4-Year Medical College Coming to Billings
Rocky Vista University (RVU) announced that it has selected Billings, as the proposed site for development of a four year medical school – the first of its kind in the state of Montana.
Billings was selected after an extensive location search by RVU to continue its mission-led focus of providing quality healthcare education while inspiring students to serve with compassion, integrity, and excellence. While RVU graduates pursue the full spectrum of medical specialties, the majority choose primary care, and many of them practice in underserved and rural areas. RVU graduates become lifelong learners prepared to meet the diverse healthcare needs of tomorrow through innovative education, relevant research, and compassionate service.
The proposed Billings campus, at the corner of Monad and Shiloh, will become the third RVU campus in the Mountain West Region.
RVU’s first campus was founded in 2006 in Parker, Colorado and a second campus was developed in 2017 in Ivins, Utah, graduating its first class in 2021. RVU is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), Higher Learning Commission, Accreditation Review Commission for the Physician Assistant, and the American College of Surgeons. RVU has demonstrated excellent student outcomes since inception and has a 100% residency placement rate.
RVU President and CEO, Dr. Clint Adams said, “Montana is a natural fit for RVU and our regional focus on healthcare education and we are so excited by the prospect of bringing a RVU campus to Billings. We were impressed with the quality of the healthcare system in Montana and look forward to helping meet the need for graduate medical education opportunities for students in Montana and across the region.”
The proposed campus will house a 135,000 square foot, technologically-advanced facility on a 12-acre campus on the west-end of Billings. This project is completely private-sector funded. The expected direct and indirect economic impact of the proposed campus during the two-year start-up period (2021-23) is expected to total $78.6 million, provide 350 jobs, and add more than $1.2 million in taxes to communities in the region. By July 2026, upon full operation of all four classes, the proposed medical school is expected to support directly and indirectly 304 jobs in the region, generate $67 million in annual total economic impact and add $3.3 million in state and local government revenue. Support for Montana’s Healthcare System Montana’s healthcare landscape was the initial driver for RVU to look at Billings as the site for the first Montana Medical School campus.
There is currently no established four year undergraduate medical school in Montana, limited graduate medical education and Montana ranks 44th in the country for the number of primary-care physicians. Educating students in Montana is integral to keeping physicians in the region long-term, as it is estimated that in 2021 over 200 Montana college graduates will seek to further their education in healthcare and apply to MD and/or DO medical schools.
The Alliance, comprised of Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare/SCL Health, and RiverStone Health, is engaged in the launch of the medical school by exploring the development of clinical rotations for the 3rd and 4th year students beginning in 2025 and further development of Graduate Medical Education (GME) with other Montana hospitals statewide. RVU partnered with Big Sky Economic Development (BSED) to fully understand the opportunity of siting their proposed Montana campus in