The demand for doctors around the country continues to increase, but it’s rural communities right in Wisconsin that are the most under-served.
High rates of projected population growth, especially among the elderly and shifts in the demographics of chronic diseases and health risks are some of the factors for the expected increase.
But the number of doctors available to treat patients isn’t keeping up.
Second year student Evan Cretney, with the University of Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, always knew he wanted to work in a rural area. It wasn’t until he worked as an EMT in his home town of McFarland that he made it his mission to create a special bond with patients.
“I just loved caring for patients, showing up at their house in the middle of the night when they needed me was a really rewarding experience and something I knew I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Cretney said.
It’s why he decided to apply for the W.A.R.M. program that trains medical students to become doctors in rural areas.
According to numbers provided by the UW, 28 percent of Wisconsinites live outside of the big cities, but only 11 percent of doctors have practices in those area.