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Plans unveiled for Wisconsin's 3rd medical college


WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin could get its third medical college in 2013.

Plans were announced Wednesday for the Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine to be established in Wausau.

Doctor Gregg Silberg will be the dean. He says the school would help provide 2,200 additional doctors that the Wisconsin Hospital Association says will be needed statewide by 2030. It would be the first school to train osteopathic doctors, who focus on disease prevention.

Silberg says two-thirds of osteopathic medical school graduates go into primary care -- the biggest need listed by the hospital association. He said the new school would create doctors for rural and underserved parts of Wisconsin.

The Wausau-based Aspirus hospital system will help Silberg raise the $70 to $75 million needed to start up the new medical school. The plan requires state approval and national accreditation -- and Silberg is not sure if state funding will be sought.

Tim Size of the Rural Wisocnsin Health Cooperative says the new school will go a long way toward solving the state's impending doctor shortage.

But UW-Madison medical school dean Robert Golden says the school might not be able to afford the required residency programs. He says the only two osteopathic residency programs in the state are full.

Golden says graduates might have to go to other states to complete their residencies, and will probably practice out of state. He calls the new medical school a "bridge to nowhere."