With a second for-profit medical school opening in Utah, the state will be training hundreds of new doctors a year – The Salt Lake Tribune
Slots for medical residencies will likely become the new chokepoint for increasing the number of doctors in the Mountain West.
When Taylor Purcell learned he was accepted into Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, he canceled his interviews at other medical schools.
“Noorda was my top choice,” Purcell said of the new, for-profit medical school set to begin classes in a few weeks in Provo.
Purcell was hardly alone in his review. More than 2,100 students applied for just 90 slots this year, even though the school has yet to teach a single course, much less graduate a class or place any alumni in medical residency training slots.
“A track record may provide some people comfort, but to me it’s, ‘What are you doing right now? What is your plan for the next year?’” Purcell said. “Noorda is so gung-ho about this first class. It was all of about five minutes before I realized, meeting with faculty and seeing their plan — I have a lot of confidence.”
As demand for physicians in the Mountain West grows along with the region’s population, more and more prospective doctors, like Purcell, are forgoing the assurance of long-established medical schools at public and nonprofit universities.
Instead, for-profit medical schools are playing an increasing role in filling Utah’s clinics and hospitals.