Medical College Campus Seeks To Address Physician Shortage In Northern Wisconsin

First Class Of 26 In Wausau Designed To Reduce Shortfall Of Rural Doctors

Chelsea Stirlen (BY-NC-ND)

The Medical College of Wisconsin is welcoming its first class of students to its central Wisconsin campus in Wausau.

The new school might help the area address a projected shortage of physicians.

At a ceremony in Wausau, physicians handed out white lab coats to the 26 new medical students. Campus dean Lisa Dodson said the new school may help northern Wisconsin address a projected physician shortage.

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“We are anticipating that many of these students will stay and practice in the area, which reduces recruiting costs for the health systems,” she said. “It brings a more culturally competent physician who knows the area and knows the folks who live here, and really has come to love the area.”

Dodson said many of them already live in the area.

“We’re really trying to attract a different kind of student here, local students, students who have an affinity for practicing in small towns, in family medicine and psychiatry, (and) other much needed specialties here,” she said.

Dodson said the Wausau campus came about because of a need for more doctors.

“The Wisconsin Medical Society and others did a survey and figured out that we were going to be significantly short of physicians in Wisconsin, particularly affecting small towns in the northern half of the state,” she said.

The Medical College of Wisconsin was founded more than 120 years ago in Milwaukee. The Wausau facility is the second new regional campus for the Medical College of Wisconsin. The school also opened a new campus in Green Bay last year.