The Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (Noorda-COM) recently held a topping-off ceremony of its Academic Building, as workers put the final steel beam in place. Noorda-COM’s 140,000 square foot building in Provo will be home for the next generation of medical students. The building should be complete in 2023.
The significance of this milestone for Utah Valley and, frankly, for the entire state is a great one. Noorda-COM, which started its first class of students in August, will teach, train, and graduate medical students, nearly half of whom will be Utah residents. These students will significantly contribute to the shortage of medical professionals in the state and across the country.
The Utah Medical Association Council estimates the state will need hundreds of new physicians each year to meet medical needs. And, since Utah also continues to be at or near the bottom of national rankings for primary care physicians (49th), overall physician to population (44th), and for female physicians and general surgeons (50th). Additionally, according to data from Utah universities, about 250-300 students leave the state each year to attend medical school in other states.
Noorda-COM believes that its curriculum and learning structure will help more students stay and practice in Utah, as does the Utah Valley Chamber.
Noorda-COM has done a phenomenal job developing the school, recruiting the best faculty and staff, and with the beginning of its inaugural year with 90 medical students. Of this diverse group of students, about 21% come from underrepresented minority groups, 40% are women, and 55% are from Utah. In addition, about 58% of the students are bilingual, with 40% fluent in Spanish.
Noorda-COM has also established affiliation partner agreements with most primary healthcare systems, hospitals, and physician practice groups in Utah. This allows third-year Noorda-COM students to complete core clinical education at facilities within an easy 30-40-minute drive from campus.
At the event, Noorda-COM founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer John Dougherty said, “We are proud to be a partner with our local healthcare systems and medical groups who will work hand-in-hand with us to role model excellence in patient care, allowing us to fulfill our mission of developing competent, confident, compassionate physicians.”
Noorda-COM hasn’t stopped there. In November, Noorda-COM, in partnership with the Utah Valley University Woodbury School of Business, offered its students a combined degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and MBA, providing students an advantage in the business of medicine and healthcare throughout their careers.
During the event, former Governor Gary Herbert, UV Chamber Executive Chair, said, “Part of what makes our state so great is the quality and affordability of healthcare. We are blessed to have some of the best healthcare professionals — unfortunately, we don’t have enough of them. The Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine is providing an opportunity for more of our state’s sons and daughters to remain in the state for their medical education.”
This medical school is an additional pillar in the growth and development of Utah Valley as the center of economic development, medical and healthcare services, business, and higher education. Together these institutions will benefit the people of Utah Valley and throughout the state for the next century and beyond.
We congratulate and welcome Noorda-COM to Utah Valley.