Frequently Asked Questions
Will students be able to transfer into a partnership program if they have already attained their Bachelor's Degree in another field of study?
Yes. One benefit of a competency-based approach is the ability to pinpoint a student's current knowledge and abilities and identify the competencies left for the student to acquire.
Is there an expectation that TIME program graduates will stay in Texas to practice medicine?
The University of Texas System is committed to educating a work force to meet the needs of the state of Texas. The TIME program will focus its efforts on Texas residents, just as current programs do. Although medical graduates can apply to residency training in any state, 60% of UT System graduates practice or are still in practice in Texas.
What is the long-term goal of the TIME Initiative?
The goal of the TIME Initiative is to increase the effectiveness and relevance of physician education while shortening the time to receipt of the MD degree.
When will enrollment into the initiative begin?
The four TIME pilot programs will begin enrolling students no later than fall of 2013.
Will the shortened program impact the students' ability to successfully complete the USMLE Step examinations?
The application of basic and clinical science in clinical contexts and other skills measured by the USMLE Step exams are essential competencies of physicians. The TIME programs' emphasis on acquisition and demonstration of competency will provide students not only with the knowledge and abilities needed to be successful on these exams but also with ample familiarity with competency-oriented assessment.
What will happen if a student is unsuccessful during the program?
Academic support for those progressing more slowly than desired will, of course, be provided. For any who are unable to demonstrate satisfactory progress, the knowledge and experiences of the pre-health professions program will provide insight into and preparation for a variety of health care career options.
How will students' progress be monitored?
The TIME program will take a competency-based approach. When fully implemented, a competency-based approach means that students advance through the program at their own pace and will not be required to take coursework that addresses competencies that they have already acquired and demonstrated. Progress through different phases of the program, including degree completion, will be based on demonstration of the required competencies.
How much will this initiative, on average, reduce student debt?
Educational debt for medical graduates (including debt accumulated through undergraduate and medical education) averages $160,000 or $20,000 for each of the eight years in current premedical--medical education system. Beyond eliminating 1-2 years of educational debt, it is estimated that each year in training costs students an additional $160,000 – 230,000 in lost income.
How will the MCAT be used for admission into medical school if it is taken after acceptance into the program?
Although each pilot program will use the MCAT in the way that fits its approach, in most cases, the MCAT will serve as a measure of competency in the areas that it tests, with a minimum score needed to demonstrate competency and progress in the program.