To aid primary care, fast-track more than medical school
LETTER — Posted July 2, 2012
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.