Word from Las Cruces that New Mexico State University, along with a private businessman from Santa Fe and state political leaders, will be announcing the opening of the state’s second medical school is welcome on several fronts. The new school will train doctors of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic doctors receive similar training as conventional (allopathic) doctors, while also learning hands-on therapeutic treatments.
First, the public/private partnership is exciting — it reduces costs for the taxpayers and makes big achievements possible. Secondly, the school is designed to graduate doctors who will alleviate what is becoming a crisis. We don’t have enough doctors in the state, with all but two of New Mexico’s 33 counties classified as having a physician shortage. Third, the actual construction and then the long-term jobs associated with the school will be a much-needed financial boost to Southern New Mexico. When up and running, it’s estimated that the medical school will have a $77 million annual impact on the region. That’s figuring a $13.5 million operational budget with 162 direct jobs and 100 indirect jobs. The entire state, of course, will benefit from having enough physicians to take care of sick people and from the taxes generated by new economic activity.
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