Texas Tech's accelerated family practice program offers med students affordable alternative
He graduated earlier than he might have courtesy of the Family Medicine Accelerated Track program, a three-year curriculum at TTUHSC. Cook was part of the first class in 2010.
The goal of the program is to get more students to study family medicine. Because of the truncated time in school and scholarships, most graduating students end up with $22,000 in student debt -- much less than students who go through traditional programs.
"I don't see how the fourth year is such an important part," Cooper said. "I knew what specialty I wanted to enter and I wanted a residency in West Texas, so that reduces much of the reason for it. When I graduated medical school after the third year, I felt the transition from the third year to residency was scary, but it was smoother than I expected because we didn't have the fourth year that breaks up the clinical knowledge."
The accelerated classes usually have eight to 15 students, who are matched with family medicine faculty mentors in their first year. The second year brings clinical work and the completion of clerkship. In the third year, students do rotations in internal medicine, OB/Gyn, psychiatry, surgery and pediatrics.
The program does have critics, but Dr. Steven Berk, dean of the TTUHSC School of Medicine, feels concerns are unfounded.
"If they can meet all of the competencies in three years, that should not be an issue," he said. "A Ph.D. student does not get a Ph.D. after eight years. He gets it once all the requirements are met."
Organizations in this story
American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS - 66211