University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

Area Physicians to Help Pre-Med Students
Learn About Medical Profession

 MAILED:  Oct. 1, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — A project to connect pre-med students and area physicians is under way at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The idea is to help students make contacts with local physicians so they can get advice, learn more about medicine as a profession and do job shadowing, said Joe Eaton, a senior pre-med student from Eau Claire who initiated the project.

“You always hear as a student that you should get some hands-on experience with the career you think you want to pursue,” Eaton said. “I thought it would be a really good idea for the university to help pre-med students learn more about what it’s like to be a doctor before they graduate.”

Eaton talked to Jeanne Skoug, director of Career Services at UW-Eau Claire, about the need and she helped him develop a plan, which they are now presenting to administrators at hospitals and clinics in Eau Claire.

“The response has been very good,” Skoug said. “Those we have talked to are excited about the opportunities to assist with the future recruitment and retention of physicians in these ways. Doctors can opt for different layers of involvement, depending on their schedules and interests.”

The project has received support from a $3,000 gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation from Kerry and Daniel Kincaid to help pay the salary of a student coordinator and support for what has been named the UW-Eau Claire Pre-Med Career Exploration and Service Partnership.

Skoug said the program will use the “Ask An Alum and Friends” program at UW-Eau Claire, an online service that connects students with alumni and friends who are currently working in a variety of careers. Physicians who are willing to participate fill in data on the “Ask An Alum and Friends” Web site, and pre-med students can select a specialty they are interested in exploring. Only registered students will be able to access the profiles, and physicians’ names and phone numbers will not be posted on the Web.

So far Eaton has a preliminary list of more than 50 physicians who are willing to provide information about their profession and perhaps mentoring and job shadowing experiences.

“Some students get into medical school before they ever experience anything in the clinical setting,” said Eaton, who worked as a volunteer in the Emergency Room at Sacred Heart Hospital. “I had no idea how busy it would be and how much paper work is involved in medicine. For me, the experience strengthened my commitment to become a doctor.”

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: October 1, 2003