Dr. Robert Hasty, a doctor of osteopathy who last year opened Idaho’s first medical school, the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in Meridian, will be joining The Kansas Health Science Center as its founding dean and chief academic officer, the school announced last week.
ICOM finished its first school year this spring with an inaugural class of 162 students for the four-year program.
Hasty announced on May 3 that he would leave ICOM after three years to help launch a new osteopathic medical school, but could not disclose its name or location.
He was instrumental in the creation of ICOM, a private, for-profit medical school located on the campus of Idaho State University’s Health Science Center.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Hasty said when he announced his departure. “I live my life for a purpose, and this is kind of my calling in life to create medical schools. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime position that I’m getting a second time.”
ICOM named Dr. Kevin Wilson, associate dean of clinical affairs, to serve as the interim dean and launched a national search to fill the top spot.
“In a state that ranks 40th in terms of physicians per capita, a new medical school can help improve access,” Dr. Hasty said in a prepared statement. “There’s a growing need for doctors, not only in Kansas but across the country. KHSC is ready and eager to meet that challenge to help the community.”
Kansas Health Science Center is a private, nonprofit institution based in Wichita.
ICOM is the 34th osteopathy college in the U.S. Osteopathic medicine focuses on achieving a high level of wellness through health promotion and disease prevention and “unlocking the body’s innate ability to heal itself,” according to American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
More than 20% of U.S. medical students are training to become osteopathic physicians, according to AACOM.l