The UW Medical School is expanding its physician assistant program as a way to help deal with a looming doctor shortage. The new Wisconsin Physician Assistant Community-based Track or WisPACT program will help train PAs to work in parts of northern Wisconsin hard hit by doctor shortages. The medical school’s Dr. Elizabeth Petty says students will take most classes at UW Marathon County in Wausau as they complete at least five clinical rotations. PAs work under the supervision of a doctor to do many of the same things that doctors do.
UW Colleges chancellor Ray Cross says the expanded program will help deal with a looming doctor shortage. “What we want to say to the people of northern Wisconsin, particularly this region, is we’re here to serve” The Wisconsin Hospital Association last year predicted a shortage of 2000 doctors by 2030 unless the state attracts and retains 100 doctors a year. The WisPACT program is being paid for with a five-year federal grant.
Matt Lehman, WSAU