Sunday, June 13, 2010

Will medical school become only 3 years?

You may have already heard this, but Texas Tech University is starting a three-year M.D. program. Two Canadian medical schools (McMaster University and the University of Calgary) currently offer three-year M.D. programs for students who want a quick way to finish medical school.

The 3-year option is primarily geared for students who wish to pursue a family medicine residency. It essentially removes most of the 4th year electives and keeps the clinical rotations focused around pertinent primary care rotations. Students who select a 3-year option will save a year of medical school tuition. So, does this really make sense?

If we're trying to reduce the gap on the primary care shortage that this country faces, then a 3-year option for students committed to primary care could be an attractive option. Who needs all those 4th year electives, right?

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a three-year option for a D.O. degree. Soon, we may find that the vast majority of medical schools will offer a 3-year option for future doctors who will fill the primary care void.

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