The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians in this country by the year 2020. A report in the New York Times is spot-lighting Texas Tech for its effort in finding a solution. The article points to an innovative program at the school of medicine they're recruiting brilliant students who can squeeze four years of family medicine into a three year curriculum.
Aside from the benefit of graduating early, Dr. Ron Cook says that it leaves them with less debt. "They decrease their debt by 25% by just not paying for a 4th year. Then we give them scholarships that really account for about another 25%. So they get out of medical school with about half the debt of a typical four year student. And they get out in the workforce a year earlier."
Dr. Cook says so far, the first group of students in this program are doing very well, and are right on track to graduate in 2013. They will have all the training they need to be primary care physicians after three years of medical school.
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