ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Elmira College and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)  have announced a new joint program, aimed to help students get their bachelor's and medical degree in a shorter period of time. The time frame is six years compared to the regular eight-plus years. 

"An incredibly innovative program to which we can produce doctors faster," shares Richard Terry DO, MBA, FAAFP, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs LECOM, Elmira. "We can expedite the pipeline production of doctors and the goal would be to reduce their debt and hopefully lean more of them toward primary care and have many of them stay in this area and practice." 

An analysis from Forbes found the average medical school debt from 2021 to 2022 was over $38,000 per year for public medical school, and over $60,000 annually for private institutions. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) says the class of 20-21 reported an average of  200 thousand dollars in debt for medical school, not including undergrad.

"We were announcing the six-year B.S. D.O degree where students can spend two years at Elmira College and then go straight into medical school," added excitingly Dr. Lynn Gillie, Professor of Biology and Pre-Health Coordinator. 

Similar to most higher education programs, there is often an exam like the LSAT or MCAT. The D.O. program at Elmira College eliminates the M-CAT and creates many opportunities in the lab.

"Well they will be able to take all their medical school pre-requisite, so they are prepared to go into medical school. And in their third year they will transfer back those credits back to Elmira to earn a bachelor's degree in a much shorter time period," Dr. Gillie noted.

The courses will be accelerated, and allow students to learn biochemistry, genetics, and organic chemistry. Additionally, the program is designed to provide more time in hands-on situations like labs.

"There will be less fluff in the college experience and really be a lot of heavy-duty courses like biochemistry, genetics, organic chemistry," said Dr. Terry. 

The accelerated program is set to launch during the Fall Semester.