Today, you will learn about a very interesting twist on medical education, shifting from a strict, tempo-based mode of training students to a competency model. At NYU, this shift is shortening the journey through medical school for some students. I got the chance to speak with Dr. Rafael Rivera, the Associate Dean for Admission and Financial Aid and the Director of Admissions at NYU School of Medicine, who will explain this process.
Dr. Rivera is also an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology, Division of Pediatric Radiology. We talked about something NYU is doing differently from a lot of other medical schools with its new 3-year MD program.
NYU has built their education and training program around the idea of giving students a variety of options that suit their needs, so they can best choose the perfect pathway for their medical career and accelerate them on their chosen path. Ultimately, it’s all about being happy because you’ve made the right choices right from the very beginning.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Dr. Rivera’s path to medicine:
- What inspired Dr. Rivera to decide to go to medical school
- What inspiring advice their psychology professor gave them
- Imagining how medicine can fit into your life over the long term
- Why Dr. Rivera loves radiology and why he loved his radiology residency at NYU
How Dr. Rivera became interested in medical school admissions:
- The reason he loves admissions work and is so interested in admissions
- When the new medical school curriculum at NYU started to materialize
Innovation in medical education:
- The disparity between how advanced we are with treatment options yet how conservative we are in how we educate our doctors
- How most schools have not yet deviated much from the 2+2 model
- How integrating things on a systems level helped him to study concepts more efficiently
Accelerated medical school programs and the 3-year MD program:
- The reasons for moving to a new curriculum that shortens pre-clinical instruction to 1 1/2 years
- Being able to take dual-degree programs
- Cutting the length of medical training
- The reason for opening the 3-year MD program to all residency programs, not just primary care
- LECOM has a 3-year accelerated DO program specifically for primary care
NYU’s 3-year MD Program:
- What you need to do if you’re interested to apply for NYU’s 3-year MD program
- Students may choose the opt-in option after their first year if they don’t know what path they want to take upon matriculation
- How NYU has built their program around the students, giving them choices and the ability to move between those choices
What defines success in medical education?
- Utilizing NYU’s technologies to track students progress
- Why and how NYU has moved to a more reliable method for assessing students
- The value of mentoring for medical students
- What makes a great medical student and how premeds can prepare for that journey
- The importance of having high EQ in medicine
- The different factors their committee is looking for from applicants
- Measuring the success of the 3-year MD program and identifying competencies
- Ways to increase physician’s satisfaction
Some pieces of advice for premed students:
- There is no one specific template that guarantees success for medical school.
- You have to do whatever make you happy, productive, and passionate in whatever field you choose.
- Make sure you are academically successful.
- There must be something in your application that reflects a sense of selflessness.
- Show the path you’ve taken to get to where you are and why it justifies acceptance.
- Do fewer activities, but have a greater depth of involvement in those activities.
If you enjoyed this interview with Dr. Rivera, check out another interview I did with him, all about the multiple mini interview (MMI)!
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: 3-year PA-to-DO Accelerated Medical School at LECOM.
- Related episode: 10 Traits You Need to Succeed in Medical School.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!
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