post-baccalaureate Master's degree program in medical physiology offers a bridge to medical school by demonstrating one's academic ability in graduate-level courses.

PhD Program in Physiology

Education focused on integrative physiology, mentorship, high-quality training in physiological research in molecular, cellular, genomic and systems biology.

Postdoctoral Education

The Department of Physiology provides numerous postdoctoral opportunities in a wide range of research areas. Departmental researchers are not only world-renowned scientists but effective mentors that maintain relatively small and efficiently-run laboratory groups with a high level of interaction between laboratories. This results in the potential for the trainee to readily gain independence in an environment that provides a wealth of scientific guidance and support.

MCW is consistently named one of the top institutions for postdoctoral training in the country by The Scientist. Postdoctoral trainees throughout MCW are brought together and encouraged to network through activities sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Education.