The proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) at Idaho State University is a positive development for Idaho. Ranking 49th in physicians per capita, we need to address the physician shortage crisis now. Opening residency positions in a state without a medical school is difficult (current status).
The proposed ICOM is a big part of the solution to the physician shortage crisis Idaho is facing. Unfortunately, the negative sentiment generated thus far has been inaccurate and unfounded. ICOM will service a five-state region, meaning the 150 ICOM students will conduct clinical rotations in both Idaho and surrounding states, decreasing the burden on Idaho alone generating the capacity for those students.
Expanding graduate medical education (GME) is a problem the new dean has extensive knowledge and success with. This will help, not hurt, the current University of Washington affiliated program currently operating in the state (costing Idaho taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year).
The for-profit status of ICOM has also been cause for certain groups to cast stones. It is important to note that ICOM will be a tax-paying B Corporation, meaning their social mission will be prioritized over shareholder interests. No taxpayer dollars are at stake.
Brock McConnehey, DO, CPI, chief medical officer, Northwest Clinical Trials, Boise