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'I feel over the moon': ICOM celebrates inaugural graduation

All of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine's class of 2022 graduates got into a residency program around the U.S.

BOISE, Idaho — The inaugural class for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) made history Friday by becoming the first osteopathic physicians produced in the Gem State. 

After a long four years at Idaho's only college of medicine, the 145 graduates said they feel, "over the moon" to finally be given the title of doctor and continue their work in the medical field.

"Everybody's coming to Idaho, including these wonderful student doctors and as they should. This is a high-quality faculty, staff and curriculum," ICOM President, Tracy Farnsworth said. "We couldn't be more pleased with how these young students are doing."

100% of the class of 2022 have a job in residency programs in 39 different states. They are going to be in 16 different specialties, with 55% staying in primary care specialties. 

According to ICOM Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Thomas Mohr, DO, Idaho currently ranks 49th when it comes to residency positions per capita. Eight graduates are staying in the Gem State to do their residency program, but Mohr said with the ICOM's momentum, he's hopeful for more opportunities to keep doctors in Idaho.

"In order for us to keep more of our graduates and other graduates in the state, we really do need to expand the opportunities for residency training or graduate medical education in the state here of Idaho," Mohr said. "We have the graduates now we need the residency programs to keep them here."

While many graduates plan to leave Idaho for their residencies, some, like ICOM's class of 2022 President Zaid Ahmed, said they have plans to come back. 

"I came here with my wife, who's also a graduating doctor now, and we absolutely loved it here. We totally see ourselves settling back here in the future," Ahmed said. 

He added he fell in love with Idaho's nature and community. He also knows how much of a need there is for doctors around the state. Ahmed will be heading to southern New Jersey to do an emergency medicine residency. 

Ahmed is originally from New York and said it was a little bit of a risk to move across the country to enroll in a brand new college of medicine, but he feels it was worth it.

"I've never been a part of another institution and a team that was so collaborative and so supportive," Ahmed said.

While Ahmed and his classmates have set the bar for future ICOM classes, he hopes to see the college continue to grow and reach new people.

"I'm going to give back in the future to ICOM," Ahmed said. "I mean, they gave me an opportunity and now I'm going to be a doctor, you know? Can't ask for more."

With this graduating class, ICOM is now a fully accredited medical school. They have seven years of accreditation approval from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, as well as approval from the Idaho State Board of Education to confer the degrees.

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