California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi wants to combine college with medical school, enabling a high school graduate to earn an MD in five years.
University of California at Merced, a new campus that’s still under-enrolled, would house the program. Merced is in the rural Central Valley, which is short on doctors.
Garamendi hopes to put a medical degree within reach of young people who may be discouraged by the prospect of eight years of college — and a load of debt — to get to a poorly paid residency. The program should work for all those kids taking AP classes in high school: They don’t need four years to prepare for medical classes.
Currently, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine offers a six-year program.
In Britain, many students start a five-year medical course at 18, after leaving high school with high science scores. Others complete a three-year undergraduate degree and do four years of medical school.