ICOM, Idaho State reaffirm commitment to health education

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and Idaho State University committed to expanding joint degree programs and enhancing research opportunities during a press conference Monday, May 13.

(L-R) Dr. Rex Force, Idaho State Vice President for Health Sciences; Dr. Robert Wagner; and Dr. Tracy Farnsworth.

Dr. Tracy Farnsworth, President of ICOM, and Dr. Robert Wagner, President of Idaho State, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the event, hosted at Idaho State’s Meridian campus.

“Never has there been a more important time for the state to invest in the wellbeing of its citizens. And our two institutions — ISU and ICOM — are at the forefront of health sciences, education and workforce development,” President Wagner said.

Through the public-private partnership between ICOM and Idaho State, student physicians at ICOM are able to earn a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), or a Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) degree concurrently with their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.

Additionally, both institutions provide their respective students with a number of interprofessional education experiences between student doctors and students studying other professions in healthcare. In this environment, students learn how to collaborate within their roles in their future clinical careers to maximize healthcare outcomes.

“Since our beginning, ICOM and ISU have engaged in robust interprofessional education activities, worked side by side in our state-of-the-art Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Lab, and engaged in many other strategic and programmatic initiatives,” President Farnsworth said.

President Wagner and Student Doctor Joshua Shieh.

Later this May, ICOM will graduate its third cohort of student physicians. Approximately 147 graduates will receive their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, with the hope that many will return to Idaho to practice medicine after completing their graduate medical education — also known as residency.

Student Doctor Joshua Shieh, a Boise native who will graduate as part of ICOM’s Class of 2024, plans to do just that. After graduation, he will begin his residency training in Internal Medicine with the University of Washington’s Internal Medicine Residency Program in Boise.

“Becoming a doctor was the best way I could think of to give back to the community and to the people who have given me so much,” Student Doctor Shieh said. “I love this state. I love the mountains, I love the Ponderosa Pines and the hot springs and the foothills that I’ve ran 100 miles on, but more importantly, I love the people and the community. This state is growing, not just in healthcare and in medicine, and I can’t wait to grow with it.”

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