Senior leadership of the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) were in Blackfoot on Monday to explained the need of this medical college in Idaho. ICOM will be a freestanding, privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity located at ISU's Health Science Center in Meridian.
Dr. Robert Hasty, Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer, said, "Idaho ranks 49th in terms of physicians per capita. It ranks 49th in female physicians and it ranks 46th in primary care physicians."
Primary care physicians are doctors recognized in these fields: family medicine, internists, pediatric doctors, OB GYN doctors and psychiatry.
Is there a difference between MDs and DOs?
Doctors who are MDs (Doctor of Medicine) and DOs (Doctor of Osteopathy) are both complete physicians who help lead the healthcare team. They are both licensed in all 50 states, practice in every recognized specialty, use the MCAT for admission, have four years of medical school training followed by three to seven years of residency/fellowship training, and have a degree of quality well recognized.
DOs have a relatively greater degree of representation in practicing primary care as well as in rural settings. Also, DOs get an additional 250 plus hours of hands-on osteopathic manipulative training/osteopathic principles and practice.
"About 60 percent of DOs practice in rural settings," Hasty said.
Speaking of tuition, Hasty said, "We have made a commitment to be lower in our tuition than other medical schools. The average tuition for private medical schools is about $51,000 each year with an expected 3 percent annual increase. We have made a commitment that the tuition to ICOM will be lower than other private medical schools."
The proposed ICOM, "Applicant Status," is applying for accreditation and cannot solicit nor accept applications for students until provisional accreditation is achieved.