The state ranks 50th nationwide in terms of family doctors per capita.

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The first medical school in Idaho has been slated to open in August 2018, pending its accreditation.

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in Meridian will be a private, for-profit college.

Idaho ranks 50th nationwide in terms of family doctors per capita. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd is optimistic that could change, though, now that students do not need to leave the state to become doctors.

“We’ve been an exporter of our talent — of our kids — and as they leave the state to get a medical education, it is hard to get them back,” De Weerd says.

An estimated $125 million of private investment is going toward the college. No tax dollars are being used to build, Chief Academic Officer Robert Hasty says.

The state of Idaho has approved a $3.85 million tax reimbursement incentive for the project. That will be put toward student scholarships, Hasty says.

The tax incentive is one reason why Burrell Group, the college’s main investor, chose Idaho over Montana, which was the original proposed location, Daniel Burrell says.

Another factor was the available medical infrastructure in Idaho, he sys, including the Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center, which is next to the college’s future 94,000-square-foot, $34 million facility.

Idaho has been purchasing 50 medical school seats each year through institutions in Washington and Utah. The college could add another 150 graduates to that total starting in 2020.