I read with interest the letters to the editor regarding the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. The decision to do this came as a surprise to many, with little of the transparency that occurred in Montana, a state that decided not to move forward with the proposal. I agree with all the well-informed points made by those with serious concerns regarding the wisdom of this decision, and I add one more for consideration: For decades, the University of Washington (and more recently, the University of Utah) reserved seats for Idaho students at its medical school, providing education at in-state tuition rates (the WWAMI program). Since the medical students are from Idaho, many of them return here to practice. Some seats are reserved for those who wish to practice rural medicine. The University of Washington has one of the top medical schools in the country and has provided Idaho with many of its best physicians. What will this proposal do to those invaluable relationships? Jeopardizing them could be a short-sighted, naive decision not in Idaho’s best interest.
Full disclosure: I am married to a physician who is an osteopath, and have a daughter currently at UWSOM.
Rita Franklin, Boise