Plans for a new osteopathic medical school in Wausau have hit a road block, after Wausau-based Aspirus said Tuesday it will stop looking into the feasibility of the project.
Chief financial officer Sid Sczygelski says the model they looked at, which had five health care systems co-own the school, would not have worked. He says the governance structure for a college such as the one being considered should not have the competitive environment of health care involved in the decision making.
Sczygelski says it would also be hard for just one health care system to run the school, which he believes would require a $75 million investment to get up and running before it becomes profitable. He says that’s too much of an investment for just one provider.
Aspirus had partnered with the Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine on the study. Despite the setback, W-COM dean Dr. Gregg Silberg says they are not giving up on their plans for a new school in Wausau just yet.
The Medical College of Wisconsin is still working on its own study of eight cities, including Wausau, for a community-based medical education program. The study will be completed sometime in March.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association has reported that the state could face a shortage of 2,000 doctors by 2030 unless health care systems attract and retain 100 doctors a year.
AUDIO: Matt Lehman reports (:37)