Garamendi Pitches Fast-Track Medical School Program for UC-Merced
On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) said he would recommend that UC-Merced rework its proposal for a new medical school to eliminate research programs and instead focus on a "fast-track" curriculum that would let high school graduates earn medical degrees in as little as five years, the Fresno Bee reports.
Garamendi said that the proposed program could start admitting students as early as 2010, three years earlier than under the plan for a traditional medical school (Schultz, Fresno Bee, 1/6).
According to the Merced Sun-Star, the plan partly arose from UC President Mark Yudof's statements at a meeting in December that plans for a medical school at UC-Merced were delayed because of a scarcity of funds and the "newness" of the campus (Gaines, Merced Sun-Star, 1/7).
The fast-track program would run year-round (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 1/6).Â Students would graduate with a bachelor of science degree in three years.Â Students pursuing an M.D. degree would then undertake a two-year clinical rotation at clinics and hospitals in the San Joaquin Valley, followed by residency programs for some students.
Students enrolled in the program could complete their medical education in about eight years, down from 10 years for traditional programs (Merced Sun-Star, 1/7).
Garamendi said the program would emphasize recruiting students from the San Joaquin Valley in hopes of increasing the supply of physicians in the area (San Jose Mercury News, 1/6).
According to the Bee, Garamendi plans to formally release the proposal Thursday in Fresno.Â He said he would raise the issue at a meeting of the UC Board of Regents next week.UC Merced officials have not reviewed the proposal (Fresno Bee, 1/6). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.