A new federal law would require students in all public universities to complete at least four years of medical school.
The new requirements would be a major step forward for the nation’s colleges and universities.
The federal Education Department said the proposed legislation would help students who are looking to become doctors.
“We’re going to put a lot of emphasis on the need for medical students to have a high-level of knowledge about this field, about the science and the techniques of this field and the potential benefits and risks associated with this field,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said during a speech last week in California.
“It is not only the best medical education, but also it is the best training for doctors,” she said.
In addition to requiring medical school, the bill also would require that students complete six months of clinical education, which is an option under the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Under the new requirements, students would be required to take at least a two-year program in medicine, which would include medical school and a two or three year program in the sciences, including microbiology and immunology.
Students would also have to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to a news release.
The legislation, introduced by California Democrat Doug Collins, would require all students enrolled in public colleges and higher education institutions to complete four years in medical schools, which the federal Education department said would include at least two years of clinical training.
The requirement would also allow students to earn a doctorate, the release said.
It is a significant step forward to the nation, he said.
“We need to ensure that students who want to become physicians and people who want careers in medicine are prepared.”
The new legislation, which will be debated in Congress on Tuesday, is the second in two months to require the completion of four years.
Earlier this year, the Education Department announced a pilot program that allows students to complete medical school in the state of California.
The department also has a pilot that allows California students to enroll in medical programs in the U.S. and Canada, though the program was limited to California.