Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center is getting closer to create it's first internal medicine residency. Thursday, the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in Meridian granted the hospital half a million dollars to help build the program.
The $500,000 is to help offset the cost of starting the hospital's first internal medical residency program.
"Idaho currently ranks 49th in terms of physicians per capita," said Dr. Robert Hasty, the Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of ICOM. "What we're going to do, in partnership with EIRMC, is create caring and confident physicians that is going to serve Eastern Idaho and the region."
Both EIRMC and ICOM hope that this new residency can keep more eastern Idahoans here to practice medicine.
"Our hope is that we can continue to recruit outstanding residents that want to come here or training and more particularly want to stay here in Idaho and the surrounding region," said Dr. Tracy Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of ICOM.
ICOM has pledged 5 million dollars in grants over the next 10 years to hospitals across the state in an effort to boost residency programs.
This grant will assist EIRMC's residency program in getting office space for the continuity clinic.
"It's very expensive to run a graduate medication program," said Jeff Sollis, the chief executive officer of EIRMC. "There are a lot of initial costs just to get things off the ground. Many of them are capital costs."
The three-year internal medicine residency program at EIRMC welcomes 10 new residents each year and begins July 1. Residents cannot wait to continue their medical education in Idaho.
"I also went to medical school in Chicago, on the east coast," said Ahmed Maahood, a new internal medical resident at EIRMC. "I missed Idaho every day [that] I was there. I applied to other places, but I ranked this program, the first program."
ICOM will help fund three additional residency programs at EIRMC, including family medicine, over the next three years.
ICOM will also hold it's ribbon cutting for Idaho's first medical school on September 5 in Meridian.