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Idaho’s first medical school gets pre-accreditation approval

Idaho’s first medical school is one step closer to opening.

On Thursday, ICOM earned pre-accreditation status. That makes the school one step closer to its status as a state educational facility.

ICOM is partnering with Idaho State University, so the new building will be built on ISU’s Meridian campus.

The total cost of the entire project is around $120 million. Tracy Farnsworth, president of ICOM, said twenty faculty and staff have already signed on and expects at least 100 more hires by the time the school opens.

Farnsworth said there is a huge need for a medical school in Idaho. Medical students go out of state, so this will allow students to stay in Idaho.

“Idaho ranks 49th out of 50 states in physicans per capita and it’s getting worse,” Farnsworth said. “We’re dead last in the nation in terms of primary care physicians per capita. So this Idaho School of Osteopathic Medicine is going to be an absolute game changer in terms of finding and teaching and training and placing physicians here in rural Idaho and in our other surrounding rural states.”

ICOM started its progress in February 2016. A groundbreaking on the building is expected in about two weeks. ICOM plans to open its doors August of 2018.

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