Osteopathic medical school still planned in Jefferson

Osteopathic medical school still planned in Jefferson

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Plans for a $125 million College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jefferson continue, even though the state Legislature didn’t pass a bill this year seeking a $25 million construction grant.

The school, which could help reduce a projected doctor shortage in Wisconsin, especially in rural areas, is set to open in 2018 or 2019, said Mark Lefebvre, one of the main organizers.

Leaders of the state’s two medical schools, UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, oppose the plan for a third school. They say their schools have expanded to meet the need, and there aren’t enough residencies in the state for the training required after medical school.

Lefebvre said he is talking to private organizations about funding new residencies in community settings, such as family practice clinics. He expects the bill seeking $25 million to be introduced again next session.

“We’re continuing to have great interest and considerable momentum,” he said.

Osteopathic doctors are like other doctors, but they often focus on disease prevention and sometimes do hands-on manipulations.

A separate plan for a Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jefferson was dropped in 2013 after financial troubles and leadership changes.

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