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Medical students join St. Norbert’s on-campus community

A white-coat ceremony in July marked the formal beginning of studies for the 26 medical students who make up the first class at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)’s new Green Bay campus, located on the campus of St. Norbert College. The ceremony, when students first don the traditional white lab coats worn by medical students, is a rite of passage for those embarking on a medical career. MCW-Green Bay is the first new medical school campus to open in Wisconsin in more than a century. More than 2,000 prospective students applied for its 26 places.
Matthew Hunsaker, M.D., campus dean of MCW-Green Bay, says, “Our regional campus program is created on a partnership model engaging local health-care systems, colleges and universities, technical colleges, government, and the local business communities. It’s a model that has garnered a lot of enthusiasm and interest.” Faculty from St. Norbert and from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will be teaching alongside faculty from MCW-Milwaukee in the students’ first year of classes, which will be held in the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center. Clinical-skills training will take place at Bellin College and its clinical partners. Because the curriculum for MCW-Green Bay is three years rather than the traditional four years, students began their academic year earlier than their Milwaukee counterparts. 
The community focus of the program is evident in the roots of the first class selected: 23 of the students are from Wisconsin—including St. Norbert graduate Phil Kostka ’15; two are from Illinois and one is from Indiana. 
The Medical College of Wisconsin began designing regional campuses after a study released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association in November 2011 highlighted the need for more primary-care physicians in Wisconsin. MCW-Green Bay is the first of two regional campuses to open; MCW-Central Wisconsin is scheduled to open in July 2016. g