Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News

Accelerated 3-Year MD Program

We are excited to introduce The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine (UTHSC CoM) 3-year accelerated MD pathway. This pathway allows students to complete medical school more rapidly and with reduced cost. The 3-year parallel curriculum is directed at highly motivated students who have pre-determined their specialty area and who wish to complete their residency here at UTHSC within one of the following specialties: Family Medicine (Memphis, Jackson and Murfreesboro), Internal Medicine (Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga), Medicine-Pediatrics, Neurology, Pediatrics (Memphis and Chattanooga), or Psychiatry. In the future we hope to expand to other UTHSC residency programs across the state. Upon successful completion of medical school, students in the 3-year MD program will have a directed pathway to their chosen residency program. Students in the parallel 3-year curriculum will achieve the same program objectives and curricular goals as those in the traditional 4-year curriculum.

Program Benefits

  1. Reduce student debt
  2. Allow students to get a head start in residency training and their income earning potential.
  3. Provide early access to faculty mentors within your chosen specialty area.
  4. Attract high-caliber, highly motivated applicants to the UTHSC CoM MD program.
  5. Retain these high-quality students as residents at UTHSC CoM, and, ideally, beyond as physicians in Tennessee and faculty members at UTHSC CoM.
  6. Increase the numbers of physicians in Primary Care and particularly Primary Care in Tennessee, as our state is underserved in these fields.


The instructional format in the 3-year curriculum remains similar to the traditional 4-year curriculum. The structure of the 3-year curriculum and changes from the 4-year curriculum are described below.

Please see schematic linked above.

Pre-Clerkship Phase:

The preclinical years 1 and 2 are very similar.

  1. Year 1 will be the same as the 4-year curriculum.
  2. During the summer between the first and second years, students will complete a 6-week course in Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, and Principles of Clinical Medicine which usually occurs in January-March of M2 year.
  3. The fall of year 2 will be the same as the 4-year curriculum.  Students in the 3-year curriculum will complete their preclinical work by December of year 2.

Clerkship Phase:

  1. The 3-year curriculum students will start their clinical rotations in January of the second year rather than in May.
  2. Core clerkships remain the same – Internal Medicine, Surgery, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Neurology, and Psychiatry.
  3. Career Exploration electives will not be offered in the parallel 3-year curriculum as these students have already identified their specialty choice.

Post-Clerkship Phase:

  1. Students in the 3-year curriculum will complete Geriatrics-Palliative Medicine and Capstone rotations but will complete one Junior Internship rotation instead of two.
  2. They will complete 8 weeks of required Electives (instead of 16 weeks) and 6 weeks of Option Blocks (instead of 20 weeks).
Assessment of Students
The 3-year curriculum students will be assessed using the same criteria as the 4-year students. They are expected to pass all courses and meet all program objectives required for graduation. If they are unable to maintain acceptable academic standing or professionalism standards, then they may be transitioned to the traditional 4-year curriculum or remediated as necessary. For students who no longer wish to be part of the 3-year curriculum, there are mechanisms to “opt-out” and return to the traditional 4-year curriculum.
Mentorship and Advising

Students in the 3-year MD curriculum will have mentoring and advising at several levels including:

  1. Individual 3-year curriculum advisor for general advising and mentoring
  2. Specialty-specific faculty mentor
  3. Clinical preceptor in the student’s chosen field during the pre-clerkship phase
  4. Near-peer mentorship from students already in the 3-year program.
  5. College of Medicine assigned mentor for general career advising, mentoring, and wellness.
Application Process

Applicants must be accepted first into UTHSC CoM traditional 4-year program, through the College’s standard admissions process. After acceptance, applicants will be invited to submit a secondary written application for the 3-year curriculum. If eligible, they will be invited for an interview by the 3-year curriculum leadership committee and the residency program of interest. There will be a second entry point in the spring of the first year for additional students who wish to apply to the 3-year program.



Specialty Areas

General Information

Nov 7, 2023