Accelerated Curriculum

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Students, along with Dr. Shou Ling Leong on the left and Dr. Kevin Black on the right, pose for a photo on courtyard steps during the Accelerated Pathway Signing Day in May 2022.

MD Program: Accelerated Pathways

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Flexible Options in Medical Education at Penn State College of Medicine


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Option 1: Three-Year MD Accelerated Pathways

Penn State College of Medicine has a portfolio of 3+ pathways that allow students to select a concentration of study that will enhance/accelerate their professional development. Penn State College of Medicine is a member of the national Consortium of Accelerated Medical Pathway Programs (CAMPP), initially funded by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

The three-year MD Accelerated Pathways provide students the opportunity to complete medical school in three years with directed pathway into one of Penn State's residency programs, pending successful completion of their medical school training. Upon meeting the academic and professional standards for graduation from medical school, students are ranked to match into a Penn State Health residency program through the National Resident Matching Program®. Should students choose to rank Penn State, they would be positioned to match at Penn State College of Medicine for residency.

Penn State's accelerated MD Program is unique in that its pathways are designed to optimize the UME-GME continuum and allow students who already know their career path to progress into one of these specialties: family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry. There are also accelerated pathways that are designed to accommodate the timelines for MD/PhD students in dermatology, neurosurgery and otolaryngology.

The benefits of the accelerated options include reduction of medical education costs and earlier career entry. The linkage of undergraduate and graduate medical education optimizes opportunities for continuity of patient care, mentoring and advising.

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MD students in 3+ accelerated programs celebrate after finding out where they matched for residency training during Match Day 2023.


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Graduating MD students from the accelerated pathways pose along with college and program leadership in May 2023.

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Three-Year MD Accelerated Pathways

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Family Medicine (FM-APPS)

In the 3+3 Family Medicine Accelerated Pathway, students complete medical school in three years followed by three years of family medicine residency within Penn State Health. By blending a three-year pathway with the longitudinally integrated clerkship format, graduates are poised to become patient-centered, empathetic physicians who are well prepared to practice family medicine.


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Psychiatry (Psy-APPS)

The Penn State College of Medicine 3+ Psychiatry Accelerated Pathway (Psy-APPS) is a three-year accelerated MD specialty pathway with direct progression to the Psychiatry Residency program at Penn State Health. Students accepted into this pathway will receive mentoring and support throughout their medical education with the goal that graduates of the Psy-APPS program will be prepared to assume the responsibilities of residency in psychiatry.


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Internal Medicine (IM-APPS)

In the 3+3 Internal Medicine Accelerated Pathway, students complete medical school in three years followed by three years of internal medicine residency training within Penn State Health. Graduates will emerge as skilled internists, ready to integrate seamlessly into the ever-changing field of primary care delivery. Opportunities exist for fellowship training in the Department of Medicine after residency.


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Clinician Scientist and Clinician Educator Pathways

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Clinician Educator Pathway

In the Clinician Educator Pathway, students complete all requirements for both the MD and the Master of Education (MEd) degree in four years. Students have the opportunity to work with leaders in educational research and theory in health systems science.


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Clinician Scientist Pathway

In the Clinician Scientist Pathway, students incorporate an extended period of research within the four years of medical school, facilitating their development as strong physician-scientists. Students have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized investigators to advance the understanding of health sciences across a continuum of research types - basic science, clinical, translational and health services.


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What's New in the MD Program