Idaho Falls will soon be home to its first internal medicine residents in an attempt to retain more doctors in the Gem State.
This week, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine officials will give $500,000 to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center to help kick start a new internal medicine residency program.
Jeff Sollis, CEO of EIRMC, points to data showing that doctors are more likely to stay in the state in which they were residents.
Idaho has had a doctor shortage for years – it currently ranks 49th among all states in physicians per capita – and Idaho Falls is no exception.
“We’re going to be left with four internal medicine doctors in Idaho Falls and the last internal medicine doctor we recruited was more than 10 years ago and it hasn’t been for lack of effort or trying to recruit more,” Sollis says.
The initial batch of 10 residents will grow to 30 over the next three years. Sollis says his hospital may also consider expanding from internal medicine specialties into family medicine, among others.
Currently, Idaho only boasts 141 medical resident slots across nine programs. A bill that would've more than doubled that number failed to gain traction in the state legislature this year.
EIRMC will begin accepting new internal medicine residents beginning July 1.