May 12, 2018

Southern Utah’s First Medical School

RVUCOM- SU: Southern Utah’s First Medical School

by: Julie Rosenthal, MS; Executive Director of Enrollment Management & External Relations

Driving down E Center Street by 200E, in Ivins, a new two-story, modern 104,000 square foot building comes into view. Sitting at the base of the Big Red Mountain, this building is home to Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine – Southern Utah (RVUCOM-SU); Southern Utah’s first medical school and the first medical school in Utah to open its doors since The University of Utah School of Medicine was founded in 1905.

The facility includes two 200-seat lecture halls, three seminar rooms, 36 breakout or study rooms, a clinical skills and OPP lab, a full dissection gross anatomy lab, a multipurpose lab, a simulation center, standardized patient rooms, and a 9,000 square foot library. RVUCOM-SU also includes an existing 23,000 square foot medical office building across the street from the main building. The medical office building includes some administrative offices and will house a future medical clinic that will provide clinical training opportunities for students and health services to the local community. The University has also built on-campus student housing, Crimson Cliffs Student Residences. The Southern Utah Veterans Home, which is adjacent to the campus, provides RVUCOM-SU students with a continuity of care experience by participating in the Long Term Care Medicine Track. Other specialized Track opportunities for students include: Academic Medicine and Leadership, Global Medicine, Military Medicine, Physician-Scientist, and Rural and Wilderness Medicine.

The Southern Utah location is Rocky Vista’s second campus. The University was founded in 2006 in Parker Colorado, just south of Denver. When looking for a second location, the University set its sights on Utah due to the large number of students who had to leave the state to pursue their medical education and the shortage of primary care physicians in Utah and the Mountain West Region.

RVUCOM-SU was introduced to the Ivins/St. George Community at a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 14, 2017 and hosted a community open house in August which was attended by nearly 1,000 guests.

The University hired nearly sixty employees to start up the new campus, led by Campus Dean, David Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP. The inaugural class of 135 students, selected from an applicant pool of 2,067, arrived in the community over the summer to officially start their medical education. Over half of the new students consisted of Utah residents. The remainder of the class hailed from 23 different states with California, Nevada, Colorado and Oregon being the top feeder states. The top four feeder schools were all Utah universities including Brigham Young University (19% of the Class), University of Utah (10%), Southern Utah University (8%), and Utah State University (7%).

Students selected to attend RVUCOM-SU are academically strong, have clinical experience, strong leadership background, display professionalism, possess exceptional communication skills and a commitment to service – essentially the skills everyone would like to see in their personal physician.

With twenty clubs and organizations, RVUCOM-SU students wasted no time in acclimating to the community and becoming involved in numerous service activities. The next event is the Spring Community Health Fair to be held at the campus at 255 E Center St. in Ivins on Saturday, May 12th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All ages are welcome. The event will include vital and blood glucose screenings, presentations, interactive booths, demonstrations and fun activities for the kids.

Rocky Vista University – Southern Utah

255 E. Center St.

Ivins, UT 84738




Human Resources: For a listing of current openings, please visit

Physician Preceptors: RVU is seeking physicians, MD and DO, interested in serving as Adjunct Clinical Faculty for third and fourth-year medical students. For more information, please contact the Office of Clinical Affairs at

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