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Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin launches training program for Rural and Hmong prospective medical students

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) – In an effort to address the statewide healthcare provider shortage, the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin (MCW-CW) is launching a training program for future medical students who come from rural and/or Hmong backgrounds.

The Advocates in Medicine Pathway (AMP) will support the professional development of 10 rural and underrepresented in medicine undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau each year.

By partnering with the North Central Area Health and Education Center, the program will help facilitate a future healthcare work force built around resilience, relationships and system-based knowledge.

AMP students will learn about problems in medicine like opioid abuse and the ability to advocate for system change.

In addition, they will participate in field trips and volunteer opportunities to engage directly with the community, gain exposure to healthcare systems in the region and work on a mentored research project with a MCW-CW faculty member, medical student and
community mentor.

“Most importantly, these activities will facilitate the development of a strong peer cohort to minimize isolation and create a sense of belonging,” said Amy Prunuske, PhD.

An associate professor at the MCW-CW and advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented students in biomedical sciences and medicine, Dr. Prunuske developed the AMP and earned funding for the program from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW).

“In order to adequately address the healthcare needs of Central Wisconsin rural and Hmong populations, it is important that we develop a pathway for students from underrepresented backgrounds to successfully matriculate into MCW-CW,” said Dr. Prunuske. “The AMP will allow us to train more doctors that are equipped to address these needs and more likely to
practice in the region.”

Student activities will begin this fall. Application forms are not yet available, but interested students may contact Dr. Prunuske, aprunuske@mcw.edu.

Sam Brink

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