As a family physician in Idaho for 21 years, I’m deeply dedicated to this community and to my patients. I take very seriously my responsibility for educating the next generation of health care providers.
I am deeply concerned about the proposed for-profit osteopathic school (ICOM) from an out-of-state investment group from New Mexico. Their plan to start with a class size of 150 students is not guided by a desire to serve Idaho or to help solve our physician workforce shortage, but rather to turn a profit.
Idaho physicians already struggle to find time to teach our current health profession students and residents. Flooding the state with hundreds of additional medical students will only hurt our Idaho programs and damage our already-fragile physician pipeline.
Important questions about the real costs and benefits of ICOM must be answered before moving forward. This decision was made without transparency or public comment, and did not involve key stakeholders, such as the physicians who do the teaching, the Idaho Medical Association, and our existing excellent medical schools. Idaho’s patients deserve a thoughtful approach to solving Idaho’s physician workforce challenges.
Catherine Reynolds, MD, Meridian