Wisconsin's two medical schools graduate an average of 350 physicians annually, and are a key driver of the workforce pipeline. This article discusses factors such as retention and admission policy that affect Wisconsin's ability to train and maintain an adequate workforce.
Moving from discussion to action is imperative for sustainable workforce development. This article highlights the potential role of WCMEW and statewide allies in data collection, fund development, and coalition-building to further workforce efforts.
While dozens of groups across Wisconsin are invested in developing the state's health care workforce, WCMEW is ideally situated to serve as a convener and a catalyst for action.
WCMCEW Council members discussed legislative priorities related to workforce in the 2017-2018 legislative session. These include funding for training of Advanced Practice Clinicians, and grants for allied health professional training consortia.
At the 2016 GME summit, experts praised initiatives that are working across the state, but noted challenges and lessons learned related to GME expansion, including limited volume at training sites, funding sustainability, and the need for local support from health systems and physicians.
The rural residency program through UW-Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health is the first of its kind nationwide. The program specifically seeks applicants who want to practice in rural communities, and provides training in targeted under-served areas.
Programs such as WRPRAP and WCRGME have made significant progress in expanding GME, but opportunities exist to build further capacity. Grant programs, increased funding for technical support, consortia-building, and residency match waivers all hold potential to continue to work of building Wisconsin's GME programs.
WCMEW's 2016 report projections "show a 69% increase for the 65 and over age segment, while the 18 to 64 age band is projected to decrease 1%. Since the 65 and over population uses, on average, about four times the amount of health care as those under age 65, one can immediately see the large gap between anticipated increases in demand and the decrease in the workforce available to meet that demand."