In a repeat from five years ago, two private medical schools are looking to set up shop in Montana, and their parallel efforts are causing some friction.
Rocky Vista University is hoping to open an osteopathic medical school on Billings’ West End, with the first class of students entering in 2023. Rocky Vista, established in the Denver suburb of Parker in 2006, was the first for-profit medical school in the U.S. to open in modern times.
Touro College and University System is hoping to open a school adjacent to the campus of Benefis Healthcare Systems, a hospital in Great Falls. Established in 1971, the New York-based school is a nonprofit.
Touro administration declined to comment about its proposed school in Great Falls and its nonprofit model.
This week in an op-ed submitted by a Benefis Health spokeswoman to news outlets across Montana, Benefis Dr. Patrick Galvas and Great Falls legislator Ed Buttrey slammed RVU’s business model. (Buttrey, a Realtor and Republican legislator, sits on the hospital’s board of directors.)
“In our opinion, medical education is not the place for the profit-driven motivations of a Wall Street-owned, for-profit medical school,” the authors wrote.