Idaho’s first medical school broke ground Wednesday in Ada County. The construction process is projected to take 15 months and $34 million.
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction for the brand new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ICOM. It’s scheduled to open in August 2018. ICOM is a private, for-profit addition to Idaho State University’s Meridian campus
An estimated $125 million of private investment is going into the project. The primary investors are the Burrell Group from New Mexico and the Rice Management Company of Houston.
ICOM received pre-accreditation status from the American Osteopathic Association, but is still awaiting its official academic accreditation. According to the Idaho Press Tribune, Governor Butch Otter, who spoke at the ceremony, told skeptics of the new medical school “You were wrong, we were right.”
Idaho currently ranks 50th nationwide in terms of family doctors per capita. ICOM hopes to change this by keeping medical students in Idaho as they become doctors.