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Local organization fights doctor shortage

Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 18:18:25-04

Across the US nearly 120,000 doctors will be needed to address an expected physician shortage by 2030, says the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Here in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education says the state will need more than 700 primary care doctors.

To combat this issue, Vice President of Workforce at Wisconsin Hospital Association Ann Zenk says, the state will need to hire nearly 100 new physicians a year.

WHA data finds the state's aging population, 65+, will double by 2035. During this growth, 400 doctors are either retiring or scaling back on their practice hours annually. 

President of Milwaukee Health Services, Tito Izard, M.D. is well aware of the physician shortage. His clinic sits in one of the state's poorer zipcodes. He says this area is where people need the most medical attention but usually aren't able to get it. 

"Many physicians graduate with nearly 200 thousand dollars in debt. So the decision to be a family physician working in an under served community where we'll be making significantly less money," says Dr. Izard," I can't make that decision."

WHA championed a $13 million dollar grant program for Wisconsin doctors. Additionally, WHA is encouraging Wisconsin medical students to join in-state residency programs, which is turning into a 86 percent stay rate.

Overall medical schools, clinics, and hospitals are continuously looking for ways to beat the shortage, for now, only time will tell.