A program, called MiDOCS, provides matching monies ($1.25 million) to put medical residents into training and places them to work in medically underserved areas of Michigan. In our region, the CMU Medical School participates in the MiDOCS program. This year, CMU started with psychiatry as we are terribly underserved with the issues of behavioral health, opioid addiction, depression and suicide.
This MiDOC’s program is particularly important in Saginaw as the CMU Medical School (unlike the other three medical schools in Michigan) is privately funded, and we have much less funding for graduate medical education here.
At a time when we need more medical professionals (particularly psychiatrists), Saginaw is affected disproportionately. We are the only medical education hub north of I-69 with multiple residency programs; which serve as the pipeline to the Great Lakes Bay Region, Michigan’s Thumb, Northern Michigan and the UP (the areas in the State of Michigan with the most significant shortages of physicians). In addition, we are trying to further enhance the care of our Medicaid and underserved populations which our residency programs disproportionately care for in this community.
This is another veto by the current administration that is negatively impacting the most vulnerable in our communities. This should not be a program over which we play politics. People’s lives are literally at risk.
The facts are clear. Michigan needs more physicians, and we need to keep them in our state and region.
We sincerely hope that the administration has a change of heart and restores the funding for the MiDOC’s Program. The needs are too important to be playing a bargaining game.