More Michigan med school grads, too few residency spots

Capital News Service
LANSING — Despite three new medical colleges opening within a three-year span, Michigan likely won’t see an increase in doctors, but rather an increase in the exodus of graduates to other states, experts say. Oakland University, which opened its medical program in 2011, admitted 50 students in its inaugural class and 75 more in 2012. Central Michigan University’s medical school, set to open this summer, plans to admit about 60 students into its class and Western Michigan University plans to take 50 for its pioneer class in August 2014. All intend to increase admissions annually during their first few years. However, that increase will have little effect on the number of physicians practicing in the state, particularly in the already-underserved areas of Northern Michigan, because the state doesn’t have enough graduate medical education (GME) programs to accommodate them, said Sheri Clarke, president of the Michigan Association for Medical Education.

Lack of doctors plagues small Michigan communities

Capital News Service
LANSING – The state’s physician shortage has an adverse impact on smaller rural counties like Crawford and Roscommon while the demand for physicians nationwide remains high. According to the Department of Community Health, more than 10 counties are categorized as health professional shortage areas, including Wexford, Gladwin and Crawford. These areas have “significant need for additional primary health care resources,” according to the department. Jessy Sielski, director for communications of the Michigan State Medical Society, said the society advocates increased funding for medical residencies in Michigan and support. Mercy Hospital Grayling’s chief business development officer, Bryan Lydick, said its medical staff is comprised of physicians practicing in two counties – Crawford and Roscommon.