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Medical School in 3 years? It’s coming!

NYU has said they will start offering a small percentage of students the chance to finish early, in three years instead of the traditional four. According to a NY Times “Not only, they say, will those doctors be able to hang out their shingles to practice earlier, but they will save a quarter of the cost of medical school — $49,560 a year in tuition and fees at N.Y.U., and even more when room, board, books, supplies and other expenses are added in…

The idea was supported by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a former health adviser to President Obama, and a colleague, Victor R. Fuchs. In an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March, they said there was “substantial waste” in the nation’s medical education. “Years of training have been added without evidence that they enhance clinical skills or the quality of care,” they wrote. They suggested that the 14 years of college, medical school, residency and fellowship that it now takes to train a subspecialty physician could be reduced by 30 percent, to 10 years.”

MedSchoolCoach couldn’t agree with this more! A lot of the first few years of medical are redundant and then not needed when you actually practice. Specialty training is becoming longer and longer, sometimes with no end in sight. medical students are often left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and are looking towards 10+ year fellowships and residencies before they can make the salary to repay. Shortening medical school would really allow one to focus on their career earlier. In reality much of what you learned in medical school is not applicable in everyday medical practice. The majority of what you will learn is in your current third year of medical school and during residency. A lot of the basic science stuff is important only to a subset of physicians. We hope to see more medical schools move to a three-year curriculum in the future!

See the full NY Times article here