A Preliminary Evaluation of Students' Learning and Performance Outcomes in an Accelerated 3-Year MD Pathway Program

J Grad Med Educ. 2022 Feb;14(1):99-107. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-21-00284.1.


Background: Little outcome data exist on 3-year MD (3YMD) programs to guide residency program directors (PDs) in deciding whether to select these graduates for their programs.

Objective: To compare performance outcomes of 3YMD and 4-year MD (4YMD) students at New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

Methods: In 2020, using the Kirkpatrick 4-level evaluation model, outcomes from 3 graduating cohorts of 3YMD students (2016-2018) were compared with the 4YMD counterparts.

Results: Descriptive statistics compared outcomes among consented student cohorts: 92% (49 of 53) 3YMD, 87% (399 of 459) 4YMD-G, and 84% (367 of 437) 4YMD-S. Student survey response rates were 93% (14 of 15), 74% (14 of 19), and 89% (17 of 19) from 2016 to 2018. PDs' response rates were 58% (31 of 53, 3YMD) and 51% (225 of 441, 4YMD). Besides age, 3YMD and 4YMD cohorts did not differ significantly in admissions variables. Other than small statistically significant differences in the medicine shelf examination (3YMD mean 74.67, SD 7.81 vs 4YMD-G mean 78.18, SD 7.60; t test=3.02; P=.003) and USMLE Step 1 (3YMD mean 235.13, SD 17.61 vs 4YMD-S mean 241.70, SD 15.92; t test=2.644; P=.009 and vs 4YMD-G mean 242.39, SD 15.65; t test=2.97; P=.003) and Step 2 CK scores (3YMD mean 242.57, SD 15.58 vs 4YMD-S mean 248.55, SD 15.33; t test=2.55; P=.01 and vs 4YMD-G mean 247.83, SD 15.38; t test=2.97; P=.03), other metrics and overall intern ratings did not differ by pathway.

Conclusions: Exploratory findings from a single institution suggest that 3YMD students performed similarly to 4YMD students in medical school and the first year of residency.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Medicine*
  • New York
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students
  • Students, Medical*