Are There 3-Year Medical School Programs?

The standard US model for medical school is typically four years, but some universities have experimented with 3-year medical school programs, including New York University and Texas Tech. In recent years, fewer medical school students have chosen to study primary care, such as pediatrics, and more have picked specialties that earn higher pay, such as dermatology or cardiology. Three-year programs generally are offered as an incentive for students to pick primary care, in order to prevent shortages of primary care doctors. Rather than having to spend two years taking basic courses and two years of doing clinical work in different specialties to determine their preferred fields, students in accelerated programs finish in three years because they spend only one year doing clinical work because they already have chosen primary care.

More about medical school:

  • Primary care shortages have been projected by the Association of American Medical Colleges to reach 30% by 2020.

  • It has been estimated that students who go through 3-year medical school programs instead of four-year programs save an average of $60,000 US Dollars on tuition and fees.

  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania, started the first three-year medical school program in 2007.

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