WAUSAU, Wis. — The Milwaukee-based Medical College of Wisconsin plans to open a new campus in Green Bay in 2015 and another in the Wausau area the following year.
College officials hope the move encourages graduates to practice medicine in more rural areas, according to a Daily Herald Media report (http://wdhne.ws/13HdnYn ). Student recruitment will begin in the spring of 2014.
The first graduating class from the central Wisconsin campus will probably have 15 to 25 students, said John Raymond Sr., the medical college's president and CEO.
"We are trying to create in central Wisconsin destination residencies," Raymond said. "We would like to have more family residencies, emergency residencies, so when students graduate they will have options to continue right in central Wisconsin."
Rural areas across the nation have reported doctor shortages, in part because physicians who graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt are tempted to seek higher-paying jobs in larger cities.
The Medical College's program is an attempt to reverse that trend in Wisconsin. Students will gain their clinical experience in their own small communities, and then be encouraged to stay and work in those same regions.
To keep costs down, the new programs will each run for three years, including through the summer, instead of the more typical four years. That makes for a more intensive curriculum but saves students an extra year of tuition, room and board.
The students will graduate with a general medical degree. If they want to specialize, they can choose to do so during residency.
Medical College officials plan to select a dean for each campus in the next few months. Advisory boards have been established to guide the programs.