New for-profit medical schools springing up across US, including Idaho

Idaho is part of a trend in which for-profit medical schools are starting to pop up around the country, the AP reports, promising to create new family doctors for underserved rural regions. The new for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine is scheduled to open to students at Idaho State University’s Meridian campus in 2018.

“On face value, it looks like a pretty good deal” because for-profit schools promise to bring benefits without relying on taxpayer dollars, said Dr. Ted Epperly, who runs a family practice residency program in Boise, told AP reporter Rebecca Boone. “But it’s a little bit like Wal-Mart moving into a small community with mom-and-pop shops — it damages the existing workforce producers.” Proponents contend challenges the new schools face are surmountable, and any stigma about for-profit medical training is born of fear, not fact. Dr. Robert Hasty, dean of the newly created Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, notes for-profit hospitals also were once stigmatized but now make up about a quarter of all U.S. hospitals. 

See the full report.