Some doctors in California will spend less time in medical school before cutting their patients open on the operating table.
The American Medical Association is providing the University of California-Davis with a $1 million five-year grant in order to shorten the grueling medical school experience from three years to four. After their three years in the program, the medical students are guaranteed a spot in a three-era residency program.
In order to cut the medical school experience down a year, UC Davis eliminates summer vacations, electives and built in time for residency searches. Essentially, just leaving the bare-bone requirements of medical training.
Students spend more time getting hands on practical experience with patients, and begin doing it earlier in their medical school training too.
The accelerated training not only saves students money, but also gets physicians into the field faster during a time when the United States is experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians. Some doctors say that this trend is because of the med school curriculum.
“Students come into medical school and they’re passionate about patients, passionate about primary care, and then that wanes over time,” Director of the Accelerated Competency-based Education in Primary Care program, Dr. Tonya Fancher, said. “Part of it is the debt that they accrue, and part of it is the models of primary care that they’re exposed to.”
All students enrolled in the UC Davis accelerated program will be trained to be primary care physicians.
While the shorter amount of time spent in the classroom doesn’t provide as much training, medical professionals aren’t concerned that the newest league of doctors will be under qualified.
“There’s already consequences on quality of care. So them going to school for a shorter time is not going to make it any worse,” a patient outside the Sacremento Health Center said.
In addition to UC Davis, New York University Medical school also has a three-year medical degree program.