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Utah County to be site of new medical school

By Karissa Neely daily Herald - | Sep 28, 2016
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Richard P. Nielsen, president of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, announces that a new medical school will be built in Utah County.

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A look at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, university President Richard P. Nielsen announced that Wasatch Educational Inc. — the university's holding company — will build a full medical school in Utah County.

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Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions

The University of Utah has long been the most important medical school in the state, but Utah County is poised to get a medical school of its own.

Richard P. Nielsen, president of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, announced Wednesday at the Utah Valley Executive Summit that Wasatch Educational Inc. — the university’s holding company — will build a full medical school in Utah County.

The need for a Utah County medical school is driven by the state’s need for medical professionals, Nielsen said. He cited statistics showing Utah is 45th in the nation in overall physicians per capita, and 49th in primary care physicians per capita.

The majority of University of Utah medical graduates move outside the state to practice, and 330 active physicians leave the state each year.

“That is a deficit each year, and to make up that deficit, 70 percent of our physicians are recruited from outside Utah,” Nielsen said in his presentation Wednesday.

Nielsen hopes those statistics change with the opening of the new medical school. He could not divulge many details Wednesday, however a more detailed announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

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