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Family Doctor Training Might Get Shorter in South Dakota

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SIOUX FALLS – South Dakota educators are discussing shortening medical school from four years to three for students pursuing careers as family doctors.

The Sanford-University of South Dakota School of Medicine is trying to move more physicians into cities and rural areas across the state. Family Medicine Chairman Bruce Vogt tells the Argus Leader there’s a discussion nationwide about getting more people into the primary care workforce more quickly.

Discussion in South Dakota is in the early stages. But medical school associate professor Susan Anderson says an accelerated program also would save money for future family doctors.

A change would need the approval of the dean, faculty, the university and the state Board of Regents. Executive Director Jack Warner says the Regents would need assurances that three-year doctors would be skilled.

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