An Ashland doctor is being honored by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for his work teaching UW students as a community physician.

Dr. George Fall was given the Max Fox award Nov. 18 by the school’s Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association.

The award each year celebrates an outstanding preceptor. During part of their last phase of medical school, students spend time in what is called the ambulatory acting internship that allows them to apply their extensive knowledge in a real clinical practice with patients. They are supervised during this time by a preceptor who mentors them and ensures they gain the competencies necessary to become a good physician.

“Community-based preceptors have important and unique roles in educating medical students at the University of Wisconsin,” Dr. Paul Hunterassociate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and course director for the ambulatory acting internship said at the award ceremony. “Because of their one-to-one supervision of UW medical students over several weeks, preceptors in the ambulatory acting internship are better qualified than almost any other teacher to judge whether their students have the clinical skills and professional behavior needed for competent patient care.”

Established in 1969, the Max Fox preceptor award is given annually by the Medical Alumni Association and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health to a Wisconsin physician whose outstanding service as a student preceptor has played an important role in the education of medical students.

Dr. Max Fox was the first recipient in 1969. He taught for 46 years and influenced the careers of more than 4,000 physicians. He served as a preceptor for more than 20 years. 

Fall completed his bachelor’s, master’s, and medical degree at the University of Minnesota. He then traveled to the VA Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa in 1988 for an internship in general surgery. Today he practices medicine in both Minnesota and Wisconsin at several hospitals and medical centers, in addition to being president and owner of Fall General Surgery in Ashland. He has been a preceptor since 2015 and affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health as a clinical adjunct professor in the Department of Surgery since 2011.

Fall’s students describe him as an excellent teacher who provides a great learning environment where they feel challenged but still comfortable being wrong and learning in the process. He never misses a moment to teach and encourages students to step out of their comfort zones.

Information provided by University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.

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