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Idaho osteopathic medical school gets pre-accreditation

Robert Hasty, dean of the for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, talks with Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center employees Chris Wilson and Nancy Carpenter in this June 2016 photo. ICOM and ISU reached an agreement that will allow ICOM students to use the public university’s facilities. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)
Robert Hasty, dean of the for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, talks with Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center employees Chris Wilson and Nancy Carpenter in this June 2016 photo. ICOM and ISU reached an agreement that will allow ICOM students to use the public university’s facilities. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone) AP

The proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine has been granted pre-accreditation status, the college announced in a news release Thursday.

The for-profit medical school plans to open in August 2018. It will break ground May 17 on a $34 million building in Meridian.

“Idaho is the most populous state without a medical school, and ICOM plans to change those statistics with an estimated 50 percent of ICOM students expected to become primary care physicians,” the news release said. “Idahoans will have priority admission to the program and students will be encouraged to serve residents in rural communities.”

Before opening, it must receive accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.

That process requires a feasibility study, on-site inspection, public comment period, “multiple in-person testimonials to the accreditation committee” and ICOM’s deposit of more than $37 million in escrow and operating reserves, the release said.

The college is expected to focus on training physicians for Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming. The release said ICOM has allocated more than $5 million for residency programs in the first 10 years and has agreements with 22 health care organizations for ICOM students to start rotations in 2020.

The school plans to charge about $40,000 a year in tuition.

The Associated Press reported in January that the school had not yet created the 78 new medical residency positions its backers had been touting — and that an accreditation board had denied the first step in creating those spots.

Doctors tend to start their careers in the place where they did their residencies, as opposed to where they attended medical school.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @audreydutton

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