Doctors: Six-Year Wonders

How young can a doctor be? Ira Weiss, M.D., 23, is roughly two years younger than the next youngest physician at Boston's famed Massachusetts General Hospital. It doesn't bother Weiss that all his fellow interns have two more calendar years of medical school behind them. "I feel I'm among peers," he says matter-of-factly. So, apparently, do many of the almost 70 other young M.D.s who graduated this year from three U.S. medical campuses that have reduced the normal medical curriculum by two years.

The standard academic path for an aspiring M.D. is four...

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