Rep. Callahan works to implement legislative fix to combat physician shortage in Wisconsin


[Madison, WI] – During Wednesday’s State Assembly floor session, Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) brought Assembly Bill (AB) 656 before the full legislative body for their consideration. This bill works to combat the state’s physician shortage by ensuring foreign-trained physicians from certain countries outlined in the measure won’t have to complete their residency requirements again when they come to practice medicine in Wisconsin.

“Folks in our neck of the woods already have to drive far away sometimes to see the doctor they need,” began Rep. Callahan. “A few years from now, this problem is going to be much worse around the state, but especially in our rural areas. AB 656 is a step in the right direction to making sure our constituents have continued access to high-quality physicians.”

The physician shortage is estimated to reach over 2,000 physicians by 2030. In 2021, over 9,000 medical school graduates were denied residency programs, due to the federal government placing a cap on funding for residencies. AB 656 does not provide additional funding for more residency slots. Instead, it removes redundancy in the training of physicians, without lowering any health standards.

“Our goal here is to increase the quantity of physicians, without sacrificing the quality of healthcare Wisconsinites have come to expect,” continued Rep. Callahan. “We need to be proactive in our response to the physician shortage, and AB 656 is the answer to increasing the number of doctors quickly. I was proud to support such an important piece of legislation for the 35th Assembly District today and I hope to see it come to a vote in the Senate soon.”

AB 656 now heads to the State Senate for their consideration.

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