Op-ed: Why Montana should consider building a private medical school

In a Dec. 30 op-ed in the Independent Record, Montana Sen. Llew Jones (R) advocated for the building of a new medical school in Montana.

Sen. Jones highlighted how he and others have attempted to tackle Montana's physician shortage by incentivize physicians and expanding Montana medical student slots at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Nevertheless, the problem persists. Sen. Jones addressed seven aspects and factors relating to the physician shortage, including how 32.7 percent of active physicians in the state are over the age of 60.

The Burrell Group is hoping to build a private, non-profit medical school in the state, which would graduate 125 physicians each year. While many residents and physicians do not want to pursue the idea, Sen. Jones believes it is a "great opportunity." He urged readers to reconsider the benefits of a medical school in the state.

"It could be decades before another private organization considers investing over $100 million in Montana, let alone for the creation of a much needed Montana medical school," he wrote in the op-ed. "By then it will be too late to effectively address the physician crisis."

More articles on integration and physician issues:
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Northeast, Midwest lead in undergraduate medical education enrollment: 8 key findings

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