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Some points to ponder concerning medical education

1. The U should establish a six year integrated BA/BS-MD program.

Students would be admitted to this program out of high school. There are many such programs in the US. This would allow us to attract very high quality students to our MD program. Integration between the undergrad/MD program would require careful thought and planning.

2. Rather than dragging out the time it takes to be trained as an MD - as seems to be currently fashionable - every effort should be made to shorten the length of time.

The single most important change to make medical school more affordable is to shorten the time needed to three years. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Too MUCH integration of the curriculum can also make it difficult for students to get credit or pass out of courses taken as undergraduates, such as biochemistry. It should be possible to do basic sciences in one year followed by two years of clinical training, IF the basic science requirement is carefully spelled out.

3. Ideas about improving medical education need to come at both the undergraduate and medical school curriculum level. For example, students do not need two semesters of organic chemistry. If the right stuff is put in one semester of organic chemistry, then biochemistry could be taught with this background. If high school chemistry courses ever got up to snuff, then one semester of gen chem should suffice.

We hear a lot of talk about change from our leadership. How about some in the undergrad/MD curriculum. How about taking steps to cut down on the terrible burden of debt that distorts career choices for our med students?

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