Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is embarking on a program in 2020 that will allow select students at the school to complete their Doctor of Medicine degrees in just three years. Students admitted to the three-year track will receive conditional admittance to a Wright State University residency program, starting with the Departments of Family Medicine and Pediatrics.
Up to four students per year will be selected for the two spots in family medicine and the two spots in pediatrics. Selected students will progress through medical school with their classmates, but they will complete their graduation requirements within three years instead of the traditional four years. They will graduate with less debt due to finishing medical school in just three years.
As the program matures, other Wright State specialties may add three-year track options. The Boonshoft School of Medicine has been approved to allow up to ten percent of the students in each class to be in a three-year track.
Interested medical students will apply for the three-year track in January of their first year, which gives the students time to complete several modules prior to application. By this time, the students will understand the rigor and pace of medical school and be capable of assessing if an accelerated pathway is the best route for them to pursue, as well as determining if they are ready to commit to one specialty and to staying in Dayton for their residency training.
The program may be particularly appealing to non-traditional students at the Boonshoft School of Medicine who already have strong backgrounds working in the medical field. They are often ahead of the curve in knowledge, and already have clinical comfort working with patients.
Medical students accepted into the accelerated program will complete a portion of their first clerkship the summer between the first and second year of medical school. While their second-year classes will be the same as their classmates in the traditional curriculum, the three-year track students will have monthly clinical days throughout the second year, receiving mentoring from departmental faculty.
In their third year of medical school, the three-year track students will complete the same clerkships as their colleagues, while also completing the required sub-internship and emergency medicine clerkships prior to the end of the third full year in medical school. Students in the three-year track are required to complete all graduation requirements, take Step 1 and Step 2 exams, interview with their residency program, and go through the match process.
After a short break, their residency training in family medicine or pediatrics will begin at Wright State. The major difference between the three-year track and the traditional curriculum is that accelerated students do not take electives. Students in the three-year track will always have the option to opt out and return to the traditional curriculum prior to the match.
“This is a win-win option for a select group of students who know they want to stay in Ohio for residency and practice either family medicine or pediatrics,” said Brenda Roman, M.D., associate dean for Medical Education. “It’s also a great benefit for the residency programs to recruit top talent.”
— Daniel Kelly