The Wauwatosa-based Medical College of Wisconsin will open a new campus in central Wisconsin by 2015. Marshfield, Stevens Point or Wausau are possible candidates for the new college but no specific location has been decided upon yet.
Area health care providers, as well as education systems and business and city leaders say the news will help attract and retain physicians in the under served rural and northern parts of the state.
"As we recognize that we're going to have a shortage of physicians moving forward, it's going to take the collective collaboration between the health systems," Marshfield Clinic vice president Dr. Todd Stewart said.
A campus is also in the works for Green Bay. The collective $23 million project will target a total of 50 students, who are expected to enroll as early as 2015.
To cut costs, resources and staff will come from academic institutions like North Central Technical College and UW-Stevens Point.
"We have a strong research opportunity in our sciences," UWSP chancellor Bernie Patterson said. "And our new $75 million science building, which we hope to open in a few years, will be ground zero for this kind of initiative."
At a press conference Monday, MCW president Dr. John Raymond outlined the reasons for choosing central Wis. "The strengths of this community include strong health systems with outstanding physicians, and a demonstrated commitment to serving underserved parts of the state, estrablished programs for student-focused clinical experieinces, quality academic instutions with great science program infrastructure, engagement and enthusiastic support for civic and business entities and a robust pool for potential medical school applicants."
A specific location for the campus will be decided upon by Sept., and in the meantime, MCW will work with its partners to create a curriculum and find room at area hospitals for a residency program.
"We hope students will have the opportunity to obtain their entire medical education here in central Wis., and then receive residency here," Dr. Raymond said. "So that when they're done and want to hang their shingles to practice, they can do that right here."