Karina Atwell, MD
University of Wisconsin Preventive Medicine Residency Program, 2014-2016
When did you start the Preventive Medicine
My Preventive Medicine Residency started in July
of 2014. It is a two-year program, which includes getting my Master in Public
What have you done so far as part of your Residency?
The first year was spent completing my MPH
degree, doing practicum work with the Wisconsin State Health Department, and
continuing a small amount of clinical work at my former Family Medicine Residency
Clinic, Wingra Family Medical Center, where I helped to teach resident physicians,
see patients and lead QI projects.
What were you up to prior to starting the
Prior to the Preventive Medicine Residency I was
completing my three-year Family Medicine Residency training in the UW-Madison
program. I graduated in June of 2014, just prior to starting my second
residency and MPH.
What inspired you to apply for the Preventive
Medicine Residency Program?
My interests in primary care, underserved
communities and community health have always naturally fostered an interest in
public and population health. The importance of better understanding, and
gaining skills in, these fields was reinforced during my Family Medicine
Residency where I was taking care of a diverse and underserved population
within my primary care clinic and observing the inefficiencies of the health
care system throughout all of my clinical training within the hospital and
outpatient sectors. I was frustrated by my inability to make impactful change
and decided to pursue focused training in public and population health to
supplement my clinical skills.
What are your main areas of interest in medicine
and public health?
I am passionate about bridging the worlds of
clinical medicine and public health in ways that foster more collaborative
efforts for improvement at the levels of the individual patient and broader
community and systems. I also want to engage in teaching and research as a
mechanism to make awareness and skills in public health an expectation, rather
than the exception for practitioners.
What is one of the most important things you have
learned over the course of your Residency so far?
Meaningful change is always a team effort!
What are you looking forward to doing in Madison
I grew up in Madison and always look forward to
summer when the city comes alive after the brutal winter months. Going to
farmer's markets, sailing on the lake and sitting on the Memorial Union Terrace
will never get old.