Shortage of Physicians

(Eau Claire) -- Wisconsin has a shortage of primary care physicians. And demand for their services is expected to increase over the next decade.

A study released Monday finds the shortage forces patients to spend more time traveling to primary care physicians, sometimes creating a barrier to getting treatment.

Greg Quinn of the Wisconsin Hospital Association says it means people often put off treatment and end up in the emergency room, a more costly option than a preventive care visit with a doctor.

Sponsors of the study are using it to advocate creating programs to attract medical students as early as middle school.