Three year M.D. degree @ Texas Tech - does this water down the degree?

Jan 4, 2010
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I started a thread on the osteopathic med student forum because I saw that LECOM has a three year D.O. degree. Then someone pointed out that Texas Tech is also starting such a program:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20100324/bs_prweb/prweb3763794_1

The LECOM program eliminates some rotations in order to speed up the program. This article on Texas Tech's M.D. program doesn't say exactly how the program is different.

If this is a trend - cutting out rotations, I personally am not sure if I like it. Maybe the nation needs programs like this to get more primary care physicians in practice, but it seems a little sad if the M.D. degree is watered down in the process. Surely there is some value to the rotations.

What do you guys think?

Hope this isn't seen as cross-posting. The thread on the osteopathic forum was posted by me when I knew about the LECOM program. Now that there's a 3 year M.D. I'm curious what allopathic pre-meds think about it.

If you're considering primary care, would you be interested in this program? Keep in mind it's supposed to save 50% off the cost of the M.D. at Texas Tech - according to the article.
 

obiwan

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I wouldn't say that it diminishes your actual MD degree but I would think that you miss out on a lot of the other electives and rotations during med school. it also means that you have to be set on family medicine from the get go and keep with it but for the majority of medical students out there, you come in thinking one thing and leave with another (like me)

but i guess its a new trend because other schools are thinking about this type of pathway
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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If your hard bent on primary care then it's a good idea. For lecom only! Texas schools are extremely cheap so unless your seriously that hard pressed and want to save 10k or something in tuition I doubt there's a need to skip out on a good year of elective and non-primary care rotations.
In lecoms case the costs about 3x as expensive as a Texas school, so there's money to save in getting out a year early.
 
Jan 4, 2010
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I posted a question on the residency forums also, because I'm also very interested to know what physicians who are in the trenches think about this - especially primary care residents. I'm wondering if they use the knowledge they gained on rotations that were not their specialty when diagnosing and treating patients.

In other words, aside from the issue of not exposing med students to fields they may enjoy more than primary care, does the lack of rotations have any effect on patient care?

I suppose not. I would imagine that the curriculum committees at medical schools have given a lot of thought to this.
 

jpgarcia22

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This is very interesting. They say that they will be accepting students for this incoming summer class. Does this mean that they will admit students into the FMAT program from those ~140 that get accepted into the traditional 4 year program, or are they accepting additional students into this program on top of the ~140?
 

Szent

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Duke's M.D. program is also 3 years but they throw in an additional year for research. I gather this additional year makes it easier to study for the STEP 1 and garners additional experience for applying to residencies, but is otherwise superfluous to the M.D. educational process.
 

Lokhtar

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Right, I think Duke only has one year of classes, but they keep the rotations at two years? And then they add one more year for research. It's not really superfluous because they are clearly oriented towards training research physicians.
 

circulus vitios

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Is the overall tuition cheaper by 1 year when you compare it to 4 year schools, or do they just bump up the price?
 

mimi2kul

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This is the information i got directly from the dean of admissions. the program will be a total of 3years with full scholarships for every student the first year. This means that u will only pay tuition for 2nd and 3rd year. if at any time u think the program is too intense for u, u can check out back to the 4years and all tuition will be charged accordingly. also if must know.....another benefit is a gauranteed residency spot at TTU family medicine program.
 

alibai3ah

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Duke's M.D. program is also 3 years but they throw in an additional year for research. I gather this additional year makes it easier to study for the STEP 1 and garners additional experience for applying to residencies, but is otherwise superfluous to the M.D. educational process.
To me this seems like the more intelligent idea. Don't reduce the 2 year clerkships. Instead reduce the pre-clinical curriculum to 1-1.5 year MAX. The last two years is where you learn the actual "doctoring". Having only one year of clerkships will be overwhelming during internships.

I like how many schools are reducing the preclinical curriculum to 1.5. Gives you more time for STEP and a early head start for clerkships. ( You can do more!).
 

justdoit31

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This is the information i got directly from the dean of admissions. the program will be a total of 3years with full scholarships for every student the first year. This means that u will only pay tuition for 2nd and 3rd year. if at any time u think the program is too intense for u, u can check out back to the 4years and all tuition will be charged accordingly. also if must know.....another benefit is a gauranteed residency spot at TTU family medicine program.
I will add just a couple things to this- from what I have heard (from the Dean of curriculum) they are basically cutting out some of the electives you won't really need and addings some extra requirements to 3rd year and I think you are required to do your residency at TTU (in West Texas).

http://www.ttuhsc.edu/newsevents/search/Default.aspx

This is the article from the school