Dr. Norman Engbring, former Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education, dies at age 89

July 15, 2014 College News - Norman Engbring, MD, former Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education, founder of the MCW residency program, and a recipient of the MCW Distinguished Service Award, died July 9. He was 89 years old.

“Dr. Norman Engbring was a knowledgeable, dedicated physician and superb teacher.  He will be remembered for his leadership in creating MCWAH (Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals) in 1980.  Dr. Engbring created on organization that joined the multiple residency programs at hospitals throughout the Milwaukee area,” said Mahendr S. Kochar, MD, MS, MBA, JD, who succeeded Dr. Engbring as Senior Associate Dean. “Dr. Engbring provided the leadership and MCW provided the infrastructure for MCWAH, which created economies of scale and greater efficiency for the physician residency training programs.  An article in Academic Medicine in March 1996 detailed the creation and structure of MCWAH, which was identified as a national model for graduate medical education.”

“Dr. Engbring hired me in 1981 in the very early days of the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals and we worked together until his retirement in 1988,” said Tom Hackl, Administrator for Graduate Medical Education. “Dr. Engbring was a man of great integrity and intellect; a soft spoken family man with great determination to make MCWAH a success…a humble, kind man that I’ve had the great fortune of knowing as a co-worker, mentor, teacher and friend for 33 years.”  

Dr. Engbring graduated from the Marquette University School of Medicine, which later became the Medical College of Wisconsin, in 1951, and dedicated his long career to these organizations. He worked his way up to Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at MCW and retired as Professor Emeritus. As a research scientist, he focused on better understanding and novel approaches in endocrinology. As a practicing physician, he consistently earned the trust and respect of his primarily diabetic patients, whose care and treatment were high priorities.

After his retirement, he became the first Archivist for the Medical College of Wisconsin and established the MCW Archives. In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Marquette University School of Medicine, he dedicated a year to writing the history of MCW, entitled “An Anchor for the Future.” He was recognized throughout his career by both his peers and his students, with multiple honors highlighted by appointment to the prestigious Walter Zeit fellowship and receipt of the Distinguished Service Award from MCW, the highest honor offered to faculty at the institution.

Prior to graduating from Marquette, Dr. Engbring served in the Pacific Theater during World War II for the U.S. Military

Balancing his dedication to his career were his varied interests in outdoors activities including gardening, fishing, bird-watching, and travel photography and cultural pursuits including theater and classical music, but most of all, his devotion to family. That devotion was obvious in his immediate family, with whom he readily shared his wisdom, his values, and his wry sense of humor. It was also apparent throughout his extensive family network, leading him to Germany in his quest to trace the lineage of the Engbring name back to its earliest roots.

Dr. Engbring is survived by his loving wife Virginia, his children David of Elm Grove, WI; Alan (Juliet) of San Diego, CA; and Jean of Germantown, MD; his granddaughter Kelly of Madison, WI; his brother, Jerome (Lucy) of Valmeyer, IL; his half-brother Dennis of Williams, AZ; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Lori; his sisters Dorothy (and husband Frederick) Meier, Ruth Engbring, Arleen (and husband Leroy) Klug, and Shirley (Robert) Hester; his brothers Elmer (and wife Kathleen) and Charles (and wife Jane); his sisters-in-law Sylvia (and husband Edward) Mueller and Leona (and husband Kenneth) Brunkhorst; and brother-in-law Harry (and wife Evelyn) Kubacki.

A visitation will be held at Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., Brookfield, on Friday, July 18, from 5 - 7 p.m. A service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, at Elm Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church, 945 Terrace Drive, Elm Grove. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Medical College of Wisconsin are appreciated. They can be submitted through the College's online giving page.

Additional information is available on the Becker Ritter web page.

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