A Healthier Wisconsin

MCW-Central Wisconsin Advocates in Medicine Pathway

Promoting the inclusion of rural and Hmong students at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin

Full Project Name:MCW-CW Advocates in Medicine Pathway: Promoting inclusion of rural and Hmong students in the physician workforcePrincipal Investigator:Amy Prunuske, PhD, MCW Central WisconsinCo-Investigator:Corina Norrbom, MD, MCW Central WisconsinAward Amount:$398,561
Award Date
Project Duration:48 months

Project Description Narrative:

Access to health care is a primary concern for the long-term health of Wisconsin’s residents and communities and there are significant disparities regarding the distribution of the health care workforce with direct impacts on health outcomes. Challenges with provider shortages are compounded by the lack of a provider population that demographically aligns with the community population seeking care. The Wisconsin Hospital Association suggests that the best strategy to increase the number of physicians is to take a “grow our own” approach by taking students from the region and encouraging enrollment into local medical school programs. To adequately address the health care needs of residents of central Wisconsin's rural and Hmong populations, it is critical that medical education develop a pathway for students from underrepresented in medicine (URiM) backgrounds to successfully matriculate into medical education.

Through this award, the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin will develop an Advocates in Medicine (AMP) pathway to facilitate easy entry of undergraduates from rural and Hmong backgrounds into the medical degree program in order to develop a future health care workforce that is poised to meet the diverse health care needs of Wisconsin communities.

Community partners:
North Central Area Health Education Center, DC Everest High School, Aspirus Health System, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau

Project Updates:

  • Provided skill building workshops, mentorships, and individual check-in opportunities for all participating students
  • Graduated the first cohort of UW-Stevens Point students in July 2021 with all of the participants successfully completing all program components, with many students planning to apply to medical school
  • Recruited the second cohort of students, including three rural and five Hmong students
  • Obtained approval by the MCW admission committee for the direct interview option for participating students

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
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