Three-Year Medical Degree

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The WSJ recently published an article extolling the benefits of a three-year medical degree and it is just another example of our profession trying to lower its standards.  The reasons, in the piece, given to move in this direction are:

  • Medical student debt
  • Physician shortage

None of these seem adequate to me.  I remember when I was in medical school when one of the professors stated that the Immunology course wasn’t even around when he was in school because they didn’t even know enough about the immune system yet.  Knowledge and information has grown so much since my time in school that I could say the same about epigenetics and more.  So why would we want future doctors studying less?

The medical student debt is atrocious because medical schools have raised their prices at a criminal rate to pay their administrators. You know, like the guy who wrote this article.  My med school total cost was $32,000 for four years from 1990-1994.  Twenty years later and kids are paying $200,000 or more?  That’s not inflation, that’s horseshit.

The physician shortage is bogus as well.  If you remove all the useless paperwork and admin time bestowed upon doctors for no other reason than to make third parties happy then you give them more hours to see patients.  This can be a few hours per day which when given back to them would remove the physician shortage.  End of story .

This article was written by Robert Grossman (dean and CEO) and Steven Abrasion MD (faculty) of New York University’s Langone Medical Center and the NYU School of Medicine.  They are biased because their program is now 3 years.  It’s hogwash.

We should NOT water down medical school to appease third parties.  We should not water down our degree.  We cannot complain about other providers (NPs and PAs)  having less education and less training if we are going to do it as well.  What’s next, a hybrid degree called NPMD or PAMD?

Coming soon The 4-Hour Doctor by Tim Ferris MD (sorry, Tim, I do love your stuff)