Numerous articles lately have reported on the possibility of shortening med school from four years to three. A New York Times article, “N.Y.U. and Other Medical Schools Offer Shorter Course in Training, For Less Tuition,” discusses how NYU will begin offering some students the opportunity to graduate in three years. NYU administrators say that “they can make the change without compromising quality, by eliminating redundancies in their science curriculum, getting students in clinical training more quickly and adding some extra class time in the summer.”
Students will save more than $50,000 on tuition, fees, room, boards, books, and other expenses by omitting that final year.
Next year, only 10% of incoming students will be involved in this new shorted program at NYU. Other schools that plan on implementing a similar trial include Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine, Louisiana State University, and Mercer University School of Medicine – Savannah. Two med schools in Canada, McMaster University and the University of Calgary – Alberta, have been running three-year programs for 40+ years.
The article continues to mention a few of the potential negative effects of a shortened program, including exhaustion – cramming the required 130 weeks of education into 3 years can be draining. Plus, others believe that three years is simply not enough time to delve deeply into the work and develop the maturity required to begin practicing. Students will also have less flexibility in the curriculum and may be forced to choose a career path too early. Furthermore, residency programs may be less willing to accept a three-year graduate than a med school graduate with one more year of experience and education.
For more information see the Public Radio International article, “NYU and other universities looking to shorten medical school to three years.”