The History of "Doctor Day" in Wisconsin

Doctor Day provides a unique opportunity for physicians to come together to advocate on behalf of patients and the medical profession. It features a wide range of hosts representing state medical and specialty societies, county societies, health care organizations and strategic partners. 

Doctor Day 2014: The first Doctor Day was held February 12, 2014. Over 150 physicians from a number of organizations started their day at the Overture Center in Madison. The event featured presentations by a variety of physician leaders - including Dr Eric Severson (Assembly Health Committee Chair) and Dr Ken Simons (Chair of the Medical Examining Board). Attendees proceeded to meet with legislators to discuss a variety of issues of shared interest.

Doctor Day 2015 was highlighted by a move to the Monona Terrace and the first time Governor Scott Walker presented to the group. "We believe the quality of health care in this state is a tremendous asset, not just to our quality of life but to economic development," Gov. Walker said, adding that access to quality health care is a "must" for businesses looking to grow in or move to Wisconsin. "It's a real premium...that's why we want to continue to partner with you and the systems and organizations you represent." The event also featured presentations and discussion with Legislative leaders Senators Leah Vukmir and Jennifer Schilling. The 250+ attendees ended the day with legislative visits to the Capital. Key issues discussed included proposed changes to Wisconsin's Worker's Compensation system, opposition to a proposal to expand the scope of and create independent practice for advanced practice nurses, and support of a proposal to implement an Interstate Licensing Compact - an optional, alternative pathway for qualified physicians to become licensed in multiple states in an expedited manner.

Doctor Day 2016 will be remembered for the increased interest and record attendance from physicians across the state. Over 350 attendees representing over 20 organizations attended the 2016 event at the Monona Terrace. Guest speakers included Lt Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Dr Tim Westlake and a panel of specialty society leaders presenting on their organization's legislative activities. Attendees shared their support of the legislature's HOPE (Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education) Agenda.

Doctor Day 2017 brought more than 400 physicians and medical students from across the state to Madison to meet with legislators and their staffs today. Key issues included the Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education [HOPE] bills currently part of a special session of the state legislature, the potential for fundamental changes to the Medicaid program and promoting greater access to mental and behavioral health services. 


Doctor Day 2018 brought more than 450 physicians and medical students from across the state to Madison to meet with legislators and their staffs. Key issues included a proposed Worker’s Compensation fee schedule, a bill allowing chiropractors to perform comprehensive sports physicals for high school and college athletes, and legislation removing the requirement for certain nurses to work in collaboration with a physician. Prior to meeting with legislators at the State Capitol, attendees heard from speakers including Gov. Scott Walker, who highlighted his Health Care Stability Plan to lower individual health care premium costs, provide seniors with greater health care stability, and protect those with preexisting conditions. He also discussed recent initiatives to combat the opioid crisis in Wisconsin. 


Doctor Day 2019 covered key issues of vaccines and the “personal conviction” exception to school vaccination law, as well as ensuring access to important Medicaid services by addressing historically low physician reimbursement rates. Nearly 400 physicians and students heard from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, and also participated in an issue briefing before heading to the State Capitol to meet with lawmakers. Gpv. Evers, who was introduced by his daughter Erin Schoenecker, MD, praised physicians for the care they provide and asked for their help in ensuring access to care.

© Wisconsin Doctor Day