Despite needing doctors desperately, many medical schools in rural areas are noticing a decline in applicants, WPR reports.
Many states including Wisconsin are facing a physician shortage in sparsely populated communities, while many medical schools across the country are seeing a sharp decline in rural students.
Primary care, OB-GYN and psychiatry have the largest shortages, reports WPR. Twenty of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have no practicing psychiatrists at all.
To try to address the shortage, The Medical College of Wisconsin opened two new psychiatry residency programs in the northeastern and central part 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,” Dr. Joe Kerschner, provost and dean of the School of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin said. “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.”
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.
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