University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Education Innovations at the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine

At the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine, we know the old adage, “See one, do one, teach one,” doesn't work anymore.

As medicine evolves, so must medical education. That's why we encourage innovation in every facet of our education programs.

What Education Innovation Means to Us

It means teaching our faculty how to engage in medical education scholarship and research, so they can create evidence-based educational interventions.

It means listening deeply to create programs that meet the specific needs of faculty and learners.

It means supporting education innovation grants to spur creative curriculum projects.

From Idea to Practice

Some of our education innovation grants have become a permanent part of our residency curriculum.

resident during Empathy Course

Empathy Course

Amy Zelenski, PhD, now our director of education innovation and scholarship, and Mariah Quinn, MD, MPH, now the UW Health Chief Wellness Officer, used an education innovation grant to develop, pilot and evaluate an Empathy Course for our residents.

The course, which is now offered to residents several times per year as part of our wellness curriculum, uses humanities- and neuroscience-informed methods to teach essential skills for caring for oneself and caring for others.

A study published in the December 2020 issue of Wisconsin Medical Journal showed that course participants scored higher on measures of empathy and lower burnout scores.

    POCUS course

    Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Workshop and Clinical Rotation

    Our POCUS curriculum began as a TEACH Pathway capstone project. Two former residents, Katie Fell, MD, and Tim Rowe, MD, received an education innovation grant to further develop and evaluate it.

    Drs. Fell and Rowe grew the curriculum from a half-day workshop into a longitudinal experience that's a foundational part of our residency curriculum.

    Now, residents get dedicated hands-on time with pocket and portable ultrasounds and standardized patients, and incorporate these skills into their evaluation of patients on wards.


    Director of Education Innovation and Scholarship

    Continuing Education Specialist

    We provide leadership for medical educators who want to engage in research and program evaluation: scholarship that benefits the University. 

    We're inspired by the Department of Medicine's brilliant, thoughtful, and creative educators and learners, and builds curriculum and connections that fosters their professional growth.

    Watch a related Department of Medicine Grand Rounds presentation.