As many states including Wisconsin face a physician shortage in sparsely populated communities, many medical schools across the country are seeing a sharp decline in rural students.
As reported by WPR, primary care, OB-GYN and psychiatry have the largest shortages. Twenty of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have no practicing psychiatrists.
To try to address the shortage, The Medical College of Wisconsin opened two new psychiatry residency programs in the northeastern and central parts of the state.
“We’ve increased the total number of trainees for psychiatry in the state by 40 percent. And we’ve done it in areas closer to rural communities. If one or two residents stay in those areas every year, we would substantially change the access to mental health care for rural citizens in the state of Wisconsin,” said Dr. Joe Kerschner, provost, and dean of the School of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
He went on to say, “We’re confident that some of them will stay close to rural areas of our state.
Read more about how the shortage of doctors has an impact on rural areas here.