Since Duke has a year of protected research time (3rd year) regardless of if you are MD or MD/PhD, I'm assuming that MD/PhD people use this period to start work on their PhD, and thus finish a year early compared to other MD/PhD programs. On the website it states that their AVERAGE length is 6 or 7 years. Thats pretty outstanding in my mind. I know there was a thread on Columbia about how their average is also 6 or 7 years (due to only 1 year of clinical rotations) Now, since Duke covers the basic sciences in only 1 year, they have to cut out some material. But obviously the material they do cut out doesnt seem to be relevant, because their MD/PhD grads know just as much important basic science as other MSTP grads. Why dont other programs follow suit? It seems obvious to me that the 2 year basic science curriculum is outdated and contains redundant and/or irrelevant info. Otherwise, how is Duke able to get away with half the time? The Columbia approach seems less ideal to me. Instead of cutting out a year of basic science, they cut out a year of clinical rotations. I would think that clinical rotations are much more important than basic science. From the Duke model, it must be obvious that you really dont need to devote a whole 2 years to basic science. But then again, Columbia's grads also seem to do very well. Its not like they are blackballed at residency programs because they only had 1 year of clinical practice. Their match list seems to be very good, at least as good as other schools of their caliber who use 2 years to do clinical rotations. So, if its possible to get away with 1 year of basic science (Duke) and 1 year of clinical rotations (Columbia) then why is med school 4 years long at 99% of institutions? Columbia and Duke grads are just as good as other grads, so isnt that strong evidence that you dont need to devote 2 years each to basic science and clinical practice? And isnt that also evidence that MD/PhD should take only 6 years on average instead of 8? Otherwise, you would have to imply that Duke/Columbia MD/PhD grads are subpar compared to other MD/PhD grads, and there is no evidence of that whatsoever.