Local medical college’s lease approved by State Board of Education

The Idaho State Board of Education on Friday approved a 40-year lease for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, a proposed medical school that would be Idaho’s first.

The college will be located at Idaho State University’s Meridian Health Science Center, though the lease stipulates that ISU and ICOM “will remain separate independent entities,” according to a news release from the State Board of Education. ISU is public, while ICOM will remain private.

“It is a smart, synergetic partnership with Idaho State University,” said Dr. Robert Hasty, dean of the proposed college, in the release. “ICOM’s mission aligns with ISU’s health science mission and we’re looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”

ISU has been designated by the State Board of Education as the state’s health-sciences focused university.

ICOM students will be allowed to use ISU facilities as part of the lease agreement. The college plans to break ground on the new property in February 2017, pending accreditation. Graduates of the proposed school will be osteopathic physicians, earning a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree rather than a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Osteopathic physicians, like MDs, are fully licensed and go through four years of medical school and a seven-year residency. They are more likely to provide primary care and work in rural areas, which is part of what ICOM proponents say makes it a good fit for Idaho.

Learn more about the proposed medical school here.

Nicole Blanchard: 208-377-6410, @NMBlanchard