Spring marks an exciting time for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, Idaho’s first medical school. The past several months have been an incredible time, and we have been able to watch our progress as our new home has risen to become the most modern medical school in the nation. Construction is ahead of schedule and under budget, and we will be ready to open our doors later this year. With less than 90 days left of construction, ICOM’s state-of-the-art facility is coming to life.
With the bricks and mortar moving forward steadily, our admissions team has been on the road recruiting the best and brightest, and we are in the final stages of admitting our inaugural class. It is critical that we train the future physicians who want to stay in Idaho, and not just in our larger cities, but those who want to practice medicine in our rural communities, too. ICOM has made the commitment to provide the best and most modern medical education in the nation, and improving healthcare for generations to come in a state that currently ranks at the bottom of the country in terms of physicians per capita.
We couldn’t be more pleased with our 40-year commitment to partner with Idaho State University. This fine University has been a pleasure to work with and we are proud that the medical school will compliment ISU’s already highly competitive and vastly growing medical programs. Our campus sits adjacent to ISU’s incredible anatomy and physiology lab and when ICOM is completed, the 94,000-square-foot building will be home to the most advanced simulation center and largest standardized patient center in the state.
ICOM will also be home to a variety of human patient simulators ranging from low-fidelity, such as CPR Mannequins, to high-fidelity, sophisticated, computer-driven, interactive models that can talk and breathe — ideal for hands-on training.
In addition, a 3,479-square-foot Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) lab will house 40 hydraulic tables for students’ training purposes, as well as a teaching platform. Seven high definition monitors and multiple cameras will allow student to view the instruction throughout the room.
The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine has truly been designed to be the medical school of the future, from the facility itself to the curriculum offered. Faculty and staff are putting the finishing touches on our curriculum, which we believe to be the most modern medical education curriculum in the U.S., and is designed to have the best outcomes in terms of training caring and competent physicians.
As far as we can tell, ICOM’s inaugural class is academically the strongest incoming class for any new osteopathic medical school. Idaho’s first medical school currently has 131 committed medical students, out of 162 available spots. We expect bright students with high GPAs and top of the list for medical school entrance exams (MCAT) scores. However, we also do what we affectionally call the“mom test,” meaning we only accept medical students we would want to care for our mothers one day.
Throughout this exciting genesis of Idaho’s first medical school, I am most delighted with the faculty and staff who make up ICOM’s team. While we have given meticulous attention to all of the details in the development of the school, selecting and cultivating the team has been the aspect we know is the most crucial. With nearly all of our team hired, I feel it’s safe to say we have the finest faculty and staff of any medical school in the country — one of the key reasons why ICOM will be a medical school like no other.
Dr. Robert Hasty is the Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine.