A medical student wearing a white coat types on a computer in a study room

Primary Accelerated Continuity Care Experience

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is proud to offer a three-year accelerated medical school program for students who are interested in becoming primary care physicians.

Meeting the Demand

Research shows that improved health care outcomes and reduced costs in the United States are strongly linked to the availability of primary care physicians. The need for primary care physicians is greater now as our health care system continues to evolve.  Pediatricians and family doctors develop lasting relationships with their patients and play essential roles in providing primary care to the community. Both disciplines address acute problems, chronic illness, prevention and more. 

Taking the lead to meet this demand, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School offers a three-year accelerated primary care track – the Primary Accelerated Continuity Care Experience (PACCE).

This track includes early clinical experiences in family medicine or pediatrics during the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum and longitudinal primary care experiences during the clerkship phase. Students are engaged in clinical learning and receive mentoring by faculty and residents beginning in their first year at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. After successfully completing this three-year curriculum, students will be in position to match into one of our affiliated family medicine or pediatrics residency programs. 

Who Should Apply

  • Students who know they want to be their patients' primary care physician — caring for patients and families with a focus on comprehensiveness, continuity, and community.
  • Students with a passion for community health.
  • Students who would prefer to graduate in three years, foregoing the elective opportunities students would have in year four of medical school.
  • Students who feel they can integrate clinical material at an accelerated pace.
  • Students who are self-directed learners, proactive, and take responsibility for their own learning.
Two medical students work at a computer at RWJMS

Applying for PACCE

Applicants are asked to denote interest in the PACCE accelerated track in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School secondary application. Interest, or lack thereof, does not impact the holistic review of the application or bear any significance on admissions decisions. Interested applicants offered acceptance to the medical school will have the opportunity to apply for PACCE in the spring, and will receive a notification of decision prior to the plan to enroll date.


    • PACCE students begin immersive experiences with either the family medicine or pediatrics residencies during their pre-clerkship years. 
    • PACCE students complete a five-week clinical program the summer between their first and second year of medical school. 
    • The clerkship year includes shortened inpatient clerkships, all required fourth-year experiences, longitudinal ambulatory (out-patient) experiences in family medicine, pediatrics, and other disciplines laying a foundation for primary care practice. 
    • PACCE students can revert to a four-year curriculum at any time during the three years.
  • Curricular Component Regular Track PACCE Accelerated Track
    Pre-clerkship Phase – Physicianship Curriculum
    • Three-week Physicianship course and Physicianship Intersessions
    • Small groups, standardized patient exercises, clinical and community experiences.
    • PACCE students participate in all Physicianship activities and begin immersion experiences with family medicine or pediatrics residencies as part of the Physicianship course.
    Pre-Clerkship Phase – Integrated Systems and Disease; Living Anatomy
    • Eighteen-month curriculum addressing foundational knowledge, integrated approach to systems and disease, living anatomy
    • Same as regular track
    Summer Between M1 and M2 Years
    • Approximately 6 weeks available for research or other activities. No required activities.
    • Five-week course, Enhanced Clinical Skills, encompasses portions of the M2 Physicianship curriculum and clinical immersion.
    Clerkship Phase
    • Four 12-week blocks for six required clerkships and time for Step 1 and 2 exam studying.
    • Twelve-week blocks also include a two-week intersession (for didactics, exams mentoring and coaching).
    • All required M3 and M4 clerkships with Family Medicine and ambulatory Pediatrics longitudinally (PACCE ambulatory blocks), some shortened required inpatient clerkships, time for Step 2 study, and up to five weeks of electives.
    • Flexibility in scheduling clerkship exams/assessments, mentoring, and coaching.
    Fourth Year Requirements and Electives
    • Requirements include Critical Care, Sub-internship, Emergency Medicine, and Boot Camp
    • Remainder of year is electives
    • M4 requirements included during M3 year
    • PACCE students begin seeing patients with family medicine or pediatrics residents and faculty during their M1 year. You’ll learn the skills needed to care for patients in primary care settings and begin to learn about commons problems in primary care. 
    • Students have the opportunity to follow individual patients over 1-2 years and help them navigate and coordinate their care. 
    • Longitudinal ambulatory (office-based) experiences in family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry provide the opportunity to learn about common (and uncommon!) primary care presentations from faculty in various disciplines 
    • PACCE nurtures the passion to care for the “whole patient” and develop meaningful, continuity relationships with patients.