Idaho College Of Osteopathic Medicine

Idaho's First Medical School Slated To Open In 2018

May 18, 2017
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s first medical school broke ground Wednesday in Ada County. The construction process is projected to take 15 months and $34 million.

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction for the brand new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ICOM. It’s scheduled to open in August 2018. ICOM is a private, for-profit addition to Idaho State University’s Meridian campus.

An estimated $125 million of private investment is going into the project. The primary investors are the Burrell Group from New Mexico and the Rice Management Company of Houston.

Monash University / Flickr Creative Commons

A proposed for-profit osteopathic medical school in Idaho can begin construction after receiving the necessary approval from a national accreditation agency.

Officials announced Thursday that the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine had received its pre-accreditation status. This allows the school plans to break ground May 17 and open its doors to students in fall 2018.

Earlier this year, school officials had said that if that if work did not get underway by the end of April, the opening would be pushed to 2019.

AP

A proposed for-profit osteopathic medical school in Idaho may have to delay its opening date a year if a national accreditation agency does not sign off on its plans this month.

That could postpone other projects, including a proposed $3 million expansion to Idaho State University's anatomy and physiology laboratory that the new school plans to fund and use.

Courtesy Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

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.

Courtesy Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Since we learned recently that a for-profit medical school will be built in Meridian, we’ve also heard criticism that it won't help solve Idaho’s doctor shortage. Much of that criticism is about the lack of residency positions in Idaho. Critics argue doctors don’t practice where they go to medical school, but where they do their residency. Idaho only has 41 spots for residents and competition is already stiff.