The U.S. needs to produce more doctors yet medical training takes several years, costs thousands of dollars, and selects a small portion of the applicants. The University of Texas is starting a program that streamlines the process, granting a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree in as few as six years.
The 60 students admitted to the new program would demonstrate high academic achievement in high school. If they maintain good grades, upon graduation they are guaranteed a slot at the UT medical schools in Dallas or Houston.
By integrating medical education into the undergraduate curriculum, students would avoid the traditional fourth year electives of medical school. They would also enjoy the option of pursuing a master’s in public health or a research project for an additional year.
Texas Tech already offers a three-year medical degree for students going into primary care. Some law schools have shortened their professional programs from three to two years. As debt remains a concern for aspiring doctors, shortening the time they have to pay tuition may draw a wider pool of potential candidates.