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Montana is getting a medical school

Rocky Vista University has selected Billings as the site for a new four-year medical school
Posted at 11:59 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 13:59:30-05

GREAT FALLS — Rocky Vista University has selected Billings as the site for a new four-year medical school. The college will be Montana's only four-year medical school. Rocky Vista University operates two other schools, one in Colorado and another in Utah. The two existing schools provide medical degrees in osteopathic medicine and also a graduate program in biomedical sciences; one of the two also provides a graduate degree in physician assistant studies.

Officials at Rocky Vista University announced Tuesday that they will build the 135,000-square-foot, technologically-advanced facility on a 12-acre campus near the intersection of Shiloh and Monad roads, and the school will called the Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine.

RVU President and CEO Dr. Clint Adams said, “Montana is a natural fit for RVU and our regional focus on healthcare education and we are so excited by the prospect of bringing a RVU campus to Billings. We were impressed with the quality of the healthcare system in Montana and look forward to helping meet the need for graduate medical education opportunities for students in Montana and across the region.”

Dr. David J. Park has been named the Vice President and Founding Dean of the Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine, effective July 1, 2021. He currently serves as the Vice President and Dean of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Utah campus.

A news release from RVU says that their graduates pursue the full spectrum of medical specialties, the majority choose primary care, and many of them practice in underserved and rural areas.

The college's start-up period will run from this year through 2023 and cost $78.6 million, provide 350 jobs to the area, and generate $1.2 million in tax revenue to communities in the area, according to a news release from Big Sky Economic Development. The college will hit full operation in 2026 and will support 304 direct and indirect jobs, with $67 million in total economic impact, and add an estimated $3.3 million in revenue to state and local governments.

RVU is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), Higher Learning Commission, Accreditation Review Commission for the Physician Assistant, and the American College of Surgeons. RVU has demonstrated excellent student outcomes since inception and has a 100% residency placement rate, according to the news release.

Billings was selected after an extensive location search by RVU to continue its mission-led focus of providing quality healthcare education while inspiring students to serve with compassion, integrity, and excellence, according to Big Sky Economic Development.