Harvard Macy Community Blog

Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

Shou Ling Leong

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Shou Ling Leong, MD, is Professor, Associate Vice-Chair for Education and Predoctoral Director for Family and Community Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine. One of her passions for medical education is to align medical training to the healthcare needs of the nation. This recently led to the creation of a Family Medicine “3+3” accelerated program involving medical school in 3 years followed by Family Medicine Residency in 3, at Penn State.  As Director of Longitudinal and Accelerated Programs she is leading the development of longitudinal integrated clerkships and four other accelerated programs.  

Medical School in Three Years?

Do you think today’s physicians can be trained in three years instead of four?  There are advocates in both camps.  Opponents would say that to shorten medical education is to shortchange the training necessary for competent physicians.  Supporters would cite the benefits of accelerated pathways, including individualized training, competency based education, the option to reduce escalating student debt and the opportunity to align education to societal needs.  Many accelerated programs, such as FMAT (Family Medicine Accelerated Track) at Texas Tech, focus on training primary care physicians in underserved areas. 

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