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Message from the Interim Chair

Welcome to the Department of Medicine. I am humbled and honored to serve as interim chair, and as the first woman to lead the department in its nearly 100-year history. 

During the 20 years that I have been a member of the faculty, there has been incredible growth in all three missions of the department, an unparalleled sense of teamwork, and dedication to professionalism. Our patients guide all that we do in the areas of clinical care, research that aims to improve health, and innovative approaches to educating the next generation of physicians. 

The Department of Medicine is the biggest academic department in the state-wide UW System. We have approximately 400 faculty, 115 advanced practice providers, 150 residents and fellows, and 1,200 employees. We provide adult specialty and primary medical care in 12 different internal medicine subdisciplines. We conduct 600,000 or more patient encounters annually. Our research funding portfolio exceeds $90 million per year. We are ranked 21st by the Blue Ridge among all Departments of Medicine in the nation for research funding awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Our graduate medical education programs include the UW Internal Medicine Residency Program, which boasts the highest board exam pass rate among more than 100 university residency programs in the United States. We also are the proud home of 22 fellowship programs in subspecialties and sub-subspecialties of internal medicine.   

Our patients are our “true North.” During my time as chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, it has been personally fulfilling and inspiring to see how we strive to focus on patient-centered care. We are committed to quality improvement at all levels of the department. Our members are developing and implementing innovative care models as well as promoting population health. The Department of Medicine is also committed to a culture of wellness in the fast-paced environment of modern medicine.

Our educational programs extend to learners at every career phase. Our faculty members serve as research and clinical mentors. Many of our members are leaders in the field of medical education. We have been leaders in curriculum design and transformation initiatives within the School of Medicine and Public Health. The educational and training opportunities we offer are enhanced by our strong partnerships with UW Health clinical facilities, the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, and additional clinical training locations throughout the state of Wisconsin. 

The Department of Medicine has a long history of transformational research. Our substantial extramural funding supports a wide range of basic, translational, clinical, health services, and population health research. These research pursuits are integrated with our clinical and educational missions. Our focus on team science encompasses our colleagues and collaborators throughout campus and beyond. We’re honored to play a fundamental role in many nationally-recognized centers, institutes, and programs dedicated to medicine, medical research, and health care.

Central to all of our endeavors are our departmental values: professionalism, patient-centeredness, discovery, innovation, scholarship, our commitment to diversity and inclusion, our dedication to teamwork, and wise stewardship of our resources. 

During this time of transition as your interim chair, I want you to know that it truly is an exciting era for the department. We are continuing to grow stronger. We are becoming even more creative in solving the challenges of practicing medicine. And our strength also is rooted in our commitment to community-building throughout our large and far-reaching department. For this reason, I would like to call on all of us to become even more connected as colleagues and collaborators. Together, we are writing the next chapter of our department’s history. Together, we are changing lives for the better.

In gratitude,

Betsy Trowbridge, MD
Phillip August and Sarah Neely Herrmann Professor in General Internal Medicine
Interim Chair, Department of Medicine