Mission: to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical education and health initiatives.

Houghton Award

The Houghton Award was established by Doctors John H. and William J. Houghton in the 1960s to honor medical students who show promise for becoming what the brothers referred to as “complete physicians” – those who excel in their knowledge of both the scientific and socioeconomic issues related to medicine. Each year, the Foundation recognizes two Houghton Award recipients: one from each of Wisconsin’s two medical schools (the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW School of Medicine & Public Health). Recipients receive a check for $1,000.



John H. Houghton, MD (1907-1968), a general practitioner at Wisconsin Dells, was president of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin (now the Wisconsin Medical Society) in 1965-1966 and was a member of its council and Commission on Medical Care Plans. He was also a member of the Council on Health of the State of Wisconsin. Shortly before his death, he established an award for deserving medical students who exhibit not only scholastic and scientific excellence, but interest as well in working together in a medically organized sense to achieve broad goals of public health.

William J. Houghton, MD (1906-1969), a general surgeon at Milwaukee, was a member of the council of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin from 1961-1969. Just prior to his death, he furthered the fund established by his brother.

Drs. William and Mary Alice Houghton and Mary Agnes Houghton continue to make contributions to the fund to make this highly regarded award more permanent and self-sustaining.

In establishing this award for medical students, the Houghton brothers hoped to encourage young men and women to a greater appreciation of the need for physicians to work together through their county, state, and national medical organizations as well as to achieve a well-rounded education, including the socio-economic as well as the scientific.

For more information on the Houghton brothers, click here.


There is no application for the Houghton Award. One fourth-year medical student—displaying outstanding scholastic and leadership abilities—is nominated by the dean at each medical school in Wisconsin with final approval from the Foundation Board of Trustees. Recipients receive cash and an acrylic award.