Minnesota seeks to open for-profit osteopathic medical college

A Minnesota banker and a New York academic are hoping to solve Minnesota's physician shortage by opening a for-profit osteopathic medical college, according to the Star Tribune.

Philip Keithahn, CEO of ProGrowth Bank in Gaylord, Minn., and Jay Sexter, PhD, who helped found four osteopathic colleges, are looking to open the college in a soon-to-be-vacated elementary and junior high school building in Gaylord.

The Minnesota College of Osteopathic Medicine plans to open in the fall of 2018, with Mr. Keithahn serving as CFO and Mr. Sexter serving as CEO. The renovated campus, which would include housing, would accommodate up to 150 students per graduating class.

Mr. Keithahn and Mr. Sexter are exploring possible partnership opportunities with Minnesota hospitals and clinics.

However, the proposed college still faces numerous questions, including whether it can recruit faculty to Gaylord, which is 50 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.

The proposal is a bold solution to Minnesota's physician shortage, as retirements are expected to leave rural Minnesota short of 800 physicians. "The doctor shortage is a real problem ... and it's going to be a huge problem in the next 10 years in primary care," said Joseph Willett, DO, an osteopathic physician in Marshall, Minn.

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