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Wisconsin Physician Shortage Facts

Physician supply lags patient demand nationally and across Wisconsin. As supply falls, patients wait longer to see a doctor, and doctors burn out.

The U.S. is projected to have 120,000 too few doctors nationally.1,2,3

  • Nearly 40% of American physicians will reach retirement age.
  • The United States will face a shortage of over 120,000 physicians.
  • 31.1% of Wisconsin’s physicians are within retirement range right now.

Wisconsin is projected to be short 2,263 doctors.4,5,6

  • Primary care alone is projected to be short 942 providers.
  • There are only 278 residency slots in Wisconsin for primary care each year.
  • 43.5% of those residents will practice out of state.

44 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties are health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).7,8

  • Low-income citizens are disproportionately affected by these shortages.
  • HPSA designations indicate areas where there are 3,500 or more patients for every one provider.
  • 1,729,286 Wisconsin residents live in an HPSA.

Ranked against other states,
Wisconsin’s doctor-to-patient ratio is:

17% worse
for critical care

25% worse
for geriatric medicine

38% worse
for infectious diseases

19% worse
for obstetrics and gynecology

30% worse
for preventative medicine