Charles R. Bardeen

Charles R. Bardeen

Founding dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health, Bardeen established the two-year, then four-year, University of Wisconsin Medical School and its nationally respected preceptor program during his 28-year tenure.

Charles Bardeen, MD, was the architect of the School of Medicine and Public Health, and his legacy includes a lasting imprint on American medical education. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he was recruited in 1904 by UW-Madison President Charles Van Hise to establish the University’s two-year medical school, which the Legislature approved three years later. By 1925, Bardeen had convinced budget-conscious politicians, income-threatened local physicians and the general public that the state needed a general hospital and a four-year-university-based medical school. Believing that the School should serve the citizens of the state, Bardeen also developed the nation’s first preceptor program, which sent fourth-year medical students across Wisconsin to learn from practicing physicians.