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What would you share with a future physician?

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For nearly twenty years the Foundation has helped connect practicing physicians to first year medical students at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Physicians purchase the student's white coats and provide words of encouragement to the student. To steal from old Visa commercials, the coat is meaningful, the  wisdom priceless. Students remember and refer to those messages for years to come.

This year is an unprecedented year for everyone in medicine. The Foundation has funded current students facing financial insecurity due to the virus and this next class is coming in without their traditional white coat ceremony and with no clear idea of what their education is actually going to look like. What could you share about difficult situations you have faced? What was the most meaningful advice you have been given?

 In these uncertain times there are still nearly 300 students who won't be receiving a personal message. These are studen…

Racism is a public health crisis

At WisMed Foundation, though we are a separate entity from the WisMed Society, we share many things. Office space, services and a belief that racism is a public health crisis that needs to be addressed.

“I can’t breathe.” These were the harrowing last words of an American, George Floyd, spoken as a system deprived him of life. The systemic racist structure failed the promise of life to this American. Racism is a constant threat to health, medical care and longevity in America. The Wisconsin Medical Society, driven by our mission of health for Wisconsinites, declares racism to be a Public Health Crisis and calls for equity in health.

Racism threatens health. Racism worsens the social determinants of health, including housing, employment, education, community and neighborhood, food and medical care. Poor housing, including homelessness, results in illnesses such as diabetes and asthma. Unemployment increases heart disease risks and overall mortality; poor education increases death from di…

The Pandemic Pivot

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I haven't seen a more descriptive picture of how these times can feel than this one of Elizabeth's daughter Ellis celebrating her solo Corona Prom.

I started as Executive Director of the Foundation days after the Safer at Home order. I had taken the position excited to start thinking about how to expand our mission statewide for more impact and then COVID-19 hit. All of a sudden our mission to advance the health of the state and support medical education looked different than simply expanding our grants and scholarships. But what did it look like? Did we need to put plague masks on as well?

To figure this out Elizabeth, Lori and I spent some time talking to students, physicians and those who work with them. This is what surfaced as concerns:
 Physicians were worried about their communities and their abilities to meet basic needs, such as food, housing and healthcare.Smaller practices faced more challenges, especially in rural areas where the virus hadn't hit but healthcare…