NNU partners with Idaho's first medical school

March 13, 2018

Due to a need for more physicians, especially those serving in rural areas and for underserved populations, Northwest Nazarene University and the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) have signed an agreement known as the Guaranteed Interview Program.

Through the Guaranteed Interview Program, ICOM will reserve up to ten interview spots each year to give qualified NNU students the opportunity of possible admission. “NNU’s agreement with ICOM for our best pre-medical students to have an automatic interview is a significant beginning to the growing relationship NNU has with Idaho’s medical school,” said Dan Nogales, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at NNU. “Building the pipeline to create more physicians to serve Idaho is crucial for the future health of our great state.”

Currently, Idaho ranks 49th per capita for lack of physicians overall and 50th for lack of primary care physicians, which is in part due to Idaho being the most populous state without a medical school. ICOM is Idaho’s first medical school, working to ensure a steady supply of physicians in the state and provide a local opportunity for Idahoans to attend medical school.

NNU alumna Rachel Bryant participated in the signing ceremony. Bryant graduated from NNU in 2016 with a biology degree. She was recently accepted to ICOM’s program and will be a part of its inaugural class.

“I have worked in hospitals all over the Treasure Valley and I know there is a need, so when I heard they were opening a medical school I was really excited, and I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of. It is a great thing for the valley and a great thing for this university,” said Bryant.

Through providing more persons—especially local Idahoans—with medical training, ICOM and NNU hope to lessen the chronic shortage of physicians in the rural areas of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and beyond; the shortage of primary care physicians; and the shortage of physicians providing care for underserved populations and medical missions.

“We value partnerships like we have with NNU. We know this is an incredible institution of higher education that graduates top-notch students, and we look forward to the opportunity to have more students like Rachel join our program. This is an exciting year for medicine in Idaho and really around the nation. We will be making a big impact to rural communities in the near future,” said Tracy Farnsworth, ICOM President.

Learn more about NNU's pre-health program→

Photo caption left to right: ICOM Founding Dean & Chief Academic Officer Robert Hasty, ICOM President & CEO Tracy Farnsworth, NNU President Joel Pearsall