Internal Medicine 3+3 Accelerated MD Pathway

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Internal Medicine 3+3 Accelerated MD Pathway

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Building a Pathway to Internal Medicine

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Penn State Internal Medicine Accelerated Pathway (IM-APPS) is a 3+3 accelerated pathway program where students complete medical school in three years, followed by a three-year Internal Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Matriculating students who are interested in pursuing a career in internal medicine may apply to this pathway by submitting a secondary application.

After the application screening and interviews with members of the department, the accepted student will be placed in an accelerated pathway.

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Pathway Overview

To address the increased need for internal medicine physicians, Penn State College of Medicine, partnering with the Department of Medicine, developed a three-year IM-APPS program offering students many opportunities, including:

  • Reduction of the length of medical school by one year and earlier entry into a career in internal medicine
  • A scholarship equivalent to one year of tuition
  • Focused mentorship in internal medicine and early clinical exposure
  • Residency training in the Penn State Health Internal Medicine Residency

Students accepted into this pathway are consistently evaluated throughout their medical education, and their acceptance into the residency can be rescinded should they fail to maintain acceptable performance levels.


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Pathway Details

What are the advantages to choosing the 3+3 pathway?

This educational opportunity offers numerous advantages to students, including:

What is the timing of the pathway?

Students matriculate with the incoming medical school class in the summer. The 3+3 accelerated coursework begins during the first year of medical school, with an early introduction of clinical rotations.

In order to complete the graduation requirements in a compressed time frame, students in the 3+3 program do not get an eight-week summer break after the first year. Students are enrolled in a combination of rotations during this time, and continue to work on their medical student research project.

Students will participate in commencement from medical school in May of their third year. Participating 3+3 students will begin three years of residency training in June, at what would be the start of their fourth year in a traditional MD pathway.

When am I expected to take USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 exams?

You will be expected to take and pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 prior to graduation, which is a Penn State College of Medicine requirement. You will have preparation time during your third year to successfully complete these requirements.

Will I need to enter the National Resident Matching Program (NMRP)?

Yes. The Penn State Health Internal Medicine Residency can accept students through the match only. Therefore, you must enter the NRMP matching process.

Upon meeting the academic and professional standards for graduation from medical school, students are ranked to match into the Penn State Health Internal Medicine residency program through the National Resident Matching Program®. Should students choose to rank Penn State, they would match into an Internal Medicine residency position at Penn State Health.

Will my residency training be different?

Your three-year internal medicine residency training at Penn State will not differ in curriculum from that of a non-IM-APPS student. During medical school, you will have additional contact with the Department of Medicine, including opportunities to attend resident conferences and departmental events and tailored rotations featuring structured shadowing with faculty and residents on call. You will build a relationship with faculty, residents and staff in the Department of Medicine, easing your transition to residency.

What if I change my mind and no longer want to pursue internal medicine nor accelerate my training?

You would revert back to the traditional four-year program and enter the match as usual. Any scholarship granted will convert to a loan. Credits for partial courses may not carry over to the four-year program. For this reason, it’s important that you are certain about pursuing a career in internal medicine before you apply to the pathway.

What if I do not make satisfactory progress in the pathway?

If you have academic difficulties or fail to progress as expected, you would revert to the traditional four-year program and enter the match as usual.

How much will tuition be?

If you complete the IM-APPS pathway as designed, you will receive a scholarship equal to one year of tuition. Thus, you’ll pay the equivalent of three years’ tuition, saving on a full year tuition. If you revert out of the IM-APPS pathway for any reason, any scholarship funds provided as a part of the pathway would convert to a loan.

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