State of Idaho needs more students entering medical school

PULLMAN, WA - Idahoans If you're trying to choose a career path, you may want to consider healthcare.

Lewis-Clark State College President Anthony Fernandez said there's a demand for physicians and nurses in the state.

Local university and hospital leaders met on the Washington State University campus Wednesday to discuss the relationship between education and healthcare. Fernandez explained the number of physicians and nurses in Idaho is below the national average, and the state has one of the lowest rates of students entering medical school.

"If you look at the national average, per 100,000 of a population, you have about 6 students entering medical schools each year," said Fernandez. "Idaho is half that number."

Fernandez said Idaho's physician statistics are concerning because the majority of them are older doctors preparing to retire. Also, Idaho's healthcare professionals are concentrated in the more urban areas, creating an even greater need for them in rural communities.