Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and backers of a proposed for-profit osteopathic medical school have been touting the 78 new medical residency positions the proposed school claims to have created.
But an Associated Press review shows those residency spots don't yet exist, and the accreditation board responsible for approving them has denied the first step in the process of creating them. A separate accreditation board has also deferred a decision on whether to grant the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine pre-accreditation status.
At best, it's a speed bump for investors and supporters of the proposed school. But it also lends credence to critics' worries that the dearth of residency positions in the region will result in a crop of doctors unable to actually practice or pay back hefty student loans.
ICOM Dean Robert Hasty says he feels confident that Benefis Health System in Great Falls, Montana will win accreditation for the residencies and be able to start accepting ICOM students by the time the first class graduates in 2022.