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UW-Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic Health System launch innovative Medical Academy Program to begin April 1

| Mike Knuth

Learning about the complexities of the human body and state-of-the-art health care is at the heart of the innovative Medical Academy Program, offered this spring thanks to a collaboration between Mayo Clinic Health System and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The Medical Academy Program offers a unique learning opportunity for anyone who wants to better understand the body and the systems that make life possible. The six-week program is open to everyone from high school students who might be interested in a career in health care to retirees who might want to learn more about what makes them tick.

According to Dr. Timothy Young, Mayo Clinic Health System neurologist and medical director, “This program is for anyone who is curious about medical school, showing both the path and the content in a stimulating format.”

The Medical Academy Program will be held on six consecutive Mondays, April 1-May 6, at UW-Eau Claire. Each week, a physician from Mayo Clinic Health System will offer a 60-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute activity in their area of expertise. The weekly sessions will include topics such as neurology, cardiology and orthopedics. While the academy is not the place for attendees to ask specific personal medical questions, Young says the sessions will be filled with information relevant to people of all ages.

The Medical Academy Program is free to students 16 and older, and the six-week program is $50 for all other participants. All sessions will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in Room 1415 of Centennial Hall at UW-Eau Claire.

Dr. Julie Anderson, director of UW-Eau Claire’s Health Careers Center, says the Medical Academy Program offers students in high school and college a truly unique opportunity.

“Any student considering a career in medicine should take advantage of this incredible opportunity,” Anderson says. “Practicing physicians will teach about important medical topics and lead interactive demonstrations. It will be exciting for participants to get a taste of what medical education is like.”

Young and Anderson say the goal of the program is to help the public learn about the fundamental systems in the body and how the marvels of modern medicine can improve a patient’s quality of life.

Young, who has worked for Mayo Clinic Health System since 2008, has been the driving force behind the Medical Academy Program. After helping similar efforts take shape in other communities, Young worked with Anderson to form a collaborative team of professionals from UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System to help make the dream of a medical academy open to the public a reality.

Thanks to years of transformative collaboration between UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System, which recently extended and expanded the research agreement that was first signed in 2017, Young says his ambitious goal to create a program to give students and the public a taste of medical school now is a reality.

“Medical Academy embodies the education and research collaboration between our campuses. We want our community to see what we can accomplish together, now and in the future.”

The kickoff session for the Medical Academy Program will focus on neurology, led by Young, whose own path to medicine included some detours. The second session will focus on orthopedics and feature Dr. Amy Rantala. The third session will be on cardiology, presented by Dr. Andrew Calvin, and Dr. Michael Colgan will present on dermatology in the fourth session of the program. Dr. Jason Beckermann will present on surgery and the gastrointestinal system in the fifth session, and Dr. Mark Deyo Svendsen will guide academy attendees through a holistic review of the body in the sixth and final session.

The final session on May 6 will feature a graduation event for academy attendees who complete the course.

For more information and to register for the Medical Academy Program, visit