Can med school be shortened without compromising physician competence?

The New England Journal of Medicine (2013;369:1085-1087;1087-1089) published two “Perspective” editorials presenting arguments for and against shortening medical school from four years to three

The authors of one editorial wrote: “Given the growing complexity of medicine, it seems counterproductive to compress the curriculum into 3 years, reducing both preclinical and clinical experiences.” 

The authors of the other editorial noted that shortening training could enable doctors to enter practice sooner, which would increase the physician-years in practice and thus help ease an anticipated physician shortage. Shortening training also could decrease student debt burden. 

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