Meet Dr. Alan David, Faculty Leader for the Graduate Medical Education Work Group

Chairman and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) since 1998, Alan David, MD, has always been committed to turning out strong family physicians. Now, his passion for this important field of primary care is also serving him well as faculty leader for the Community Medical Education program’s (CMEP) Graduate Medical Education (GME) Work Group.

“Family medicine doctors have broad-based capabilities and versatility,” Dr. David said. “When you’re talking about a smaller community – perhaps with no hospital or just a small hospital – it’s a natural fit to place family doctors in those settings in order to treat the whole population.”

Since its inception in 1975, MCW’s Department of Family and Community Medicine has educated more than 6,000 medical students and produced more than 1,000 family physicians through its residency programs. Under Dr. David’s leadership, faculty in the department now care for more than 28,000 patients per year.

As faculty leader for the GME work group, Dr. David is responsible for graduate medical education in relation to the CMEP program. He is working in partnership with health system leaders and the regional campus deans as well as with the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Executive Director of MCW Affiliated Hospitals.

“Currently in Northeast Wisconsin, for example, there is only one family residency program in Appleton.  If we graduate medical students from the new MCW-Green Bay medical school but they have to go away for residency training, they may not come back,” Dr. David said. “It’s critical to the success of both the undergraduate and graduate medical education programs that we get students from that region who do their residency in the area and then stay to practice.”

In Central Wisconsin, residency programs in certain specialties are already well established and will play an important role in training medical school graduates from the Central Wisconsin campus. 

The Wisconsin FY14-15 state budget includes nearly $2.3 million for expansion of family medicine residency training over those two years. Dr. David and the work group are developing strategies to ensure the availability of fully accredited residency programs in family medicine, general surgery, psychiatry and emergency medicine in the Northern/Green Bay Wisconsin region.

Family medicine graduates are in high demand across the state. “Small communities need family medicine physicians so people don’t have to drive far away for primary care. Eventually, these practices can grow adding general internists, pediatricians and psychiatrists etc.,” he said.

The work group is also focusing on strategies to:

  • Retain regional campus graduates in local residency training tracks
  • Recruit and retain faculty leaders dedicated to educating students and residents who seek careers in the area
  • Advance the goal of becoming a nationally recognized program for the development of family physicians who prefer to practice in non-metropolitan areas.

 “In the long term, we want the hospitals in the GME consortium to oversee their own training with our assistance,” Dr. David said. “We want these facilities to be highly attractive to students. When medical students from Northeast Wisconsin and Central Wisconsin begin successfully matching to residency programs in their areas- and they stay and practice family medicine there – that will be the greatest measure of our success.”

Dr. David cares for patients of all ages. His clinical and teaching interests include doctor-patient relations, anemia, depression and asthma. Dr. David is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Family Medicine. He is a past president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Dr. David earned his MD from the University of Missouri  School of Medicine in Columbia, Mo. and participated in residency training in pathology and internal medicine, completing a residency in 1975 in family medicine. He served in the U.S. Air Force between 1975 and 1977 as a staff physician in the Department of Family Practice - Malcolm Grow, U.S. Air Force Medical Center.

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Page Updated 06/25/2014
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