Connect with us

Local News

Three regional healthcare providers are collaborating with the New Billings medical school



Billings, Montana – For a long time, Billings served as Montana’s medical center. The neighborhood will expand even more starting on Monday of next week as classes at Rocky Vista University Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine officially start. The new 138,000-square-foot facility was opened to the public for the first time on Saturday.

“The purpose of today’s event is to showcase our amazing new medical school building to the public. There’s been a lot of people locally who have been driving by through this construction process for over a year with a lot of curiosity,” said Dr. David Park, the vice president and founding dean of the school, on Saturday. “So today’s a day for them to come and get a closer look and see what’s inside. It’s also an opportunity for the people to interact with our amazing faculty and staff, who are really the ones responsible for the amazing education that the medical students here will receive.”

A day of enthusiasm at the brand-new West End school, which will soon welcome 80 children and is located at 4130 Rocky Vista Way in Billings.

“We’re in a growing process. We’re starting with 80 students this year in the first incoming class. Next year will be 120, and then in the third year we’ll max out at 160 students per year, per class,” Park said. “We’re constantly growing our faculty and staff, and we’ll have approximately 120 full-time and part-time faculty working in this building doing the education.”

The first day of classes at the university, which is Montana’s first full-time medical school, is scheduled for July 24.

A curious audience showed up for the open house on Saturday.

“The public here, they’re just excited about a medical school right here in Montana,” Park said. “There’s so much interest from grandparents, parents, and their children about the possibility of them becoming a physician and not having to leave the state.”

Since the early stages of planning, the school has collaborated with St. Vincent Healthcare and RiverStone Health.

“SCL Intermountain Health and RiverStone Health, we are so grateful for their steadfast commitment and support of us from the very beginning,” Park said.

After a rough beginning, Billings Clinic recently partnered, which may come as a surprise.

“Billings Clinic, we are extremely thrilled with our renewed engagement and the collaborative work that we’ll be doing together with our organizations,” Park said.

Billings Clinic representatives openly denounced Rocky Vista in March 2021 and stated they would not cooperate with the school. But after several significant chats, everything changed.

“We’ve had a conversation with RVU going back for quite a while,” said Dr. Clint Seger, the CEO of Billings Clinic, on Saturday. “But you know, as the school has been built and our conversations with the leadership here (continued), we really felt that this was an opportunity for a new day of conversation for how we could really partner together to look to the future.”

Currently preparing exhilarating next stages in which students can participate.

“The students are a couple years from needing to come to a healthcare facility like Billings Clinic,” Seger said. “And so what that looks like will be worked out, I’m sure, over the next two years in conversation with leadership from Rocky Vista.”

Rocky Vista leadership is already mapping things out.

“80 students who are starting on July 24, they’ll finish their first and second year of education right here on this campus,” Park said. “And then in their third year, they’ll start doing their clinical rotations. This means that they’re going to take what they’ve learned in the first and second years, and then start applying that to real patients.”

While it may seem like a ways away, all parties are eagerly awaiting clinical rotations in 2025 and the future of the new school.

“The success of any medical school really relies a lot on the infrastructure of the clinical rotations and clinical education with partnering hospitals and clinics. So we are absolutely excited about the amazing opportunities that we’ve had in collaborating with them,” Park said. “The success of where we are today is truly a testament to the amazing support of our community here in Billings and the region.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *