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To the Editor.—
I suggest that the editor require all future correspondence about three- and four-year medical studies to refer to "academic years" or "calendar years" or both. It is obvious that reducing the medical curriculum to three academic years will increase the number of graduates only once. On the other hand, if, as in the accelerated program during World War II, four academic years are completed in three calendar years, there will be a 33% increase in medical graduates in future years.Dr Garfunkel (235:1701, 1976) is to be commended for taking our medical educators to task for providing much speculation and a dearth of facts in their discussion of the necessary length of medical school studies. It would seem that a comparison of the professional outcome of accelerated program graduates with graduates of programs immediately prior and subsequent to the accelerated program should promptly provide an answer to
Harnes JR. Length of Medical Education. JAMA. 1976;236(4):346–347. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270040012014