Medical Students in Europe and U.S. Graduate Early to Join Coronavirus Front Lines

Wall Street Journal (04/18/20) Harley-McKeown, Lucy; Korn, Melissa

Medical students throughout the United States and Europe are graduating early to enter the ranks of frontline healthcare staff battling the coronavirus pandemic. Early graduations are taking place in New York, Massachusetts, Oregon and Louisiana, with graduates often skipping elective courses. Although the graduates matched into residency programs in March are still scheduled to start them in July, many have signed contracts to work for hospitals affiliated with their medical schools, or elsewhere, in any capacity they can for the time being. Association of American Medical Colleges Chief Medical Officer Alison Whelan, MD, said state licensing agencies have sanctioned this temporary employment, permitting graduates to practice with supervision. She added that many hospitals have established new roles for fresh graduates, including as scribes to take down notes for doctors conducting physical exams, organizing lab results, or talking on the phone with people concerned about whether they need to be tested or who want to check on hospitalized loved ones.

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