Medical School

Academic Affairs Annual Report


The education offerings at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) continued to expand and thrive in 2016. MCW remains committed to our mission of being a national leader in the education and development of the next generation of physicians and scientists, advancing our collaboration across our schools, programs and partners.

This commitment is clear through growth initiatives in each of our schools – medical school, graduate school and pharmacy school – including the opening of the MCW-Central Wisconsin regional campus; the launch of the Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) Program and the joint biomedical engineering department with Marquette University; the groundwork to matriculate the first class of pharmacy students in August 2017; and the graduation of the students in the inaugural year of the Master’s in Medical Physiology (MMP) program.

Medical School

Opening of MCW-Central Wisconsin

MCW-Central Wisconsin welcomed its inaugural class of 26 students on July 5.

partnerships2MCW began designing regional campuses after a study released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association in November 2011 that highlighted the need for more primary care physicians in Wisconsin. MCW-Central Wisconsin is the second of two regional campuses to open; MCW-Green Bay welcomed its first class of students in July 2015. Twenty-one of the 26 MCW-Central Wisconsin students hail from Wisconsin; fifteen are from outside central Wisconsin. On July 7, these new students participated in the traditional White Coat Ceremony at the UW Center for Civic Engagement in Wausau.

Similar to the MCW-Green Bay campus, the MCW-Central Wisconsin campus features our three-year Discovery Curriculum, a calendar efficient schedule spanning 36 months, allowing students to complete medical school in only three years. This is achieved by reducing the number of electives and the length of traditional medical school breaks, allowing students to graduate sooner and begin practicing medicine one year earlier.

The incoming medical student classes comprises 260 outstanding young men and women: 26 at MCW-Central Wisconsin, 30 at MCW-Green Bay and 204 at MCW-Milwaukee. This total number of students positions MCW as one of the largest MD-granting institutions in the country.

Inaugural Class of the Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) Program

On August 8, the first Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) class consisting of 12 matriculating students was officially welcomed into their professions with the symbolic White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony was held at MCW’s Kerrigan Auditorium in Milwaukee.

The MSA Program was created to prepare a new subset of Advanced Practice Providers with special expertise in anesthesia to provide high-quality care in a team model with physician anesthesiologists. The initial development funding for the MSA Program was provided by an award from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment to improve patient access to high-quality, licensed anesthesia providers.

Upon completion of the 28-month curriculum – held through the medical school on the Milwaukee campus - and a national certification exam, graduates are eligible to practice as Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAAs). Of our 12 first-year students, 10 are from Wisconsin and the remaining two from Florida.

MCW is the first program in the state, and one of only 11 nationwide, to train anesthesiologist assistants, who will work under the direction of leading physician anesthesiologists after graduation.

Graduate School

Department of Biomedical Engineering Launched

The Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Biomedical Engineering officially launched July 1. This new department brings together the engineering education and research expertise of Marquette and the medical research, technology and clinical expertise of MCW to provide an inclusive education model for the next generation of engineers, scientists and physicians.

Enrolled students work in state-of-the-art labs at both campuses, as well as the hospitals and clinics in the region, for hands-on education with real-world biomedical engineering challenges and opportunities. Students in the Bachelor of Science degree programs are based at Marquette with experiences at MCW, while those in advanced degrees divide their time between Marquette and MCW, as well as MCW clinical and research partner locations such as Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

The biomedical engineering department expects to increase enrollment capacity substantially in the next several years, primarily in the master’s degree and PhD programs, providing further opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to advance their careers and make an impact on biomedical innovation.

Master's in Medical Physiology (MMP) Graduates Inaugural Class in 2016

The Master’s in Medical Physiology (MMP), a one-year intensive program designed to improve a college graduate’s academic record for application to medical school, graduated its inaugural class of seven students on May 20. Brandon Free is one of three members of the graduating class accepted to medical school – and one of two who entered medical school at MCW this past fall. “Completing my MMP degree has definitely prepared me for what is coming in medical school. I am looking forward to next year and starting my journey toward becoming a physician.”

MCW’s program provides some integration with the first year medical student (M1) curriculum at MCW, providing students with a comparable experience encountered as a medical student, including examinations. The MMP students complete some of the same courses required for first year medical students including General Human Physiology, Clinical Human Anatomy, and Molecules to Cell. Fifteen students are enrolled in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Pharmacy School

Preparing the Next Generation of Pharmacists

At a time when some regions of Wisconsin are facing a shortage of pharmacists, there is an increasing demand for pharmacists who can provide expanded services. MCW is answering the call by providing an innovative model of pharmacy education that is dedicated to developing a pipeline of new, world-class pharmacists for Wisconsin, to ensure high quality healthcare continues for future generations in both urban and rural communities throughout the state.

With the MCW Pharmacy School set to matriculate its inaugural class in August 2017, founding dean George MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh is focused on preparations. This focus includes providing students with an exceptionally supportive, approachable and innovative learning environment. The MCW Pharmacy School will be the first and only three-year pharmacy program in Wisconsin – a program designed to “Graduate practice ready, team ready pharmacists.” The approach to a three-year curriculum is an innovative initiative at MCW – similar to the MCW-Central Wisconsin and MCW-Green Bay campuses that both feature a three-year calendar efficient curriculum that allows students to complete their medical degree one year earlier than traditional programs. This curriculum is achieved by reducing the length of traditional school breaks and increasing the efficiency of academic delivery – thus allowing students to graduate sooner.

The Pharmacy School was proud to host the first annual pharmacy school symposium, “Emerging Pharmacy Practice Models in Healthcare Delivery” in 2016. “We are clearly in a translational state within healthcare,” said Dr. MacKinnon, “We also realize as an emerging School of Pharmacy, we want to be at the table helping to solve the problem of healthcare delivery and the majority of you that have been involved with healthcare realize it’s a team approach. It’s a team game.” The symposium brought together a wide audience of pharmacists, pharmacy residents, physicians, administrators and community leaders to discuss this team approach to healthcare. The topics discussed included the pharmacist role within the interdisciplinary care team to improve patient outcomes, new models of care that include collaborative practice and addressing financial concerns regarding these models of care.