top of page

Growing Michigan’s Physician Workforce

Michigan is a leader in physician education and post-graduate training, featuring some of the country’s best universities and academic medical centers.

Michigan has the seventh-most number of per-capita graduate medical education positions (GME) in the country. This post-medical school training for residents and fellows is the final step to become an independently practicing physician.

Aspiring future physicians from across the globe come to Michigan to learn and train at premier universities and hospitals. But that may also mean many of these physicians want to return home to practice medicine.

Most physicians in the United States complete their graduate medical education in a few states: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, California, and Texas. Michigan has 47.7 GME spots for every 100,000 residents, the seventh-highest in the country.

So how well does Michigan retain the residents and fellows who train in the state? According to the Association of American Medical Colleges State Data Book, almost 15,000 of the 32,000 physicians who completed residency training in Michigan stayed to practice in Michigan.

Comments on Physician Recruiting from the Michigan Health Council’s Deb Collier

Recruiting for healthcare providers is more challenging than ever before. Shortages exist in many specialties creating a very competitive industry. Increased compensation packages and the demand for direct employment means that some employers simply do not have the financial resources to compete. In several specialties over 80% of residency graduates go on to fellowship programs.

This trend creates long term searches of one to two years for primary care and to “generalist” physicians in rural communities and underserved populations, limiting access to care.

While Michigan rates 26th compared to all states in this measure, compared to the six other largest GME states, only California, Texas, and New York keep a larger share of their residents and fellows than Michigan.

How will Michigan improve that number? One step is to educate more medical students. In fact, Michigan has the sixth-highest ratio of GME positions to medical school spots.

Three new medical schools at Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, and Oakland University will graduate 850 additional medical students each year. Additionally, both Michigan State’s Colleges of Human and Osteopathic Medicine are each expanding their classes by about 100 students.

The Michigan Health Council’s Medical Opportunities in Michigan program is focused on helping Michigan’s employers keep talented physicians in Michigan. This unique program helps member employers connect with Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and CRNA’s.



bottom of page