Rocky Vista University (RVU), which inaugurated the RVU Montana College of Medicine (MCOM) in July 2023, announced its plans for the establishment of the Rocky Vista University College of Veterinary Medicine in Billings, MT. The college will provide a comprehensive Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program to train future veterinarians. RVU has been diligently working on this project for the past 18 months. Although the new program is still in the accreditation process, it holds the potential to address the critical shortage of veterinary care in Montana and the Mountain West region, especially considering the absence of any veterinary school within a 400-mile radius of Billings.
Seeking accreditation through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), RVU will proceed with the planned construction of a Veterinary Medicine academic building on a parcel already acquired adjacent to its existing campus on Billings’s west end. Dr. Robert Murtaugh, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVECC, has been appointed as the founding Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Murtaugh is collaborating with senior university leadership and other academic veterinary experts on curriculum development, faculty planning, clinical relationships, and other pivotal aspects to establish this new program.
The program recently underwent an accreditation visit from HLC and anticipates a required consultative site visit from AVMA in mid-2024.
David A. Forstein, DO FACOOG, President, and CEO of RVU expressed, “With RVU’s continued commitment to excellence in medical education, the addition of new programs demonstrates our ongoing dedication to providing quality healthcare education across multiple disciplines and to enhance the academic offerings available in Montana and the Mountain West.”
Beyond addressing the shortage of veterinary medicine providers in Montana, the College of Veterinary Medicine is anticipated to have a positive economic impact on Billings, Yellowstone County, and the state of Montana.