NYU to Offer 3 Year MD Degree

As part of their curriculum overhaul seeking to focus on competency based education rather than time based education NYU Medical School has announced a new 3 year track for medical students. Students who wish to apply to the 3 year MD degree program must first gain admission to the 4 year program and then apply internally.

According to NYU “The curriculum for the three-year pathway is identical to the core curriculum of the four-year pathway with a few modifications shown in the diagram below in yellow. Three-year pathway students will start their academic year 6 weeks earlier with a rotation in the department of their chosen residency. Similarly they will spend the summer between their first and second year doing a summer fellowship in the same department.”

The catch? Students proceed directly to their residency instead of a fourth year curriculum and said residency must be at NYU. In fact students must select this residency upon starting the program as they will spend a summer rotating through the department before they even begin medical school.

For many this 3 year MD degree is a dream come true, shaving a year off a timely and costly education while allowing them to lock in their residency early and avoid the stresses of the match. For aspiring medical students who are unsure of what field they want to pursue it signals that the end of exploring specialties during clerkships and then selecting a residency may be fast approaching. To many this “try before you buy” period has been crucial in showing them that specialty they may have been considering was not the right one. It has also allowed medical students to discover fields that many people not in the medical field are unaware of, such as pathology and radiation oncology. If this system is to be widely adopted it behooves medical schools and smaller specialties to make clinical experiences available to undergraduates so that students can make informed decisions.

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