3-year med school programs prep students for residency with less debt, study finds

Accelerated pathway program graduates may be just as prepared for residency training and have less debt than those in traditional programs, according to an Oct. 25 news release from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine citing an Aug. 10 study published in the Journal of Academic Medicine.

Researchers analyzed responses from more than 40,000 medical students, 90 of which graduated from accelerated programs, who graduated in 2017 and 2018 and compared reported satisfaction with education and learning environment, levels of debt and burnout, preparedness for residency and career plans between graduates of accelerated and traditional programs. 

In addition to less debt, students in accelerated programs reported a more positive learning climate than non-accelerated program students and were equally satisfied with their education, according to the report.

"These programs have great potential to address physician shortages and rising costs of medical education," said Shou Ling Leong, MD, lead researcher and assistant dean for pathways innovation and professor of family and community medicine at the College of Medicine. "Students in accelerated programs start practicing medicine one year earlier and data from our study indicate that these graduates feel just as prepared as their peers for residency, while also having less debt."

Read the full study here.

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