Several medical schools in the United States are considering early graduation for older students to give them access to a pressurized health care system and to meet the growing demand for medical personnel as coronavirus cases increase rapidly in the country. New York University's Grossman School of Medicine announced last week that it plans to enable older students to graduate early in order to "get more doctors to the health care system faster," instructed New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
According to a CNN report, at least 69 students from the NYU medical school want to graduate three months early to help fight the novel coronavirus.
According to the report, deputy dean of medical school Steven B. Abramson said the university asked about 122 students to graduate this year whether they were ready to start their internship in New York hospitals in April instead of to wait July.
Almost 70 students volunteered to graduate, Abramson said.
"It is impressive and says a lot about our students and their commitment to caring for sick people and being part of a team of doctors who care for these patients," he said.
In the report, Gabrielle Mayer, a fourth-year medical student planning to attend the NYU primary care / internal medicine program, was described as a "simple decision" for her.
"Knowing that we were waiting to graduate and join the workforce, that we had the skills that seemed necessary and valuable, it was such an easy decision to join my roommates and interns," said the 26-year-old. old said.
The school is now awaiting final approval from the New York State Department of Education, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education.
Once approved, students are placed on internal medicine programs or emergency rooms in NYU hospitals in the region.
New York is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, and the state's medical infrastructure is under enormous strain as the number of coronavirus cases skyrockets.
The state now has more than 52,000 COVID-19 cases. According to the CNN report, New York University was the first medical school to consider early graduation for its older students, and now other medical schools are considering doing the same.
"While the AAMC has not yet consulted its medical schools, the Medical Education Liaison Committee has worked with several other schools that are considering or offer their students the opportunity to graduate early," said Alison Whelan, chief medical education officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges.
In Massachusetts, all four medical schools are in discussions with the Massachusetts Health and Human Services (MHHS) for a quick option.
Tufts University School of Medicine, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Boston University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School are considering the idea, the report said, quoting MHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders.
New York Governor Cuomo has announced three new locations – the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and the Health Alliance in Ulster County – as emergency shelters. The locations will add 695 more beds to the state's capacity.
In addition, the state will begin a new approach to designate some facilities only for COVID-19 patients.
Three locations – the psychiatric facility in South Beach on Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn – offer over 600 beds, especially for COVID-19 patients.
The federal government has also approved four new locations in New York for the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary hospitals. These locations are located at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx. These provisional hospitals will expand the state's capacity by 4,000 beds. These locations are part of the governor's goal to have more than 1,000 patient overflow facilities in every district of New York City as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk.
Last week, Cuomo announced that more than 40,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, volunteered as part of state health care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More should register shortly weeks. In addition, over 6,000 psychiatric professionals have signed up to offer free online mental health services.
Click here for more educational news