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Consortium for Accelerated Training in Medical Education

Accelerated Training:  An Appropriate Means to
Address Shortages in the Primary Care Physician Workforce?

ttuhsc  mercer   mcw

In an effort to address shortages in the primary care workforce and to encourage education innovation, our institutions are at various stages of implementing 3-year medical school programs that culminate in the MD degree and link students to family medicine residency programs.

The development of 3-year tracks, including at NYU and other schools that benefit from the attention of national media, is one emerging solution for a number of problems—among them reducing student debt, making medical education more efficient, and providing earlier clinical experiences, as well as providing a new pathway toward primary care. Significantly, our own programs have gone beyond talking about the imperative for change and are implementing it.

At the 2014 AAMC Medical Education Meeting, TTUHSC, MUSM, and MCW will host a session to provide perspectives and conceptual viewpoints from three geographically diverse medical schools. The topic is important for medical educators for two reason:

First, just as accelerated training is an emerging solution, it also bears the hallmark of a disruptive innovation in medical education— a change that creates a new market or network, disrupting or fundamentally changing the old. We argue that the most logical deployment of 3-year curricula is to bend the curve toward primary care—the very thing that makes the innovation disruptive.

Second, all of our programs have received extensive attention, nationally and regionally, and we have received numerous requests for commentary from those involved in public funding and evaluation of best practices in medical education. We have also received national interest in the program from our peers who are involved in the teaching of medical students and residents—and we actively seek their guidance.

Thus, we are eager to share our novel and ambitious programs with our peers throughout the country, learning from their suggestions and insights, and looking toward even greater collaboration through an accelerated training Consortium, a key outcome we propose for this session.

Join us at the 2014 AAMC Medical Education Meeting for Medical Student to Resident in 3 years: Experiences with an Emerging Solution and Disruptive Innovation 

Learn more about our presentation here.

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Our Experiences

  • TTUHSC's Family Medicine Accelerated Track (FMAT) program has 5 active classes, including two that will have transitioned to residency and three that are currently in training as medical students. The FMAT program takes advantage of TTUHSC's distributed campuses for both medical school and residency experiences.
  • MUSM's Accelerated Track in Family Medicine (ACT-FM) program builds upon the strengths of the MUSM problem-based curriculum with clinical experiences and community medicine activities built into the preclinical curriculum and reinforced through clerkships and elective experiences. The first class of ACT-FM students graduated in 2014.
  • MCW's experience with accelerated training includes both an LCME approved 3-year curricula for an MCW's regional campus that will focus on family medicine, as well as psychiatry, and general surgery, with an anticipated start date in 2015. The Accelerated 3-Year MD Program in Family Medicine (AMP-FM) program in Milwaukee is focused on family medicine and is under active development, with an anticipated start date in 2016.

Questions Facing Schools Interested in Accelerated Training

What are the strengths & limitations of accelerated training programs?

In what ways might a 3-year curriculum serve as a disruptive innovation within the context of traditional 4-year programs?

Should accelerated programs have a specialty or residency focus, and how best to transition students to residency training?

What competencies should graduates demonstrate and what are the best ways to assess those competencies?

How can medical schools that are engaged or interested in accelerated training provide each other with support & resources, such as through a formal consortium?

A Consortium for Accelerated Training

Our schools are interested in exploring strategies and timelines to establish a Consortium of medical schools involved or interested in accelerated training. A consortium could ultimately allow schools to benchmark programs and maintain standards, develop a listserve, share resources, serve as peer mentors, share syllabi and teaching materials, perform multi-campus research, and many other strategies that lead to synergies and excellence in medical education.

Resources and Articles About Accelerated Training

Jones BG, Berk SL. The Family Medicine Accelerated Track Model: Producing more family doctors faster. Virtual Mentor;14(11):845-853.

Bower DJ, Jones BG, Pallay R, Prabhu FR, Buckley RD, Patterson LA. Three-Year Medical Degree Programs: Design Features of Accelerated Curriculum Tracks From Structurally Diverse Medical Schools. Fam Med 2013:45(S3). Available from

Abramson SB, Jacob D, Rosenfeld M, Buckvar-Keltz L, Harnik V, Francois F, Rivera R. Hopkins MA, Triola M, Grossman RI. A 3-year MD—Accelerating careers, diminishing debt. NEJM 369;12 (September 19, 2013):1085-1087.

Novak S. Luring students into family medicine. New York Times. September 9, 2012.

Contact Us

Join the Conversation:   

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Betsy Goebel Jones, EdD, Professor & Chairman, Department of Medical Education; Co-Director, Family Medicine Accelerated Track
  • Ron Cook, DO MBA, Associate Professor & Braddock Chair, Department of Family Medicine; Co-Director, Family Medicine Accelerated Track
  • Kim Peck, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine; Associate Dean of Admissions, School of Medicine; Vice President for Diversity
  • Vaughan Lee, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Education; Assistant Dean of Curriculum, School of Medicine

Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus

  • Robert Pallay, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine; Family Medicine Residency Program Director
  • Tina Thompson, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Medical College of Wisconsin

  • Joan Bedinghaus, MD, Professor of Family Medicine; Director, Clinical Continuum
  • Douglas Bower, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine; Director, Predoctoral Education
  • Leslie Patterson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine; CHCR, VA and Predoctoral Education
  • Jeff Morzinski, PhD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine; Fellowship Director, Center for Healthy Communities and Research; Director, Professional Development Division