Why is there a "Proposed" in front of "Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine"?

Until we receive permission from the accrediting body to recruit students, we must include "proposed" as part of our name. This is expected in late 2017.


When will the Proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) open?

ICOM plans to open its doors in 2018 to its first class of medical students (graduating class of 2022). We are on track for that opening date in our hiring of exceptional faculty, program development, facilities and other planning, and pursuit of provisional accreditation.


How will ICOM be funded?

ICOM will be a private medical school predominantly supported through tuition rather than taxes. Like other medical schools, additional revenues will come from research and educational activities other than medical student tuition.


Does Idaho need a medical school?

Yes. According to America's Health Rankings 2016 Annual Report, Idaho ranks 50th in terms of primary care physicians per capita. This is in part due to Idaho being the most populous state without a medical school of its own. Having a medical school in our state will ensure a steady supply of physicians to citizens and our many rural communities. It also provides the opportunity for Idahoans to learn and practice medicine in their home state of Idaho.


Is it competitive for Idahoans to go to medical school?

Yes. It is incredibly competitive to get into medical school in the United States. This is especially true for Idahoans since Idaho is the most populous state without a medical school of its own. ICOM will maintain high admissions standards comparable to other medical schools with Idahoans and other prospective students from surrounding states receiving a priority consideration.


Will Idahoans receive preferential consideration for admission?

Yes. Idahoans and applicants within our five-state region (Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming) will be given priority consideration. Notwithstanding priority considerations, ICOM will have high admissions standards.


Will the taxpayers pay for ICOM?

No. In fact, ICOM pays taxes.


What kind of economic impact will ICOM have?

ICOM’s economic impact on the local/regional economy is expected to exceed $500 million in the first 10 years of full operation.


Does ICOM have a for-profit status?

Yes. Like some other private medical schools, hospitals, and corporations in U.S., ICOM is a tax-paying entity (for profit) and is not a charity or government entity. We believe in the American principle that free enterprise can address societal needs and charities and the government should be reserved for instances where free enterprises are unable to meet the needs.


How many affiliated healthcare systems does ICOM currently have?

ICOM currently has affiliation agreements with over 25 healthcare systems with a footprint throughout the five-state area (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota), and beyond. We are only just beginning and more affiliates are joining all the time.


What is the difference between DOs and MDs?

In the United States, two types of physicians practice medicine. Most physicians hold the Doctor of Medicine degree (MD), while osteopathic physicians hold the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO). Both DOs and MDs lead the healthcare team and are licensed in all 50 states with representation in every specialty. Both are recognized for the high quality and extensive training. It is very competitive to get into both DO and MD medical schools in the US (e.g. high MCATs and GPAs). While both DOs and MDs are very similar, there are some differences. For example, DOs have an additional 250, or more, hours in hands-on osteopathic principles and practice and are more likely to go into primary care. 


What percentage of medical students in the U.S. are currently attending an osteopathic medical school?

About one in every four medical students in the U.S. are attending an osteopathic medical school.


Why was there a decision to create a "DO" school instead of an "MD" school?

An osteopathic medical school is an ideal fit for Idaho's needs. A number of factors impacted the decisions to create an osteopathic medical school rather than an allopathic medical school for Idaho's first medical school. With a tremendous need for primary care and rural care within the region and the excellent track record that osteopathic physicians have with addressing these needs, it was decided that a DO school would be most appropriate. Also, the patient-centered and hands-on approach that has been central to osteopathic medicine since its inception in the 19th century made it an ideal fit for the philosophy of the founding team to meet the needs of the region.


Are there enough residency positions for graduates of an osteopathic medical school?

Yes. From 2015 to 2017, more than 99% of physicians graduating from osteopathic medical schools obtained residency programs. In fact, we have never graduated enough physicians for our domestic residency programs. For example, 25.9% of US residency programs are filled with foreign medical graduates which has contributed to what has been called "brain drain" in other parts of the world. It has also created artificial market forces for US citizens to leave the country to seek training elsewhere due to lack of medical school opportunities in our nation.


Will ICOM make an impact on the critical physician shortage in Idaho and the region?

Yes. There are three main determinants for where physicians practice: where they grow up, where they go to medical school, and where they go for residency. With our plan of giving preferential consideration for applicants within the region, having a medical school within the region, and growing residency opportunities within the region, ICOM will be a game changer in terms of improving the physician workforce for the region for generations to come.


What will the tuition of ICOM be for its students?

ICOM has not yet set its tuition, but has made a commitment that its tuition will be less than the national average for US private medical schools.


Will there be scholarships for Idahoans?

Yes. The State of Idaho awarded ICOM a tax-reimbursement incentive (estimated to be nearly $4 million) to be located in Idaho. ICOM has pledged that all of this money will go toward scholarships for Idahoans. ICOM has entered into an agreement with the Idaho State University Foundation who will manage these scholarships. These scholarship funds will be the basis for an endowment that will grow for generations to come.


Where is ICOM in the accreditation process?

ICOM has achieved Pre-Accreditation status. ICOM is hopeful to be granted permission to recruit medical students in late 2017.


What is the status of the ICOM building?

ICOM broke ground in May 2017 for its 94,000 square foot, $34 million building that will be located adjacent to the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center in Meridian, Idaho. The building was designed by the award-winning firm, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini which has experience designing medical schools. Engineered Structures, Inc. (ESI) is building the ICOM facility which will be completed in the spring of 2018.


What percentages of graduates from osteopathic medical school obtain residency positions?

For 2017, 99.31% of all osteopathic medical school graduates seeking residency obtained a position. 


What is ICOM’s role in Graduate Medical Education (GME) development?

ICOM is committed to helping grow GME as part of its mission. ICOM has budgeted over $5 million dollars over it's first 10 years of operation toward helping healthcare systems start GME. ICOM has already been instrumental in advancing GME development in the five-state region by securing multiple commitments (e.g. letters of intent, contract) from various entities. These entities are in various phases of planning, applying for and receiving accreditation in order to provide additional opportunities for ICOM graduates to stay within the five-state region for residency and advance ICOM's mission.


Is there capacity for training the future ICOM medical students in the five-state region?

Yes. Idaho is the most populous state in the nation without a medical school of its own and the region is underserved in terms of medical education. ICOM has contracted with healthcare organizations across the region and has approximately 500 physicians and healthcare providers committed to training future ICOM students when they will reach clinical training in 2020. ICOM will be investing heavily in developing the infrastucture in terms of faculty, staff, and other resources necessary for quality medical education.


What is the vision for support for ICOM students in the clinical setting?

ICOM will provide excellent support for its future students in the clinical setting. During the first two years, medical students will be assigned to one of several clinical sites where they will live during their third and fourth years. There will be a regional dean and regional medical student coordinator to provide excellent support for medical students at each site. Medical students will be assigned to each of their required rotations and medical students will have local options for electives at their assigned site and will be supported administratively with the process if they choose to request elective rotations at distant sites (including internationally).


How will ICOM trainees impact other trainees?

ICOM will have a positive impact on other health professional students within the region. It is the experience of the senior leadership of ICOM that all trainees benefit when an environment becomes more academic as will occur at the sites where ICOM trainees will rotate during their clinical training. ICOM, like many other osteopathic medical schools, significantly values interprofessional education and is actively seeking opportunities where medical students and other health professional students can learn together and be better prepared as future healthcare professionals with team and collaborative skills. Additionally, ICOM will be investing significantly in faculty development that will benefit health professional trainees other than ICOM medical students.


With the physician shortage in Idaho and the region, how will medical trainees affect the ability of physicians to care for their patients currently and in the future?

When there is good faculty development, physician productivity can be unaffected or improved with having medical students. Faculty development is a key part of ICOM's plan. It is anticipated that ICOM will have a major positive improvement in the physician shortage in the region for decades to come.


Will ICOM offer continuing medical education credit to faculty teaching its medical students?



Will faculty members instructing ICOM medical students in a clinical setting receive honoraria for their efforts in training medical students and participating in faculty development?

Yes. Faculty members who precept ICOM medical students at affiliated sites will be eligible to receive honoraria to recognize their efforts of training and participating in faculty development. This will be total of $1,000/student/four-week period (can be divided if multiple faculty members teaching a student) and these honoraria can be made to the faculty member's employer, directly to the faculty member, or could be donated to the ICOM scholarship fund if honoraria can not be accepted or if the faculty member declines.


How will clinical faculty members be vetted?

All faculty members will go through a faculty appointment process that includes verification that they meet ICOM's requirements as well as a primary source verification of licensure. All faculty members who teach students in a clinical setting are required to have board certification. Additionally, there will be an ongoing evaluation process of all faculty members to ensure a high level of quality training for our students. 


Does ICOM support incentives for preceptors to teach healthcare professional students and residents?

Yes. ICOM is supportive of funding that might support clinical faculty, but only if done so fairly and must include medical students of accredited medical schools as well as other types of health professional students and does not discriminate against schools who already incentivize clinical education.


How is the tuition set for a medical school?

Creating and providing high-quality medical school education is an expensive process. Tremendous expenses are incurred for the medical school in the preclinical years as well as the clinical years that includes, but are not limited to, expenses such as honoraria to faculty members, malpractice insurance for medical students, national shelf exams, full and part-time administrators, faculty and staff salaries, library costs, simulation lab expenses, learning and evaluation software expenses, and accreditation-related expenses. By not having a parent university that sometimes takes up to 1/3 of the revenues of the school, ICOM will be able to offer an affordable, high-quality medical school education.


What will additional residency programs look like in the state of Idaho?

Additional residency programs will have a positive impact on Idaho and the region. Idaho currently ranks 48th per capita in terms of graduate medical education (GME). Approximately 130 existing residency positions in the state contrasts to over 120,000 GME positions nationally. With the development of new GME in the state of Idaho, a significant improvement in the quality and utilization of the healthcare systems that participate will be expected. This will also create additional infrastructure that will benefit ICOM as well as other trainees. For example, a classic teaching team involves residents teaching students which further enhances teaching capacity.