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Medical Students Don Their White Coats as MCW-Green Bay Begins Its First Semester on Campus

A white-coat ceremony last month marked the formal beginning of studies for the 26 medical students who make up the first class at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s new Green Bay campus. 

The ceremony, when students first don the traditional white lab coats worn by medical students, is a rite of passage for those embarking on a medical career. The July 9 event marks a new chapter for St. Norbert, too: For the first time, medical students join St. Norbert’s on-campus community. 

The college hosts MCW-Green Bay, whose classrooms and administrative space are housed in the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center. Faculty from St. Norbert and from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will be teaching alongside faculty from MCW-Milwaukee in the students’ first year of classes.

The first class for a regional program
MCW-Green Bay is the first new medical school campus to open in Wisconsin in more than a century. More than 2,000 prospective students applied for its 26 places.
The community focus of the program is evident in the roots of the first class selected: 23 of the students are from Wisconsin, two are from Illinois and one is from Indiana. St. Norbert grad Phil Kostka ’15, of Rosholt, Wis., is among their number.

The Medical College of Wisconsin began designing regional campuses after a study released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association in November 2011 highlighted the need for more primary-care physicians in Wisconsin. MCW-Green Bay is the first of two regional campuses to open; MCW-Central Wisconsin is scheduled to welcome its first class of students in July 2016.

The curriculum for MCW-Green Bay is three years rather than the traditional four years, so students are beginning their academic year earlier than their Milwaukee counterparts. Also different is the immersive, collaborative model that has been developed in Green Bay.

Clinical-skills training will take place at Bellin College and its clinical partners.

Matthew Hunsaker, M.D., campus dean of MCW-Green Bay, says, “Our regional campus program is created on a partnership model engaging local health-care systems, colleges and universities, technical colleges, government, and the local business communities. It’s a model that has garnered a lot of enthusiasm and interest.

“The White-Coat Ceremony is the culmination of four years of planning and implementation, and now it’s time to teach the next generation of physicians.”

Aug. 4, 2015