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University of Wisconsin Series: Tackling Problems in Diagnosis

Am Fam Physician. 1999 Sep 1;60(3):713.

On page 865 of this issue, you'll find the first article in a new series appearing under the “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” banner. The article “Evaluation of Dysuria in Men,” by Richard G. Roberts, M.D., J.D., and Paul P. Hartlaub, M.D., M.S.P.H., kicks off a series of diagnosis-focused articles developed by the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, under the guidance of guest editor William E. Scheckler, M.D.

Dr. Scheckler, who is professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, says the series will cover the latest approaches to common diagnostic problems in outpatients, with an emphasis on issues in screening. Many of the topics in the series were chosen on the basis of diagnostic problems that were encountered by residents in the department and started out as grand rounds presentations.

Residents at the University of Wisconsin family medicine residency program are fortunate to be receiving their training through one of the nation's top 10 programs. Why is this program so highly rated? “We're just wonderful people,” joked Dr. Scheckler. Although made in jest, the description seems apropos for a group that founded one of the first 15 family medicine residency programs approved in the early 1970s—one that has trained over 650 family physicians since its inception. Almost two thirds of these family physicians practice in Wisconsin.

The program has a statewide teaching campus, with free-standing residency programs at Eau Claire, Wausau, Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee. Residents receive exposure to a variety of settings through the training program and benefit from the expertise of over 90 full-time faculty members and 57 other clinical faculty members. The Madison and Eau Claire sites have a rural training track that allows residents a chance to spend the first year at the primary urban site and the last two years at the rural site.

In addition to the residency programs, the department sponsors a two-month third-year medical school clerkship in family medicine and primary care in collaboration with general internal medicine and general pediatrics in sites around the state. The department faculty members are also extensively involved in curriculum for the medical students in the first, second and fourth year of their curriculum.

Since 1984, the department has supported research activities of the National Institutes of Health, particularly in the areas of addiction research and preventive cardiology. In addition, faculty members in the department developed the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) course, which is now distributed internationally through the AAFP to thousands of health care providers each year.

The department has produced a number of leaders in family medicine, including Dr. Roberts, an author of the lead article in this series, who is a 1999 AAFP president-elect candidate, and John J. Frey III, M.D., immediate past-president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM).

We hope you will watch for articles in the “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” series from this top-notch department. Topics will include anemia in the elderly, dizziness, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, proteinuria evaluation, problems with the shoulder, and other timely subjects.


Copyright © 1999 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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