Meeting Students Where They Are Through Online Educational Programs

Pictured here with patients in Belize are dual degree student Mikaela Pierson and campus student Drew Roenneburg. Photo courtesy of The University of Wisconsin-Madison PA Program.

Unique Characteristics of The University of Wisconsin-Madison PA Program 

The UW-Madison PA program strives to meet students where they are, both physically and mentally. In addition to our central Madison campus, since 2001, we have had a successful online educational program, which allows students to complete their training in their home communities. To address provider shortages in rural areas, we have created a separate campus for our program in central Wisconsin, and another is being constructed in the southern part of the state. We also work to meet students where they are mentally by adapting our curriculum to address evolving concerns related to the opioid epidemic, systemic racism, and provider wellness.

Our Program’s Impact

The UW-Madison PA program has a well-earned reputation as a dynamic, innovative, educational leader. Our curriculum and educational initiatives continue to evolve in response to the changing needs of communities in our state. Despite these changes, our mission — to educate professionals who are committed to delivering comprehensive health care while emphasizing primary care for populations in need — has remained constant. We’re big believers in the “Wisconsin Idea” that education should influence people’s lives beyond the classroom, and we hope that our work can help other programs to consider how they can address their own regions’ needs and provide their students with the skills to care for their communities.

Our Surrounding Community

Madison is a city of approximately 250,000 people located in southern Wisconsin, about 2.5 hours from Chicago and 1.5 hours from Milwaukee. It is located on an isthmus between two lakes, Monona and Mendota. We also have a campus in Wausau (population about 38,000) in the northern part of the state.

A Fun Fact About Madison

Madison was home to Frank Lloyd Wright, Chris Farley, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among other famous folks. The official bird of Madison is the plastic pink flamingo, and our beloved UW mascot is Buckingham U. Badger (Bucky Badger to his friends). We’re a city known for good food, beer-lovers, cheeseheads, and bicyclers. Madison is one of the best cities in the world for biking. 

This article is part of PAEA’s Program Showcases, which also includes webinars. Learn more about the series here.