Medical students in Massachusetts graduating early to join fight against coronavirus

BOSTON (WHDH) - Medical students in Massachusetts are preparing to graduate early so they can join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The deans at Tufts School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have agreed to the state’s request to move graduation up a month, effectively making 700 new doctors available to fight the outbreak.

Those new graduates would then be able to apply for 90-day provisional licenses that would allow them to put their skills to use at hospitals that are seeing a surge in coronavirus patients.

“We will be prepared if the schools graduate early, to provide 90-day provisional licenses through the board of Registration of Medicine. A one-page application,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders explained.

This agreement between the state and medical schools would be entirely elective for the students.

Micaela Nannery, a fourth-year Boston University medical student, said she is jumping at the chance to get her degree early and charge into the front line of the coronavirus fight.

“It really feels like an honor. It feels like something this country needs right now is a few more doctors, and if we can be those young doctors that are willing to help however we can, I think we are all excited to,” she said.

In an email, the dean of Boston University’s medical school wrote, “Your class is clearly graduating at one of the most medically challenging times of the last century. We are proud of the physicians that you will soon be, and for the role that you will play in the care of your patients.”

This is certainly a challenging time; however, it is one the class of 2020 says they are ready for.

“There is no time to be afraid,” Nannery said. “I am even more honored to go into the healthcare system at a time like this when we really do feel so needed at this point.”

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