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MD Program: Accelerated Three-Year Primary Care Track

Below, you will find a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the Accelerated Three-Year Primary Care Track (PC3 Track) offered at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)


Students come to the decision to pursue primary care in many ways – through shadowing inspiring physicians, working in the medical field (such as a scribe, interpreter, health coach or other volunteer), through personal and family experiences with illness, among others. Many physicians cite several reasons for choosing a career in primary care – the joy of long-term relationships with patients and families, the clinical diversity and ability to tailor one’s career to clinical interests, are just some of them. We encourage you to seek multiple opportunities that will help you in this decision.
PC3 students start their M1 year in late June.

This program is ideal for someone who has a strong interest in and commitment to primary care. Beginning in the first semester of the PC3 track, you experience primary care settings and have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with both faculty and patients in your Patient-Centered Medical Home. You benefit from early mentorship and have specially designed courses to enhance your clinical skills, as well as your understanding of the complex social and public health landscape faced by primary care physicians. You have a faculty director who will provide guidance and support during your program. You save a year of medical school tuition and have a direct pathway to residency training at Cooper University Health Care.

Most of your clinical time is spent at Cooper University Health Care, CMSRU’s primary clinical affiliate. This institution, anchored by Cooper Hospital, has served the citizens of Camden for over 125 years and is committed to providing primary care in Camden and southern New Jersey. Cooper’s commitment to healthcare innovation is demonstrated by the Cooper Urban Health Institute (UHI), a unit with a focus on new models of care, the epidemiology of urban health/disease and the use of unique resources to provide affordable, effective health care in underserved urban health areas.

Applicants are asked to identify an interest in only one specialty when applying to the PC3 track.
We have up to 4 students/year – two students for Internal Medicine and two students for Pediatrics.
If there is an opening in the track during the M1 year, students would have the opportunity to apply for it. It is not possible to join the track in the M2 year.

Some fellowships may enhance or complement a primary care physician’s skills and clinical interests.

Some examples of such fellowships offered by various academic institution around the country include:

Internal Medicine:

  • Academic General Internal Medicine
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Diabetes Care
  • Geriatrics
  • HIV Care
  • LGBTQ+ Healthcare
  • Obesity Medicine
  • Primary Care Addiction Medicine


  • Academic General Pediatrics
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Child Abuse Pediatrics (offered at Cooper University Health Care)
  • Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Primary Care Sports Medicine
  • LGBTQ+ Healthcare
  • Weight Management
  • Pediatric Addiction Medicine

However, if you intend to be solely a subspecialist (e.g. a cardiologist or gastroenterologist), this will not be the track for you. We seek students who are planning to provide direct primary care to patients as one of the goals of our program is to produce clinicians to address the national primary care physician shortage.

Students in the PC3 track are expected to complete their medical school training in three years and immediately enter residency upon completion. Students wishing to take additional time for non-MD training should purse these options through the traditional four-year curriculum.

Primary Care physicians trained in Internal Medicine take care of adults (18 and above) and may also practice some general gynecology. Family Medicine physicians have training in obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and certain surgical procedures.

For an in-depth comparison of the training and career of Internal Medicine versus Family Medicine, please see this explanation from the American College Of Physicians.

There is no specific scholarship or financial aid associated with the track. However, participation in the PC3 track allows you to eliminate one year of tuition and fees from your debt. In addition, you start earning a resident physician salary in what would have been your fourth year of medical school; you enter the physician workforce and begin earning an Attending-level faculty salary a full year earlier than your colleagues.

All students at CMSRU are eligible for institutional scholarships, but are also encouraged to apply for national or regional funding.

In addition, students who are planning a career in Primary Care may consider applying for loan repayment though the National Health Service Corps

Further details on all funding opportunities are available through the CMSRU Financial Aid Office website.

We hope that students’ interest in primary care will thrive within the program. However, a student who no longer wishes to participate in the 3-year track or enter their chosen specialty may return to the 4-year track. Conversely, students who do not meet the ongoing academic and professional requirements of the 3-year track will be asked to transfer to the regular 4 year track.


Students participating in the accelerated track have a direct pathway to the Cooper Internal Medicine or Pediatrics Primary Care Residency Programs. This means that you are expected to meet the academic and professional standards required of all students, including passing Steps 1 and step 2CK before graduating from CMSRU. Students not meeting the academic standards transfer back to the 4 year track. Students meeting the academic standards will be highly positioned and ranked to match.

Both residency programs prepare skilled and dedicated residents to join the workforce as well as succeed in their Board Certification examinations. You work in multiple settings – not just primary care. Your residency learning occurs on Inpatient wards, in the Emergency Department, as well as in Intensive Care Units. You also have exposure to clinical care in subspecialty clinics and practice primary care in urban settings as well as in private or suburban clinics.

Click here for information about Cooper's Pediatrics Residency Program and the Primary Care Track within the Residency.

Click here for information about Cooper's Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Primary Care Track within the Residency.  

Students in the PC3 track may decide to apply to an Internal Medicine or Pediatrics residency program outside of Cooper. However, due to the structure of the PC3 curriculum, PC3 students in the 3rd year may not have completed all of the important clerkships at the time of residency application to guarantee a successful match result at a program outside of Cooper University Health Care.
Cooper University Hospital has a Family Medicine Residency Program. However, there are no Family Medicine positions in the PC3 track at this time.
This program aims to train excellent primary care physicians prepared to practice in any community in need. Although many CMSRU and Cooper graduates decide to stay in the Camden area or in New Jersey, there is no requirement to do so as part of the PC3 track.

Additional Information

For further questions about the Accelerated Three-Year Primary Care Track (PC3 Track), please contact:

Camille Henry, MD
Internal Medicine-Pediatrics
PC3 Director