REXBURG — A local doctor has been chosen to help head Idaho’s first medical school.
Dr. Rodney Bates, a former hospitalist at Madison Memorial Hospital, will become the chair of the Primary Clinical Department at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine.
In an interview with Madison Memorial Hospital public relations specialist Lucas Handy, Bates said he was excited for the opportunity to join the medical school.
“It’s a neat opportunity for Idaho to serve the students and work with them,” he said.
Bates first moved to Rexburg with his family 12 years ago after finishing his residency. He said when he moved to Rexburg, he didn’t expect to find the “family atmosphere” that he will miss when he leaves.
“It just feels like a big family, especially the (hospital) staff,” he said. “As far as Rexburg goes, thanks for letting me be a part of your lives.”
Bates added that working at the hospital has “been a great training opportunity for me.”
“They call it a medical practice for a reason,” he said.
Bates' absence at Madison Memorial Hospital was not unplanned for. Stepping in for Bates will be Jack Clark, M.D. Clark attended medical school at the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed his residency at Penn State University Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
Doug McBride, head of Madison Memorial Hospital public relations, said Bates will be missed.
“We are really excited for this new adventure he’ll be going on,” McBride said, “but we’ll be sorry that he’s gone. He’s been a wonderful asset to the hospital. We couldn’t be more happy for what he’s done.”
McBride said Bates encouraged focusing on patients while at the hospital and hopes that Bates will take that mindset with him to the new medical school.
“His whole philosophy is patient-oriented. If he can train those students to be anything like he is, we’ll have a really good thing going,” he said.