ISU president optimistic about Meridian medical school

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 13:58:34-05

Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas presented his university's budget to the Joint Appropriations-Finance Commission inside the Statehouse on Tuesday. 

Part of the university's budget will go toward building maintenance and equipment updates throughout ISU's multiple campuses across the state.

Vailas tells 6 on your Side he's optimistic about the university's future, including the school's partnership with the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. The future medical school's campus will be located in Meridian.

A recent Associated Press article states 78 medical residency positions the proposed school says it will create have yet to be secured, and the accreditation board responsible for approving them has denied the first step in the process of establishing said positions.

"I find that particular criticism way out of the ballpark," Vailas says. "There are no residency guarantees of any program. They can be one year, two year, three years. Those affiliations have a time factor. There are no guarantees."

Vailas says there is still time to establish those residencies. The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine plans to start admitting students in the fall of 2018. 

"It's all about potential; it's all about potential, even for the residencies we have now," Vailas says. "I look at progress being great, they're right on target."

Vailas says the university plans to move forward with their partnership. 

"ISU is benefiting with the research opportunities that we're planning," he says. "It's certainly a great need in the state to have more doctors, especially doctors that will be in rural settings, and we're investing in Idaho from an Idaho program."