Medical School

Beth Erickson Wittmann, MD

Your life could make a difference.

Beth Erickson Wittmann, MD went into medicine because she knew it was a way “your life could make a difference.” She was particularly interested in treating cancer patients and was fortunate to land an “externship” funded by the American Cancer Society early in her medical school career in the department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

beth-erickson-wittmann“I met incredible mentors in radiation oncology. They were wonderful role models who changed the course of my career,” said Dr. Erickson Wittmann.  

Both Erickson Wittmann and her husband, Thomas G. Wittmann, MD graduated from MCW. They have decided to give back by setting up a scholarship for medical students from Wisconsin at MCW.

“Anything we can do to help a medical student have it a bit easier than we did,” said Dr. Erickson-Wittmann, “that was our goal with this gift.”

Sometimes medical students are so immersed in helping everyone else, they can’t help themselves, Dr. Erickson Wittmann believes community support will lead to healthier physicians in the long run. “This would lessen the financial burden students have and give them one less thing to worry about.”

Community support of clinical research is another area Dr. Erickson-Wittmann hopes will expand in the future. “We need to increase the interface between physicians and the community. People should get to know doctors and the research they are working so that they can assist with financial support,” she said.

Dr. Erickson Wittmann has spent the last 25 years conducting research and clinical studies dealing with brachytherapy, a type of cancer treatment which places radiation inside the body, near the tumor.  Her work in using Magnetic Resonance-guided brachytherapy in cervical cancer treatment has led to a better understanding of the dose that the tumor receives as well as the near-by critical normal organs. “We can see where the tumor is and adjust the dose to the tumor and the normal organs so it less likely to cause harm to the nearby organs,” said Dr. Erickson Wittmann.  “This is a very innovative approach which has been of great benefit to our patients.”

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