To aid primary care, fast-track more than medical school

LETTER — Posted July 2, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Regarding “Med school on the fast track: A 3-year degree” (Article, May 7): It is a good idea to have primary care physicians receive their medical degrees in three years instead of four. I have been an advocate for this for years.

But I would reduce the premed education by a year or two as well. This can be done by customizing the science courses.

Most primary care doctors have little need for whatever knowledge they may have retained from the time spent on physics, organic chemistry and calculus in college.

Worse, some of these courses weed out students who could have gone on to become excellent primary care physicians.

If the college/medical school programs were combined, it should be possible to prepare students for primary care residency programs in five years. This could lead to turning out a full-fledged primary care doctor in a total of eight years instead of the customary 11.

Edward J. Volpintesta MD, Bethel, Conn.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/07/02/edlt0702.htm.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn