The Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program (WRPRAP) provided new grants to support development of an emergency medicine fellowship in Ashland and a hospitalist fellowship within Aspirus Health as well as continuing grants for the Medical College of Wisconsin Psychiatry residency program in Wausau and the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology rural residency track.


WRPRAP Program Director Dr. Bill Schwab

WRPRAP was established to promote long-term, viable solutions to address the geographic shortage of physicians in Wisconsin by promoting residency education in rural communities.  It is additionally funding previous grant awards supporting rural track experiences in family medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and general surgery that are in multiple rural locations throughout the state.

“There is solid evidence that residents and fellows who have significant experiences in rural areas are more likely to practice in those locations, so by supporting residency and fellowship programs in small communities, WRPRAP contributes to addressing the major shortage of rural physicians,” shared WRPRAP Program Director Dr. Bill Schwab.  “We are fortunate that the state legislature has funded this program since 2009 and we appreciate that they designated the DFMCH to administer it.”

WRPRAP also funds the Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education (WCRGME), which has become a national model for providing the technical assistance necessary for expansion of rural residency education.  Grant applications for WRPRAP’s next funding cycle are due February 13, 2023. (

Published: November 2022