TTUHSC leading the way in family medicine - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/18/10

TTUHSC leading the way in family medicine

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock may have the solution to a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors. A first of its kind program developed at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center could be just the right medicine.

In Thursday's ‘Match Day' medical students learned where they will be spending their residencies for the next several years… but it didn't come cheap or fast. Four years of raking up medical school debt is the very reason there's a shortage in primary care.

To address this issue, doctors in Tech's School of Medicine created the Family Medicine Accelerated Track Program that will entice more students to join the family medicine practice, a field many students skip over for the higher paying medical jobs.

Texas Tech's School of Medicine Dean Dr. Steven Berk has been working on this program for years. Berk says this program changes the way medicine is taught and will mean big things for the medical community nationwide. "We're trying to develop a program that's more attractive to bring students into the field of family medicine. That's the field that is really most needed around the nation and particularly the state of Texas," said Berk.

With a more focused curriculum, it will only require a three year degree rather than four years. The huge debt from medical school will also be dramatically lowered. Students won't have to pay for a fourth year, and additional scholarships will be offered to the top students for their first year, cutting debt in half.

Berk says several other universities have already taken interest in the new program. Texas Tech will begin the fast track program with the medical students who were just accepted into the School of Medicine.

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