Insights From Wapiti

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Healthcare Staffing Shortages Persist in the Upper Midwest

Healthcare staffing shortages continue to plague the Upper Midwest, according to new data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released on July 1, 2023. The study looks at need-met statistics for every state. But, we will focus on the Upper Midwest region: South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Michigan, and Iowa.

Primary Medical Health Professional Shortage Areas

There are 8,267 Primary Medical Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) across the United States. These areas serve a population of nearly 100 million. The report shows that the percentage of needs met is 47.44%, with 17,266 practitioners required to address the shortage fully. These areas are divided into rural, non-rural, and partially rural. 

State rankings

Here are the eight states in the Upper Midwest ranked according to needs met for Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs):

  1. Wisconsin: 59.10%
  2. Minnesota: 55.64%
  3. Iowa: 55.15%
  4. North Dakota: 55.44%
  5. Montana: 41.99%
  6. South Dakota: 37.93%
  7. Michigan: 31.86%
  8. Wyoming: 30.31%

Obviously, the numbers show a continuing need for healthcare professionals throughout the upper Midwest, with some states weathering the storm better than others. These same states are also experiencing unmet needs in dental and mental health care. 


The medical staffing industry is a crucial partner for clinics and hospitals, particularly in rural areas where the need is most acute. Locum providers help clinics and hospitals in smaller communities serve their patient populations. However, even with the relief temporary staffing provides, the healthcare staffing shortage persists. Locum providers are only one component of the solution that will likely require changes in medical education, more intentional recruitment practices, and investments in infrastructure to address fully.

Looking for greater flexibility and more control of your schedule? Consider joining our team! Locum providers report less stress and greater satisfaction at work. Check out our latest opportunity here!