If the major impetus for an Idaho medical school is to increase the number of physicians practicing in Idaho, especially in rural areas, expansion of residency training programs within Idaho is the initial step to make.
Residency training location has a greater effect on where physicians ultimately practice than where medical school training occurs. Seifer et al. (1995) and the AAMC (2015) found that physicians were more likely to practice in the state in which they did residency and fellowship training than where they attended medical school, with 38.5 percent practicing in the state in which they did medical school; 44.4 percent practicing in the state in which they did residency or fellowship, and 68.4 percent practicing in the state in which they did both.
States that have residency spots greater than the number of medical school graduates (ex. New York) benefit by receiving medical school graduates from states where residency positions are fewer than the number of medical school graduates (example Iowa, 22 percent medical school graduate retention).
If the current proposal to train 150 medical students per year occurs, like Iowa, Idaho will become an exporter of physicians and bear the cost of training physicians to practice in other states.
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John L. Boice, Boise