As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in the country, US medical schools are considering early graduation for older medical students to meet the growing demand for healthcare providers.
According to a report by the New York Times, the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University was the first in the United States to announce an early graduation offer to students on Tuesday on Tuesday.
It was announced on Thursday by the medical schools at Tufts University, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts that they wanted to postpone their graduation dates from May to April. Harvard Medical School also said it was actively considering the move.
The Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in Colombia announced on Friday that the last year student will graduate on April 15 instead of May 20, according to the NYT report.
"While the AAMC has not yet surveyed 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 Dr. Alison Whelan, chief medical education officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, was cited by CNN.
In Massachusetts, the state would provide preliminary 90-day licenses for early graduates, giving approximately 700 medical students the opportunity to care for patients at least eight weeks in advance.
According to a NYU Grossman official, the school's decision came because its hospitals were "overwhelmed" with an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
NYT quoted the officials as saying that they are experiencing labor problems.
"That brought us to the conclusion: Why not doctoral students who want to work in hospitals now? They have fulfilled their requirements and are prepared," he was quoted as saying.
The number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen above 1 lakh, while the death toll has exceeded 1,500.