Medical College applauds Governor Walker’s effort to address Wisconsin’s physician shortage

Governor Scott Walker, John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, and Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert’s College

Governor Scott Walker, John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, and Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert’s College

Feb. 12, 2013 College News - The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) applauds Governor Scott Walker for his leadership to address the state’s impending physician shortage. As part of his executive budget proposal, the Governor announced he will invest $7.4 million in MCW’s Community Medical Education Program (CMEP) to train new physicians in central and northeast Wisconsin.

Under the program, MCW will develop community-based regional campuses in Green Bay and Central Wisconsin to train additional physicians, particularly in the primary care field, to help meet the state’s future health care needs in underserved rural and urban areas. According to a recent report by the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin needs to train or recruit 100 new doctors a year to keep up with demand.

“The Medical College commends Governor Walker for his leadership and support for our innovative teaching model that will help strengthen the state’s physician workforce and increase access to primary care for our citizens,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, MCW President and CEO. “We’re pleased the Governor shares our vision for community-based medical education and understands the benefits of training medical students in rural communities, where they are likely to remain to practice as physicians.”

The Governor announced his budget proposal will include roughly $7 million in infrastructure funding for building renovations and remodeling, along with technology improvements for MCW’s community medical education facilities in Green Bay and Central Wisconsin. His budget will also include $1.75 million over the biennium to train 12 additional family medicine physicians.

“The Community Medical Education Program not only will transform medical education and help increase access to quality health care in Wisconsin, it also will have a major economic impact for  communities hosting regional campuses,” said Dr. Raymond. “The program will leverage existing local resources & infrastructure and will contribute to Governor Walker’s goal of adding new family-supporting jobs throughout the state.

The first class of medical students at the new MCW campuses in Green Bay and Central Wisconsin  is expected begin their studies in the fall of 2015 and will have a minimum of 15 students per class. In subsequent years, MCW anticipates class sizes will grow to 25 students per class.

In both Central Wisconsin and Green Bay, MCW will be developing facilities at multiple locations for classrooms and offices, learning laboratories, clinical simulation centers, student services and support, interprofessional training, clinical experiences and physician residency training programs.  The medical education programs in both regions will partner with and engage physicians and faculty members from area colleges and universities and health systems.

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