Jun 24, 2019
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Are any of you guys aware of three year medical school options that don’t require a commitment to a primary care speciality? I am aware of the NYU program but could not find any others that allowed students to apply to (surgery, er, peds etc.)
 

Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

The Inner Machinations of my mind are an enigma
Feb 21, 2018
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Columbia and Duke let you skip a research year if you already have a PhD. But that is about t.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Thanks for the reply guys! I’m sure you all are pretty busy but if you are able I would love to hear you’re thoughts on Medical School length being shortened. Would Students be missing out on 4th year? Is it necessary at all or just a money grab?
 
Oct 19, 2017
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Thanks for the reply guys! I’m sure you all are pretty busy but if you are able I would love to hear you’re thoughts on Medical School length being shortened. Would Students be missing out on 4th year? Is it necessary at all or just a money grab?
That’s an interesting question. I wouldn’t call it a straight up “money grab,” but it’s usefulness is debatable (given that medical school at some institutions can be shortened to 3 years).

I think most modern medical education is based on the Flexner report, which came out in 1910. That might be relevant here (I never read the report).

The 4th year might be helpful for people interested in specializing.
 
Aug 27, 2018
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I have heard horrible things about 3 year programs near me.
From what I’ve gathered, they just seem ridiculously hard and mentally taxing. Fitting all of that information into 3 years.


(note- this was for a BS/MD 6 year program specifically)
 

mcat_taker

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May 31, 2014
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I think having 4 years is good just for the extra exposure you get to other fields. Some medical students don't make up their mind on a speciality until their 4th year. Choosing a medical speciality can be a daunting and difficult task for a lot of students. I also think that the 4th year of medical school really improves your skills as you have the basics down at that point and can use the 4th year to solidify knowledge, work on stuff you're weaker in, and pursue interests via electives etc.
 
Feb 17, 2019
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I have heard horrible things about 3 year programs near me.
From what I’ve gathered, they just seem ridiculously hard and mentally taxing. Fitting all of that information into 3 years.


(note- this was for a BS/MD 6 year program specifically)
Jeez so they're pumping out 24 year old MDs? That's crazy to me

edit: I'm bad at math
 

StanleyYelnats

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Dec 20, 2018
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I have heard horrible things about 3 year programs near me.
From what I’ve gathered, they just seem ridiculously hard and mentally taxing. Fitting all of that information into 3 years.


(note- this was for a BS/MD 6 year program specifically)
There’s only 3 real years of education in med school though? You don’t actually do anything that important in fourth year.
 

cj_cregg

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Jul 25, 2014
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There’s only 3 real years of education in med school though? You don’t actually do anything that important in fourth year.
More accurately IMO, you either choose to do something important in fourth year or you don't. You can choose to do electives and rotations that are valuable to your learning, fill in gaps in your education/knowledge, or relevant to your future specialty, or you can not.

ETA: @ OP, also worth noting that residency apps go out in September, and you need to have at least a general idea of what specialty you want a few months before then. So just from a logistical perspective...if med school was 3 years, people would basically be picking specialties right after Step 1, likely with no actual experience in that specialty and very little if any experience in other specialties as well.
 

OchemOficionado

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More accurately IMO, you either choose to do something important in fourth year or you don't. You can choose to do electives and rotations that are valuable to your learning, fill in gaps in your education/knowledge, or relevant to your future specialty, or you can not.

ETA: @ OP, also worth noting that residency apps go out in September, and you need to have at least a general idea of what specialty you want a few months before then. So just from a logistical perspective...if med school was 3 years, people would basically be picking specialties right after Step 1, likely with no actual experience in that specialty and very little if any experience in other specialties as well.
I’m under the impression that this is one of the reasons that the 3 year tracks are mostly geared toward primary care (they are also serving the need for those types of physicians).I am also under the impression that these programs emphasize clinic time and patient interactions and that rotations begin sooner. Step 1 is usually taken sooner as well (by a few weeks).
 

cj_cregg

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I’m under the impression that this is one of the reasons that the 3 year tracks are mostly geared toward primary care (they are also serving the need for those types of physicians).I am also under the impression that these programs emphasize clinic time and patient interactions and that rotations begin sooner. Step 1 is usually taken sooner as well (by a few weeks).
Even taking those things into account, I still feel like you're having to choose a specialty with very little experience with that specialty, and just as importantly very little exposure to anything else that might pique your interest or be a better fit for you. And perhaps I'm a bit biased as someone in a primary care specialty, but I personally think that if you're going into FM, IM, peds, etc. it's even more important that you do get exposure to a broader swath of medicine. Once they're into residency, a dermatologist or orthopedic surgeon is probably not going to use much knowledge from, say, an OBGYN rotation or a cardiology elective. A PCP absolutely would need that exposure to provide better care for their patients. To be a good PCP you need to have at least a working knowledge of the basics of just about every specialty, and I think a 3 year program would significantly reduce that knowledge.
 

OchemOficionado

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Even taking those things into account, I still feel like you're having to choose a specialty with very little experience with that specialty, and just as importantly very little exposure to anything else that might pique your interest or be a better fit for you. And perhaps I'm a bit biased as someone in a primary care specialty, but I personally think that if you're going into FM, IM, peds, etc. it's even more important that you do get exposure to a broader swath of medicine. Once they're into residency, a dermatologist or orthopedic surgeon is probably not going to use much knowledge from, say, an OBGYN rotation or a cardiology elective. A PCP absolutely would need that exposure to provide better care for their patients. To be a good PCP you need to have at least a working knowledge of the basics of just about every specialty, and I think a 3 year program would significantly reduce that knowledge.
I hear ya. I’m not trying to change the way you feel, just sharing what I know about the early clinical exposure, the earlier rotations and the earlier step 1 that some 3 year programs employ. These programs usually come with huge incentives and are usually in place to serve the community faster so it’s a great stepping stone for some but probably not a good path for others. Also, I don’t think the exposure to other specialties will be reduced by much since they’re still required.
 
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StanleyYelnats

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Even taking those things into account, I still feel like you're having to choose a specialty with very little experience with that specialty, and just as importantly very little exposure to anything else that might pique your interest or be a better fit for you. And perhaps I'm a bit biased as someone in a primary care specialty, but I personally think that if you're going into FM, IM, peds, etc. it's even more important that you do get exposure to a broader swath of medicine. Once they're into residency, a dermatologist or orthopedic surgeon is probably not going to use much knowledge from, say, an OBGYN rotation or a cardiology elective. A PCP absolutely would need that exposure to provide better care for their patients. To be a good PCP you need to have at least a working knowledge of the basics of just about every specialty, and I think a 3 year program would significantly reduce that knowledge.
This really doesn’t hold up. You don’t gain your OBGYN experience as a family med doctor from your 6 week rotation in med school. That’s what residency is for. Otherwise FM doctors who trained at foreign medical schools with different rotations than are typical at US schools would lack OB/psych/etc experience due to not having those rotations in med school. That doesn’t seem to be true, and the reason it isn’t is because residency provides you that experience and normalizes everyone’s training.
 

cj_cregg

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This really doesn’t hold up. You don’t gain your OBGYN experience as a family med doctor from your 6 week rotation in med school. That’s what residency is for. Otherwise FM doctors who trained at foreign medical schools with different rotations than are typical at US schools would lack OB/psych/etc experience due to not having those rotations in med school. That doesn’t seem to be true, and the reason it isn’t is because residency provides you that experience and normalizes everyone’s training.
As an actual current FM resident, there are things I was saw in my med school rotations that I haven't been/probably won't be exposed to as a resident unless I took time to do an elective in that particular area. Subspecialties for IM, peds, and surgery, actually being in the OR for gen surg (whereas most FM surgery rotations are just office/consult-based), neurology, seeing different types of procedures and workups that FM docs don't generally do but that our patients will go through, etc. And I'm not sure why you'd assume that FMGs/IMGs don't do rotations in OB and psych lol, but them having a different and less standardized med school experience is one of the reasons why it's more difficult for them to match in the US compared to US grads.

I'm not saying that my med school experience was all encompassing, but it was really valuable having time to just see how other specialties work, and to see the bread and butter cases and referrals. Every single rotation I did in med school, fourth year included, taught me something that has helped me to take care of a patient as a resident, and a decent percentage of those things are not a standard part of most FM curricula.